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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Spicy Fried Fishcakes, "Tod Man Plaa"

Recipe is from

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Tod man pla is one of the most famous Thai dishes but seems to be rarely offered on the menus of Thai restaurants in the United States. We're happy to show you how to make it, step-by-step, with great results. Get a good fresh piece of fish to ensure success.


Ingredients for fish cakes
1 lb fresh white fish, prefer cod or halibut
1 egg
cup finely sliced Chinese long bean, or string beans
6 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for cucumber relish
cup white vinegar
cup sugar
1 cucumber, coarsely chopped
3 shallots, finely sliced
1-2 fresh Thai chile pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts crushed in a mortar and pestle

Cooking Method

Method for fish cakes
Cut the fish into small pieces, then grind it up in a food processor or pound it in a mortar and pestle until it's a paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil). For spicier taste, add a bit more red curry paste. Using your hands, knead the mixture until sticky enough to form it into a disc about 2 inches wide and inch thick. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan at med/high heat. Add fishcakes and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with steamed jasmine rice, and a dish of cucumber relish which is to be spooned over the fish cakes at the table.

Method for cucumber relish
Cook vinegar and sugar in small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool. In a small serving bowl put cucumbers, shallots and Thai chile. Pour vinegar mixture over that, then top with roasted peanuts.

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