Take your taste buds on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Thailand with our version of buttery, crispy fish cakes. Flaky tilapia is combined with panko breadcrumbs and Asian spices, then pan-fried until tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Paired with a tart slaw of lime and cilantro, this healthy dish will satisfy your taste for global flavors.
Quarter limes and cut two quarters in half. Stem cilantro and mince leaves. Mince garlic. Rinse tilapia fillets and pat dry.
Roast the Fish
Season both sides of tilapia with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Place tilapia on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tsp. olive oil, and roast until fish reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully transfer to a plate, and cool 5-10 minutes. Replace foil on baking sheet and prepare with cooking spray. While tilapia roasts, prepare slaw.
Prepare the Slaw
In a medium mixing bowl, combine slaw mix, juice of four lime quarters (add additional lime quarters to taste), 2 Tbsp. olive oil, half the cilantro (reserve remaining for fish cakes), ½ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Mix slaw a few times before serving to marinate evenly.
Prepare the Fish Cakes
Once tilapia has cooled, transfer fish to a large mixing bowl and use two forks to lightly shred fillets. Add panko breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, chili powder (to taste), ginger, remaining cilantro (reserve a pinch for garnish), fish sauce, garlic, 2 Tbsp. Sriracha (reserve remaining for garnish), ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper to bowl. Mix together until it forms a slightly sticky mixture.
Cook the Fish Cakes
Form mixture into eight fish cakes ¾" thick. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add fish cakes to hot pan (in batches, if necessary, to avoid crowding pan). Cook until browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cook in oven 3-5 minutes until warmed throughout.
Plate the Dish
Add a serving of chilled slaw to plate. Serve two fish cakes against slaw and drizzle with remaining Sriracha for a bit of heat, if desired. Garnish with remaining cilantro (to taste) and lime wedge.