Chef John's Spicy Shrimp Cakes
If you don't have a food processor, just pile up the ingredients on a cutting and, using a large knife or cleaver, chop until you get a paste which actually takes less time and effort than you expect.
Start with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. You can fry up a small bit to check for seasonings before shaping and cooking all the patties.
If you can't find sambal chili paste, you can use an equal amount of freshly minced hot peppers.
If you're using a deep fryer to cook the cakes, you can shape them into small balls instead of flat patties.
Serve these with Thai-Style Sweet Chili Sauce.