My favourite must-order dish when we go to any Thai eatery is Tod Mun Goong which is deep fried shrimp cake/patty, made with minced shrimp and squid/fish paste coated with bread crumb then deep fried to a crisp; it's crispy on the outside and juicy/bouncy inside and taste absolutely yummy when dipped in thai sweet plum sauce or chilli sauce.
Tod Mun Goong is considered an appetiser and I think almost all Thai eateries sell this dish. Usually I'll set my eyes on this dish and let hubby decide on the rest of the dishes :p One of the best Tod Mun Goong I've eaten was at Sabieng Lae, Koh Samui. Since we couldn't fly there often (air ticket is notoriously expensive), I could only satisfy my craving for this dish at local Thai restaurants such as Joe's Kitchen at Alexandra which did quite a good rendition of the dish.
I've also thought of replicating it at home. Tried searching thai cuisine cookbooks but all of them only feature thai fish cake or prawn toast? Initially I didn't know that this dish is called Tod Mun Goong, I searched the internet with terms like thai prawn cake and results didn't seem like what I'm looking for as well.
Then recently I was at Kinokuniya bookstore browsing the cook book section and came across this thai cuisine cookbook written by a taiwanese cook, 爱上cc老师的泰国菜. Bingo! I found the recipe I've been looking for! And coincidentally I also found out by chance the name of this dish and several recipes on the internet. It's so surreal coz all this while I was wondering what dish to attempt for AFF Thailand, it's all fated :p!!! LOL!!
Anyway, I compared the recipes found on the internet with the cookbook. For this cookbook, the main ingredients are shrimp and squid paste, whereas some recipes use fish paste. There are also recipes which use only shrimp and interestingly pork lard. Hmmm....
I decided to try the recipe by cc老师 first. The steps are quite simple actually, mix all the ingredients like shrimp, squid paste, coriander root, baking soda, tapioca starch, white pepper powder, white sugar, fish sauce, egg, cooking rice wine together into a paste, roll into balls, coat with bread crumb, flatten then deep fried. But somehow the paste turned out a little too wet (The egg I used is a large one, which might be too much liquid. I didn't have tapioca starch so I substituted with corn starch, not sure if this affected the result) so I had to add more corn starch to make it slightly drier.
Texture-wise, the outside was very crispy naturally. As for the inside, it wasn't as bouncy and compact as those sold commercially. Taste-wise, a little bland with some hints of squid and shrimp taste. Since I ate it with a dip sauce, it's ok.
This dip sauce recipe (made from fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind sauce, garlic, coriander root, chilli, lemon juice) is also provided in the cook book together with the shrimp patty recipe. And it's surprisingly good! Very tangy, slightly saltish and sweet with subtle notes of spiciness. When you eat the sauce on its own it seemed too overwhelming but when paired with the shrimp patty, they were match-made in heaven!!
But of course we could simply serve the shrimp patty with the good old thai sweet chilli sauce or sweet plum sauce. Actually most thai eateries serve the thai sweet chilli sauce, only Sabieng Lae (Koh Samui) serves the sweet plum sauce. Having tasted all 3 dip sauces, I must say the homemade sauce won hands down!
Tod Mun Goong ~ Thai Shrimp Patty
(recipe from 爱上cc老师的泰国菜)
(makes about 18-20 pieces)
- 400g Shrimp
- 200g Squid paste (note 1)
- 2 tbsp Coriander root (note 2)
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 4 tbsp Tapioca starch (note 3)
- Dash White pepper powder
- 1 tbsp White sugar
- 1/3 tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 Egg (note 4)
- 1 tbsp Cooking rice wine
- Bread crumbs
- De-shell the shrimps, remove the intestine mud from the shrimps, wash thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen towel. Chop the shrimps finely.
- Put finely chopped shrimps and all the ingredients (except bread crumbs) into a large mixing bowl and mix well till a sticky paste form.
- Spread some cooking oil on both palms, scoop 1 tbsp of paste on the palms and shape into a ball.
- Coat well with bread crumbs and flatten slightly.
- In a pot, heat oil to 160 degree celsius and deep fry patties till golden brown and inflated. Drain on kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
- Serve warm with dip sauce.
- You can make your own squid paste by chopping squids till very fine, add 1 tbsp of cooking rice wine, white pepper powder, some salt, corn starch and tapioca starch and mix well. For me, I just buy frozen squid paste available at supermarket.
- I didn't have enough coriander root, so I added only 1 tbsp. I was also worried that hubby and dear son might be turned off by the smell if I use the full amount.
- I didn't have tapioca starch so I use corn starch. I also added about 6-7 tbsp as my paste was too wet. *Subsequent tries, I used tapioca starch and the results were better. So it's best to stick to tapioca starch.
- Could probably use a smaller egg (mine was 60g egg) or add bit by bit to ensure paste wasn't too wet.
- 2 tbsp Fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Palm sugar (I use 1 disc of palm sugar; the package is like a long tube of many discs of palm sugar)
- 2 tbsp Tamarind sauce (I use 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp, added with 5 tbsp of water to extract 2 tbsp of sauce)
- 1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped (I use only 1 tsp)
- 1 tbsp Coriander root, finely chopped (I use the stems and leaves, not the roots)
- 1 tbsp Chilli, finely chopped (I use chilli padi and only half a piece)
- 4 tbsp Lemon juice (I use juice from half a lemon)
- Boil fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind sauce together. Let cool down and add the rest of the ingredients to mix well. *I didn't read instructions properly and just added everything into pot and boil. Seems ok.
This recipe is certainly a keeper! I can finally make Tod Mun Goong at home to satisfy my cravings anytime! Although it's still not the same as what the thai eateries serve, both hubby and the little rascal liked it. Hubby also gave thumbs up to the dip sauce, commenting that it's better than thai sweet chilli sauce or sweet plum sauce. Gonna try the recipe again, this time with tapioca starch and less egg perhaps, or even add pork lard as suggested by some recipes.