Thai salmon cakes with dipping sauce by Nick Nairn

Thai salmon cakes with dipping sauce by Nick Nairn

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Thai salmon cakes with dipping sauce

Thai salmon cakes with dipping sauce

Serve these tasty little fish cakes as a starter or make a few more and have them for a main course! Your family or dinner guests will be really impressed either way.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 6-8


For the fish cakes:

  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, outer leaves discarded and core finely chopped
  • zest of 1 Fairtrade lime, finely grated
  • 25g fresh coriander, stalks and all
  • 300g fresh RSPCA Assured labelled salmon fillet, skinned
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • a little plain flour for coating
  • vegetable oil for frying (not olive)

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tbsp fresh Fairtrade lime juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp Fairtrade soft brown sugar (palm sugar if you can get it)
  • ½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • few drops of chilli oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped


First make the salmon cakes. Chop the chilli and lemon grass up very small and place in the mixer and blitz. Then add the lime and coriander and blitz thoroughly again. Make sure you add the ingredients in the correct order so you get the right texture.

Tear the salmon into large-ish strips, ensuring there are no bones. Add the salmon to the mixer with the Thai fish sauce and then very gently pulse. Do not over mix otherwise you will end up with salmon mousse. You want a good meaty texture.

Scrape out into a bowl, cover and chill for an hour. This will keep for up to 6 hours, but will need a stir before shaping into cakes.

For the dipping sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside. You can finely chop the ingredients ahead of time, but only add the liquids a maximum of 10 minutes before needed or the fish sauce and lime juice will wilt the fresh herbs. You can adjust the amount of lime and sugar in the dipping sauce to your taste. Ideally, you’re looking for a hot, sweet and sour balance.

When ready, divide the salmon mixture into 12, then roll into balls. Wetting your hands will make this easier. Press each ball flat to form a round cake, but don’t make them too thin or they will be rubbery. Dip each cake in flour, shaking off the excess. 

Pour about 5mm of vegetable oil into a frying pan and heat until a nut of salmon mixture sizzles as soon as it is placed in the pan. 

‟In my job I constantly meet people concerned about how their food is produced. Labels such as the RSPCA Assured logo help us to identify products from farms approved to higher welfare standards, providing that all-important assurance about the origins of our food.”

Nick Nairn

Fry the cakes in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side until cooked and nicely brown.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the dipping sauce.

Recipe: The Freedom Food Celebrity Recipe Collection

RSPCA Assured salmon (1)

Shopping list

Find out where to buy RSPCA Assured ingredients by entering your postcode on our where to buy map!

Can't find them in your usual supermarket? Let them know via our quick and easy form.

When you’re food shopping, look out for the RSPCA Assured logo on meat, fish and eggs.

The animals have been cared for to RSPCA welfare standards and have had better lives.

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