Monday, 27 October 2014 | MYT 7:22 AM

Chilli Tuna Fish Cakes

Everything in moderation is the theme of Modest Mondays, a weekly online cooking column with simple recipes to help counter a weekend of overeating. This time, it's a Thai-inspired fish cake.

Anyone who has tried Thai fish cakes know how moreish they are. They're a common street food in Thailand and come in dainty morsels, usually served with a sour tamarind-based dip or chilli sauce.

Thai fish cakes contain all the flavours that scream Thailand: sour, salty, sweet and hot thanks to chillies, kaffir lime leaves, belacan (shrimp paste) and coconut milk, among other things. Fresh fish is used for the paste. There’s a laundry list of ingredients to prepare but all that effort is what makes these snacks so delicious.

At the start of the working week, though, it’s not always easy to get excited about food preparation. But these quick three-ingredient fish cakes are just the thing for the less than enthusiastic cook. One tin of chilli tuna, a large potato and a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a brief time in hot oil, and lunch is served.

  • Prep Time

    10 mins
  • Cooking Time

    5 mins
  • Serving



  • 1 large floury potato (e.g russet), peeled and cut into large cubes
    1 tin chilli tuna in oil
    2 eggs
    1-2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (e.g spring onion, coriander, Thai basil)
    2 tbsp rice flour seasoned with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper
    Oil for frying

  • To serve
    Slaw or salad
    Lemon wedges
    Pickled chillies
    Dipping sauce


Boil the potato and eggs separately in lightly salted water. Mash them.

Open a can of chilli tuna and drain it well. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl with the mashed potato and eggs. Add fresh chopped herbs, if using. Mix all the ingredients together into a rough paste.

Form into 6 patties. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Dust the patties in the seasoned rice flour and shallow-fry until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce, slaw or salad and pickled chillies.

Tags / Keywords: Modest Mondays , chilli tuna , fish cakes , recipe , easy recipe , three ingredient recipe


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