Delicious entree or sophisticated snack: Thai fish cakelets

"I think it's worth investing in a food processor for these alone. They are so simple and fragrant and my boys eat them like blinkin' sweets. I love the fact that they are so utterly different from our English versions of fishcakes. I think if I had to choose to eat another country's food forever it might have to be Thailand's," says culinary expert and author Sophie Thompson.

These are lovely hot or cold, so can be prepped for a bit of a 'do' long before any guests rock up.

This is an edited extract from My Family Kitchen by Sophie Thompson, published by Faber. It is available now RRP$45.00 Get 11% off the RRP when you order your copy online.


1 stick of lemon grass, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Handful of fresh coriander
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 small green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 heaped tbsp desiccated coconut
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried
400g skinless and boneless white fish fillet, e.g. cod, haddock, roughly chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil salt and pepper
Sweet chilli sauce, lime wedges, chopped
Spring onions and cucumber, to serve


1. Put the lemon grass, garlic, ginger, coriander, lime zest, half the lime juice, red and
green chillies, coconut, red pepper, kaffir lime leaves and some seasoning in a food processor and blitz until chopped really fine. You may need to stop halfway through and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it is well combined.

2. Add the chopped fish and pulse gently until it is all mixed together (don't overdo it with the fish, as you want the cakelets to have a good texture). Transfer your lovely, fragrant mixture to a bowl.

3. Rub the remaining lime juice over your hands and start shaping blobs of the mixture into little fishcakes. The mixture can be quite sticky but the lime juice will stop it sticking to your hands. You should get about 14-16 fishcakes; place them on a tray in a single layer and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up.

4. You'll need to fry these in two batches, so when you are ready to cook, heat half of each oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the fishcakes for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden on the outside and cooked through in the middle. Try to avoid fiddling with them too much while they are in the pan, as they are quite fragile.

5. Drain on kitchen paper and serve on a lovely wooden board with some sweet chilli dipping sauce, lime wedges. Chopped spring onions and cucumber are also a lovely addition.