3/4lbmild white fish fillets, tilapia, catfish, snapper, etc.
1tablespoonred curry paste
1egg, lightly beaten
1/2cupfresh green beans, finely chopped
2tablespoonsfresh cilantro, chopped
2tablespoonsfresh basil leaves, chopped
4 to 5kaffir lime leaves, stemmed and chopped (or limes if not available, see above)
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
For the dipping sauce:
1medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4cuprice or white vinegar
1large shallot, finely chopped
1garlic clove, finely chopped
1teaspoonfresh ginger, finely chopped
Place the fish fillets in the freezer to chill while you make the dipping sauce.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and sugar and heat to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature add the cucumber, shallot, garlic and ginger. Season to taste with salt, transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Remove the fish fillets from the freezer and cut them into chunks. Place them in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the curry paste, egg, cornstarch, fish sauce, sugar, green beans, cilantro, basil and kaffir lime leaves. Process until the mixture becomes a thick paste. It will be quite sticky.
Lay a sheet of wax paper on the counter and using wet hands, form the mixture into balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Spray the back of a spatula with nonstick cooking spray and use it to gently flatten each ball to a thickness of about 3/8-inch.
Heat 1/4-inch of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add 1/2 of the fish cakes to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Drain on paper towels and serve with the Cucumber Dipping Sauce and, if desired, some Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.