Thai Fish Cakes with Quails' Eggs and Sweet Chilli Sauce

Jean-Christophe Novelli adds a little French flair to a punchy tasting starter of Thai fish cakes flavoured with chillies, lemongrass and coconut
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Thai Fish Cakes with Quails' Eggs and Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 small red pepper, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 red chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 500 g salmon, cubed
  • 125 ml coconut milk
  • 1 egg yolk, optional
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 9 quail's eggs
  • 3 small bunches wild rocket
  • 6 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, Thai
  • sea salt


1. Combine the red pepper, chillies, garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce in a food processor and process until very finely chopped.

2. Add the salmon and blend until the mixture smooth, then add the coconut milk blend until combined. If the consistency is very sloppy, add the egg yolk, which will help firm the mixture as it cooks. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Shape the fish mixture into nine small patties. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the fishcakes until golden and crispy on both sides.

4. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to scalding point and add the white wine vinegar. Carefully break the quail's eggs into the pan a few at a time and poach for 30 seconds each. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to carefully lift the poached eggs from the water and set aside to drain on paper towels.

5. To serve, place the quail's eggs on top of the cooked fishcakes, allowing three per person. Garnish each dish with a small bunch of rocket, 2 tablespoons of Thai sweet chilli sauce and some sea salt and serve.

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