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!




  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.


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