Zucchini “Fish” Cakes with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce (ทอดมันซูกินี)

In terms of texture, these zucchini “fish” cakes aren’t that much different from any zucchini cakes (or fritters or latkes) which you may have had before. What sets these little pancakes apart from the others is the flavors that are associated with traditional Thai fish cakes (Tod Man Pla).

Naturally, these zucchini cakes would go well with the same sweet and sour cucumber relish that is served with Tod Man Pla. But since we already have zucchini in the cakes, I opt instead for just Thai sweet chilli sauce with some chopped roasted peanuts mixed into it.

Zucchini “Fish” Cakes with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
Makes approximately 20 3-inch cakes
Printable Version

2 pounds (~1kg) zucchini
3 large eggs
2 ounces (57g) Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 cups (180g) rice flour
2 teaspoons (12g) salt
2 teaspoons (8g) baking soda
3 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
1/2-3/4 cup plain vegetable oil for frying
1 cup of store-bought or homemade Thai sweet chilli sauce
1/2 cup finely-chopped dry-roasted peanuts

  • Grate the zucchini coarsely, skin and all. Place the grated zucchini in a large kitchen towel and wring out as much liquid as you possibly can. The crispiness of the zucchini cakes depends on how much liquid you can wring out of the grated zucchini at this point.
  • Place the grated zucchini in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the red curry paste, baking soda, and salt, followed by the eggs, one at a time.
  • Stir in the rice flour and kaffir lime leaves; mix well.
  • In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat up 1/2 cup of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), drop the batter into it 1/4 cup at a time. Once one side is brown and crispy, turn over. Transfer the fried zucchini cakes to a paper towel-lined plate. Replenish the oil as necessary.
  • If you’re not eating these cakes right away, arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake them at 375°F until they’re heated through and the exteriors become crispy again.
  • Serve the warm zucchini cakes with Thai sweet chilli sauce with some peanuts sprinkled on top or mixed in.

8 Responses to Zucchini “Fish” Cakes with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce (ทอดมันซูกินี)

  1. Tussany August 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    น่ากินมากกก จะลองทำดูนะคะ 🙂

  2. Eva September 1, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    what an interesting variation on zucchini fritters! now if only i had access to kaffir lime around here…(i´m in south america; it´s unlikely). i made your thai sweet chilli sauce the other day and it was totally perfect, such an amazing thing to be able to make so far away from home — which is ironic, given that i´m not thai, and it´s not home-home food for me, but americans are pretty spoiled in our access to international foods, i think, so much so that we identify them as part of home. at any rate, thank you!

  3. Anonymous September 4, 2011 at 1:13 am #


    These look amazing! I forgot. Is there part of the kaffir lime leaf that doesn’t get used?

    Scott from Syracuse

  4. Admin September 4, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    Scott – Is there part of the kaffir lime leaf that doesn’t get used? Not really. Sometimes, in the case of mature leaves, the veins that run through the middle get removed. But that’s about it.

  5. Romy February 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi Leela – I think your link to the regular fish cakes is broken. These look great, by the way!

  6. Admin February 24, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Romy – Thank you! Fixed now.

  7. Laura May 11, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Eva, you may be able to order them online, or better yet, order seeds. I have a little tree that does well here in Texas. I bet they would fare even better in South America. I just have mine in a pot so you could even grow it on a balcony if you’re in an apartment. Good luck!

  8. Tilda November 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    These were great! Barely tell the difference from regular Thai fish cakes. But a 1/4 cup each, I only got about 12. (I did let the batter sit in the fridge all day before I fried them. Could that be a problem? Not that it matters, though. They were still delicious!)