Tod Mun - ทอดมัน

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tod mun tod mun

My favorite! As a little kid, I was fascinated by the Tod Mun stall at markets, seeing the fish cakes puff up and float in hot oil. The lady would form the patties by dropping a spoon full of fish paste into a circular, 2 inch in diameter bamboo sleeve. She would quickly level the cake and scrape it off into the wok full of hot oil. A few seconds later, the round patties floated to the top all puffy. But they only stayed puffy until they were scooped out of the wok. As they cooled, they went back down to their previous size. I called them the ‘deceitful tod mun’.

Tod Mun is eaten as a snack or appetizer in Thailand. But as with many Thai appetizers, Tod Mun can be eaten with rice as a main course. The salty and spicy fish cakes go so well with the crunchy and nutty cucumber sauce. 

3 Servings, Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Total Time: 20 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • I find using dace fish paste is the best for this recipe.
  • If you can't find kaffir lime leaves, omit them. Dry ones won't do the trick.
  • If the mixture is not well mixed, Tod Mun will not be chewy when cooked. It will tend to break easily. Inconsistent results can also come from the wrong type of fish or how fresh the fish is.
  • You can substitute Red Curry Paste for Basic Red Curry Paste.
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Tod Mun Sauce

Nam Jim Tod Mun น้ำจิ้มทอดมัน
4 Servings, Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Total Time: 5 Minutes
  • 2 quartered and thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar

Tips and Techniques

  • As always with Thai food, tasting is the key. Add a little more of red pepper sauce if you like it hot. Or add a little more of the sugar if you like it sweet.
  • I use 2 small pickling cucumbers but any variety of cucumber will. You can always add more cucumbers to the sauce, too.
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