For the Shrimp Cakes: Place the chopped shrimp in a food processor. Pulse a few times until finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl.
Add the egg yolk and next 7 ingredients (through black pepper) and mix lightly with your fingers. Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and shape each into a puffy disk (handle gently--dont press hard to flatten), about 2 inches in diameter.
Place the cakes on a plate and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes. (Refrigeration helps the ingredients stay together during cooking.)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat.
Cook the shrimp cakes until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the other side, 2-3 minutes longer.
Plate the cakes and drizzle with dressing (recipe follows), passing remaining dressing at the table.
For the Dressing: Place the egg yolks, garlic, mayonnaise, and lemon juice in a small food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
With the processor running, gradually add the oil, processing until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped herbs.
Mixture of spices and egg yolk.
Finely chopped shrimp, ready to mix with herbs.
Finely chop the herbs with a knife and stir them into the creamy ingredients after processing. Chopping the herbs in the processor along with the mayo and egg yolks may turn the light-yellowish cream into dull, greenish-gray.
A creamy, lemony sauce made with egg yolks and loaded with fresh herbs adds rich and savory flavor to finish the cakes.
Fish and seafood cakes are commonly made with salmon, cod, crab, and lobster, but shrimp makes tasty cakes too. A few whirls in a food processor gives the shrimp the right texture to combine easily with other ingredients and hold together during cooking.