Thai Fish Patties with Sesame Dressing

These are absolutely delightful and perfect if you have any frozen left over salmon in your fridge. The recipe itself is easy to prepare since most of the ingredients go into a food processor. Salmon is low in calories and saturated fat, yet high in protein, and contains the important omega-3 essential fatty acids making it excellent for our heart, for keeping our blood pressure in check and can help prevent strokes. We should in general eat more salmon. Luckily for us here in Iceland we can easily obtain fresh and wild salmon and I think that Reykjavík has the only salmon river in the world running through a nation's capital. You can catch it, skin it and eat it directly because the water is so fresh and clean. But don't worry, even though you have to buy wild salmon from your fish monger or fish counter at the super market, the fish patties will taste superb. Just one thing...I know that these should be called Fish Cakes...but who in their right mind can call anything with fish in it Cake - anything?

I recommend that you try buying wild salmon as it is the ethically right thing to do. It is more expensive than farm reared salmon but worth it, for you and the environment.

Kaffir lime leaves are usually available in supermarkets that specialize in Asian food but if you can't find them, just omit.

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free but includes seeds/oils from seeds

Thai Fish Patties with Sesame Dressing

Serves 4 (makes 20-24 small patties)


For the patties

  • 500 grams (17½ oz) white fish such as haddock, halibut or cod (it's best to buy the fish already scaled and trimmed of bones)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped very finely
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • Small piece fresh ginger (equal to a grape in size), chopped finely
  • 1 chilli pepper (red), chopped finely
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (black)

For the sesame dressing

  • 1 chilli pepper (red), chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (Nam Plah)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. First prepare the sesame dressing.
  2. Heat a small frying pan and place the sesame seeds on the pan without any oil. Heat for 3-4 minutes on high heat.
  3. Cut the chilli in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds and chilli pepper, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon fish sauce (Nam Plah) and 1 tablespoon tamari sauce.
  5. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the small bowl, you will need 1 tablespoon lime juice. Set aside.
  6. Next you need to prepare the fish patties.
  7. Cut the 500 grams fish into large pieces.
  8. Trim the lemongrass root and the tough top away, leaving about 15 centimetres (6 inches) of stem, remove the outer skin and chop the lemon grass very finely.
  9. Peel the garlic clove and chop finely.
  10. Peel the small piece of ginger (the skin is very thin, you can scrape it off with a teaspoon or a small knife) and chop finely.
  11. Cut the chilli in halves, scoop out the seeds and membranes and chop finely. You might want to use plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  12. Zest the lime.
  13. Place chilli, garlic, lemon grass, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 3 tablespoons coconut oil, lime zest, and the small handful coriander leaves in a food processor. Blend everything together for 7-10 seconds.
  14. Add the fish and blend for 5-10 seconds.
  15. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  16. Make 20-24 small patties with your hands.
  17. Place baking parchment on the baking tray and transfer the patties onto the parchment.
  18. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6, for 20 minutes.
  19. Flip the patties over with a spatula and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and slightly crispy on the outside.
  20. Serve with the sesame dressing, a nice salad and some brown rice.



  • If you are allergic to seeds, you can omit the sesame oil and sesame seeds from the dressing.
  • You can freeze the patties and re-heat later. They are also very tasty served cold (so are excellent for the lunch box).        
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes. 
  • You can use soy sauce instead of tamari sauce (note: contains wheat).