New Recipe: Recipe: Thai fish cakes with fragrant sweet chilli sauce

These bad boys are really easy to make and always a hit, whether at the dinner table, or handed around as bite-sized delights at a party.

The dipping sauce is key to bringing the fish cakes to life, but a store-bought sweet chilli works just fine as well. It’s the perfect way to use cheaper cuts of fish.

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The dipping sauce is key to bringing the fish cakes to life.

Melanie Jenkins

The dipping sauce is key to bringing the fish cakes to life.


Serves 4 as a lunch, or light dinner


For the fish cakes

500g hoki (or any firm white-fleshed fish)

1 zucchini, grated

3 spring onions, roughly chopped

1 egg

2 tablespoons cornflour

⅓ cup Rock Out with Your Wok Out sauce, or any soy-based or ginger stir-fry sauce

½ teaspoon sesame oil

Zest and juice of 1 lime

30g (1 oz) coriander

20g (¾ oz) mint

Oil for cooking

For the sweet chilli sauce

1 long red chilli

5cm piece of lemongrass

½ cup white sugar

½ cup white vinegar

2 kaffir lime leaves (or zest of 1 lime)


For the sweet chilli sauce, deseed then finely dice the chilli, and whack the lemongrass a few times with the back of a knife to release the goodness, but leave it whole. Place the chilli and lemongrass in a small saucepan with the sugar, vinegar and lime leaves or zest, and stir to combine. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. The sauce will be a lot runnier than store-bought varieties, but is really delicious and perfect for dipping.

Put all of the ingredients for the fish cakes into a blender and pulse to combine.

Heat a frying pan with a good amount of oil. Take heaped tablespoon-sized amounts of fish cake mixture and add to the pan. Cook 5 or 6 at a time (you will get 12–14 in total), and fry for about 1½ minutes each side, until the fish cake has turned white and a little golden on the outside, but is still juicy and moist inside.

Serve the fish cakes with the sweet chilli sauce. Pile them all on a platter and garnish with extra fresh coriander if making to share with friends.

Note: Serve the fish cakes with an Asian-style slaw, if having them as a dinner.

Reproduced with permission from Cherie Metcalfe’s Keepers, published by Allen & Unwin NZ (RRP $45).

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