Tod Man, or Fried Fish-Paste Balls or Fish Cake, is a highly-recommended appetizer on the menus of most Thai restaurants or even on street vendors. These fish cakes are unlike the Western deep fried varieties which are battered before being deep fried. Tod Man Pla is a Thai-style fishcake made with fresh fish paste, long beans, red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. Each bite of the fish cakes is bursting with the briny flavors of the fish, the fragrance and heat from the red curry paste, and the crunchiness of the long beans. You can also change the protein from fish meat to shrimp, crab and squid.
The dish is best eaten hot right out of the fryer and dipped into a slightly tangy and spicy chili dip served with steamed rice as a main course. The accompanying chili dip is also easy to make as well, using diced cucumbers and chopped peanuts that adds texture and crunch to the sauce, making them an excellent dipping sauce for the fish cakes. They are absolutely yummy!
Cost: 40-80 baht
Spicy Level: 2.5