Thai Fish Cakes with Spicy Mayo – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Barramundi, a delicious firm white fish, makes low carb Thai Fish Cakes that are out of this world! Run to your kitchen and whip these up pronto. This post is sponsored by NoshOn.It.
Low Carb Thai Fish Cakes with barramundi

You’ve seen me get pretty excited about some of my recipes. When I create something that tastes as good as I imagined it would, I have a hard time containing my enthusiasm and I know it spills over here. If I manage to nail a recipe, I feel like Canada just won the gold in Olympic Hockey. Oh wait a second…we did just win the gold in Olympic Hockey. In fact, we won gold in both the men’s and women’s Olympic Hockey. No wonder I am in a state of pure joy. We took the hockey world by storm AND my low carb Thai Fish Cakes rocked. I get pretty excited when a recipe tastes as good as I hoped it would, but I get even more excited when a recipe tastes even better than I imagined. This is one such recipe.

Low Carb Thai Fish Cakes with Spicy Mayo

Thai fish cakes have been on my to-do list for a while now, and once I discovered barramundi at my local Trader Joe’s, I thought it was time to play around a bit. Besides being a sustainably farmed and Omega-3 rich fish, barramundi is incredibly versatile. It’s quite a firm white fish, so it holds together really nicely and lends itself well to a number of different cooking methods. In some ways, the texture of barramundi is more like chicken than fish, and this trait makes it perfect for things like fish cakes. Once it’s processed with the other ingredients, it doesn’t fall to pieces and you can shape it quite easily. And the cakes don’t fall apart when they hit the hot oil, as some more fragile fish might do. Since it’s very mild-tasting, the end result is anything you want it to be. Spice it and flavour it the way you like it best.

I did my research on Thai Fish Cakes and I consulted quite a few recipes. Of course, I had to modify them as they all included brown sugar. I also changed things up because I didn’t want to open a full can of coconut milk just to add a few measly spoonfuls to the recipe. And since I’d recently bought myself some coconut butter, I decided to try that along with a few tablespoons of water. I increased the spices a bit because I like a little kick to my food. The end result took me by surprise. I expected good flavour, but I took one bite and fell in love. And I couldn’t stop eating these little guys! I love that traditional Thai fish cakes are on the small side, meant to be eaten as a finger-food instead of with a knife and fork.

Low Carb, Gluten-Free Thai Fish Cakes

As for the spicy mayo, all the recipes I saw had some sort of dipping sauce to accompany the cakes. Many times it was a sweet chili garlic sauce made with, you guessed it, sugar. So I just mixed a little mayo and hot sauce together instead. But I honestly felt like the cakes didn’t need it, that they were just as good on their own. A squeeze of lime was enough for me, but my husband liked to dab the mayo on top. Either way, these are seriously good. And if I haven’t managed to convey my enthusiasm, then I haven’t done my job properly!

 Disclosure: This post was sponsored via the NoshOn.It Publisher Partner Program by a leading barramundi producer. All opinions, thoughts, recipes, photography, random tangents and incoherent ramblings are my own.

Low Carb Thai Fish Cakes Recipe

Thai Fish Cakes with Spicy Mayo

Yield: Serves 5-6 as an appetizer, 3-4 as a main course

Thai Fish Cakes with Spicy Mayo

Barramundi, a delicious firm white fish, makes low carb Thai Fish Cakes that are out of this world! Run to your kitchen and whip these up pronto.


    Fish Cakes:
  • 1 lb barramundi filets, skin removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (use Red Boat for paleo)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Lime wedges
  • Spicy Mayo:
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise (use Primal Kitchen for paleo)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce or Sriracha


  1. For the fish cakes, combine fish, coconut butter, fish sauce, water, garlic, ginger, cilantro, chili powder, pepper flakes, cumin and coriander in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Pulse until mixture becomes a thick paste (you will need to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula several times).
  3. Form into 1.5 inch balls and press into patties about 3/4 inch thick. You will need to wet your hands frequently to keep the mixture from sticking.
  4. In a large skillet over medium, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil until melted and pan is hot.
  5. Add about half of the fish cakes, careful not to overcrowd them, and cook 1.5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook another minute to minute and a half, until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining oil and cakes.
  7. For the mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and hot sauce in a small bowl.
  8. Serve cakes hot with a dab of mayo and lime wedges for garnish


Servings vary depending on whether you make these as an appetizer or a main course.

Assuming 4 servings, each serving has 4 g of carbs.

352 Calories; 27g Fat (68.6% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 42mg Cholesterol; 140mg Sodium.

NOTE: You can make these paleo by using homemade mayonnaise (use avocado or nut oils) and by using Red Boat Fish Sauce, which contains no sugar.

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  1. Cici says

    There’s not a ton of fish sauce in the recipe, so it might not matter too much, bu do you know if fish sauce is gluten free?

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Cici…it probably depends on the brand. There is a brand called Red Boat this is just simply fish and salt so it’s totally paleo and GF. A few other brands have sugar in them and may be cross-contaminated, I am not sure.

      • Bob Stannard says

        I’m going to try this with some smoked, fresh water bass that I smoked this morning. Can’t wait.

  2. says

    I am lucky in that my kids adore fish. These little cakes would be perfect for them to eat, although I’d have to dial down the spice for them. I have never even heard of Barramundi, but I am thrilled to have a new fish to explore!

  3. Sabre says

    I am unable to find coconut butter locally. Is there something else that could be substituted or could I make my own coconut butter by processing fresh coconut?

  4. Carol says

    Was hoping for some dinner inspiration when I checked your post. Went right down to the local TJs and bought barramundi, couldn’t believe I actually had all the other ingredients! (Don’t remember why I bought coconut butter but I hadn’t opened the jar yet so I’m glad I was able to use some!) The flavor was very, very good. I think I should have chopped the garlic or pressed it first because I did have to pull out some pretty big chunks from the mixture. Next time, and there definitely will be a next time! I might add some onion or green onion and kick up the heat a little. Maybe even add a little preserved lemon. What kind of chili powder did you use? Thanks for so generously sharing your passion!

  5. FrenchSophie says

    Thanks for this recipe !
    I had never heard about Barramundi before, although I shop at Trader’s joe a lot.
    I think the coconut oil/butter makes a fantastic flavor, it was my first try with that product and it was great :)
    I used Soy sauce instead of Fish sauce, just because it’s what I had, and I guess it’s ok.
    As carol said, I have the same comments with the garlic cloves…


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