This is actually derived from a recipe for shrimp cakes that I used to make at Spice Market restaurant in NYC. Since shrimp is not kosher, I recreated it using cod-fish and it works quite well.
The trick is to not over pulse it in the food processor so that you still have some texture. I tried this recipe back in 2011 using tilapia (this was back when I just wrote blog posts but didn’t quantify recipes ) and the texture was great for this application, but since then I have heard some pretty disturbing news about tilapia fish – so I can’t bring myself to cook with it anymore.
The flavors here are sweet, sour, salty, spicy and a little umami. All the wonderful things that Southeast Asian cuisine is notorious for. Nuoc Cham is a dressing or dip primarily used in Vietnam. Don’t let the stink of fish sauce scare you – it does wonders for the depth of flavor. You can find it here on amazon
If you can find Chinese green beans or sometimes called “yard beans” those are even more delicious here. I also used a jalapeno instead of a Thai bird chili because they are easier to get a hold of – but if you can find one, use it.
This makes a wonderful appetizer and freezes well. Enjoy!