That Spicy Chick

Easy Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes

These Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes are super tasty and a quick and easy appetizer to make! They’re aromatic, savory, citrusy sweet, slightly spicy and completely bursting with umami! Perfect for entertaining!


That’s the word that comes to mind whenever I bite into one of these juicy Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes. 😋

If you’ve ever dined at a Thai restaurant (or ordered takeaway from one), chances are you’ve had the shrimp cakes as an appetizer and know what I’m talking about when I say that these fried patties of joy taste absolutely delicious when dipped in some Thai sweet chili sauce!

Before you go all health police on me, just hear me out. I’m not recommending that you eat them or any deep-fried food everyday. But guys, what’s life without a little splurge every once in a while?! I’m looking right at you healthy-food-advocates-with-a-soft spot-for-French-Fries and all of you who engage in a ritual weekly “one-night of indulgence”. You know what I’m talking about. We all need a little fried food self-lovin’ every now and then. 😉

I’m all for eating healthy most of the time, but every now and then I’ll make these for my sister and myself or serve them up at dinner parties. They’re a huge hit in this household, and I hope they’ll be in your home too. 😊

But if you’re completely averse to deep-fried foods, these shrimp cakes can be made healthier if you shallow fry them and use less oil to do so. In my honest opinion they do taste better if you deep fry them, but if you rather have them on any given weeknight instead of wait for a cheat night to roll around, then shallow frying them will work and taste great as well. Your pick!

So now that we’re okay again, let’s get on with the recipe ingredients!

The typical version you’ve probably tried at a Thai restaurant doesn’t have anything but seasonings and shrimp meat before they’re coated with bread crumbs and deep fried.

But I chose to stray away a bit from the norm and added some Thai red and green chilies (omit them or use less if you prefer less heat) and kaffir lime leaves to give them a huge flavor boost! I also added some green snake beans for some freshness. And do I really have to tell you there’s some garlic in there too? 😉 Garlic is the best aromatic ingredient in the world if you ask me and I NEED to include it in practically everything I cook!

Two spicy Thai shrimp cakes on a white plate cut in half with some Thai sweet chili sauce on the side on the plate.

Other than the fresh ingredients, you’ll need some sauces and seasoning. I used some low sodium soy sauce, a bit of Thai fish sauce for some umami, ground black pepper and kosher salt, a bit of ground Thai red chili pepper for some extra heat (you can leave this out if you’d like to make these mild), and some sugar to help balance out the salty, spicy, and sweetish-citrusy lime flavors.

You’ll also need some bread crumbs to coat the patties with and oil for frying, and last but not least: some Thai sweet chili sauce (I use store-bought) for serving them with. And that’s it for the ingredients!

There aren’t too many, but just a few things you might need to locate at an Asian/Thai grocery store (depending on where you live) like the kaffir lime leaves and the ground Thai red chili pepper (if using). The rest should be available at your local supermarket or wet market.

Let’s make a batch of these luscious spicy shrimp cakes! This will be quick because all it takes is just five steps (including prep!!).

1. Prep and gather all your ingredients.

Food processor bowl with ingredients for the Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes - shrimp meat, Panko bread crumbs, minced garlic, minced Thai red and green chilies, sliced kaffir lime leaves, chopped green snake bean, Thai fish sauce, low sodium soy sauce, ground Thai Red chili pepper, white sugar, kosher salt, and fine ground black pepper.
2. Blend everything together in a food processor to make a shrimp paste.


A food processor bowl with all the ingredients for Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes blended into a thick shrimp paste.
3. Roll up the shrimp paste into patties…..

Six uncooked Thai shrimp cake patties on top of pink and white floral tray that is lined with nonstick cooking paper that has bread crumbs on top of it.

….and coat them with bread crumbs.

Six uncooked Thai shrimp cakes fully coated with bread crumbs on top of nonstick cooking paper on a purple floral tray.

4. Fry the shrimp cakes until they’re golden brown. (Preferably in batches of two or three so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. You’ll will need the extra room because they’ll puff up as the fry.)

5. And….SERVE! Don’t forget the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping!

Six deep-fried Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes on a long rectangular plate with fresh lettuce leaves and a small serving bowl with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. There is a small teaspoon on the plate by the bowl and the rectangular plate is diagonally placed on a brown and black straw mat on top of a white background.

Yup it really is that simple! And they taste absolutely delicious with all the magical bursts of fresh Thai flavors. 😍😍

Fork holding up half a Spicy Thai Shrimp Cake piece that has been dipped in Thai sweet chili sauce. In the back and diagonally placed on a brown straw mat is a rectangular serving plate with shrimp cakes, fresh green lettuce, and a small serving bowl filled with Thai sweet chili sauce with a small teaspoon in it.

They’ll be the first to go at any party and they are simply irresistible with their moist juicy shrimp meat inside and the most perfect golden crunchy fried breaded crust outside!

If you’re a fan of Asian food that involves shrimp, you’ll love my Spicy Thai Shrimp Cake Burger, Spicy E-fu Noodles with Shrimp, and Chili Garlic Shrimp (recipes coming soon)!

Enjoy my friends! 🤗


Easy Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes

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These Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes are super tasty and a quick and easy appetizer to make! They’re aromatic, savory, citrusy sweet, slightly spicy and completely bursting with umami! Perfect for entertaining!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-7 shrimp cakes 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • 400g frozen shrimp meat (pre-peeled and deveined) – defrosted, rinsed, and dried thoroughly with paper towels
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 4 cloves Garlic – minced
  • 2 Thai Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye), to taste – minced
  • 2 Thai Green Chilies (Bird’s Eye), to taste – minced
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves – slice the leave on both sides of the stem, discard it, and then finely slice the leaves part
  • 1 Light Green Snake Bean (about ¼ cup chopped) – chopped small
  • 1 TSP Thai Fish Sauce
  • ¾ TSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ½ TSP ground Thai Red Chili Pepper, to taste (optional)
  • ¾ TSP White Sugar
  • ¼ TSP Kosher Salt
  • ¼ TSP fine ground Black or White Pepper
  • 23 Cups + ½ TSP Canola or other oil (for frying and coating hands with)
  • TO SERVE: Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (I use store-bought)


  1. PREP: Defrost (if using frozen) and rinse the shrimp meat. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Keep cool on a plate in the fridge while you prep and gather the other ingredients. For the fresh ingredients, chop up the garlic, red and green chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and the light green snake been and set aside.
  2. MAKE THE SHRIMP PASTE: Combine the shrimp meat, all the fresh ingredients, and all the sauces and seasonings in a food processor bowl. Cover and pulse until a smooth paste has formed. It should not be entirely liquid-like but a sticky mush instead.
  3. MAKE THE SHRIMP CAKES: Line a medium sized tray with nonstick cooking paper/baking paper. Pour and spread the bread crumbs over the nonstick cooking paper. Rub about ½ TSP of oil on your hands and then proceed with rolling the shrimp cakes into even sized disc shaped patties that are about 2 & ½ inches in diameter. Line them up one by one on the bread crumbs. (PRO TIP: Do not coat the top part of the patties until you’ve finished forming all of them. Your hands will stick to the breadcrumbs if you do so when you go back to make the next one, you’ll end up rolling the breadcrumbs INTO the shrimp cakes, which is not what we’re going for!) Once you’ve formed all the patties and have no more shrimp paste left, rinse your hands with water (scrub with a steel wool sponge if needed) and sprinkle the top parts and sides of the shrimp patties with the bread crumbs on the tray until they’re fully coated.
  4. FRY: Heat the oil in a deep frying vessel such as a pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat down to medium-low and gently add 2 to 3 shrimp cakes at a time. Be careful not to overcrowd the vessel since the shrimp cakes will puff up as they fry. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, flipping once or twice with a metal slotted spoon while frying. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil.
  5. SERVE: Serve with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce on the side for dipping.


  1. You can also fold the green snake beans in after you blend everything else to form the shrimp paste if you prefer to have them whole. I’ve done this too and you can really taste them this way. But if you’d like to skip an extra step, just pulse them with everything else so that the food processor does all the combining and mixing work. 😉
  2. The oil amount will vary depending on the size of your frying vessel. You can also choose to shallow fry the shrimp cakes in a large nonstick frying pan/skillet and use much less oil to make these healthier.
  3. To make ahead, follow steps 1-3, then freeze the shrimp cakes. Once frozen, store them in a freezer safe box or Ziploc bag. Defrost for 10-20 seconds in the microwave and fry and serve as instructed in steps 4-5 when needed. They will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.


  • Serving Size: 1 shrimp cake
  • Calories: 184
  • Sugar: 3.1g
  • Sodium: 826.1mg
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.3g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 15.9g
  • Cholesterol: 120.6mg

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Spicy Thai Shrimp Cakes on white plate with a side of Thai sweet chili sauce

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