Thai Coconut Fish Cakes

I’ve served these fish cakes to friends and family at least a dozen times.  A few things I love about them:  the only ‘binder’ is fresh coconut, which gives them a unique texture.  They’re infused with fragrant kaffir lime leaves, which I can never get enough of.   And a little bit of coconut sugar makes them caramelize as they bake.
Thai Coconut Fish Cakes

 This was adapted from a recipe in The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, one of my favorite cookbooks.   I’ve simplified it by using a store-bought curry paste, which I doctor-up with a few fresh ingredients. I highly recommend the homemade seafood curry paste in The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, but the ingredients are more obscure than what I’ve included here.  The author, Christina Arokiasamy, has inspired a couple other recipes I’ve blogged about (this salad and this curry) and I’m thankful to have her permission to share them with you. 

Thai Coconut Fish Cakes (4)

These can be served with various condiments such as sriracha, sambal, and mango chutney.  Our favorite is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce called ‘kecap manis’.  The exceptional flavor comes from deeply caramelized palm sugar.   Look for it at Asian markets.

Thai Coconut Fish Cakes


  • 1/2 pound snapper (or other white fish), cut in chunks
  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 1 cup shredded fresh coconut
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (roasted or ‘nam prik pao’ if available)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed
  • 2 Thai chili peppers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • olive oil


Heat the oven to 375.

Combine the shredded coconut, cilantro, green onions, lime leaves, chili peppers, garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse 10 times.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula.  Add the coconut sugar and curry paste and pulse another 10 times.  Add the fish and shrimp.  Pulse until the mixture begins to form a ball, scraping down the sides as necessary.

With oiled hands, form the mixture into 8 patties about 1-inch thick and 3 inches across.  Place each patty on an oiled baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Flip each patty over and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until they become golden brown.

Serve with your favorite condiments on the side or drizzled over the top.

1 Comment Thai Coconut Fish Cakes

  1. Pingback: Thai Wedding Soup | Suwannee Rose

Comments are closed.