Recipe for Tod Mun Pla:
1 lb white fish paste
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3 kaffir lime leaves (6 kaffir lime leave halves), chopped finely
1/3 cup of Chinese Long Beans, chopped
1.5-2 tablespoons red curry paste
If you can't find fish paste in your locale, you can process a pound of white fish such as cod or tilapia with a teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and an egg. Usually I purchase my fish paste in tubs from the store, and these already has egg whites, salt and sugar pre-added.
The red curry paste can be found in Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it, you can substitute a mix of red curry powder and chili powder, but it won't be as fresh.
First chop up the kaffir lime leaves and the long beans. The lime leaves are tough to cut. I stack them on top of each other and cut lengthwise first, then gather them and chop crosswise.
Add all the ingredients to the fish paste. Mix well, and then form flat 1/4 inch thick patties about 1.5 inches in diameter using a spoon to aid you.
Meanwhile, start a pan with about an inch of vegetable oil on the bottom on medium high.
Once the oil is hot, drop in some of the patties, well-spaced, and fry for about 2 minutes per side. Once golden brown, remove the patties and let drain on paper towels.
I like to make all my patties beforehand and then scoop each patty with a spatula into the pan one at a time once I start the frying. But you can also shape each patty as you drop them into the pan. Just do it quickly before the oil stiffens them up.
Since I didn't ask hubby's cousin about the cucumber sauce, this is my own creation, but I've got it pretty much down pat since I've eaten it for so many years at so many parties and family dinners. The only thing I added was the shallot because I like the taste of it in my sauce.
Recipe for the Cucumber Sauce:
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 red chilis, sliced
1 cup cucumber (i use pickling cucumbers), quartered and then sliced
1 shallot, sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add in the rest of the incredients and then chill. The longer this sits, the more time for the flavors to come out into the sauce, and the better it tastes.