I used to make a similar kind of cake with salmon which was delicious but a little trickier to make since salmon doesn’t stick together as readily and can overcook very easily. Once I tried it with shrimp, I haven’t gone back to the salmon ones (I love salmon, but tend to like it seared with crispy skin).
These cakes have a lot of cilantro in them so if you don’t like that flavor you could add a bit of parsley and/or basil instead or just leave it out. Matt loves how green they are. They’re really tasty served on rice or rice noodles with this Vietnamese style Dipping Sauce. Sometimes I’ll serve them on slider buns with some Asian spicy mayo. I always, always serve them with a Pickled Cucumber and Avocado Salad on the side. So perfect together. I want them again right now!
Note: If you like them extra-crispy, dredge them in a little panko or cornstarch before frying. It gives them a crunchier crust but masks the shrimp flavor a little.
- 1 pound shelled medium or large shrimp, coarsely chopped, divided in 2
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced
- 4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts (separate 1 tbsp dark green tops for garnish)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (plus 1 tbsp for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- Peanut or canola oil, for frying
In the bowl of a food processor, combine garlic, chiles, scallions, cilantro, lime zest and salt. Pulse until everything is finely minced.
Move the mixture to a bowl and a 1/4 cup of the Panko breadcrumbs. The mixture should be soft but just hold a shape if you form it into a patty. If it’s too soft add breadcrumbs a little at a time until the consistency just holds together. It will stiffen up more when it gets cold.
Chill mixture for 20 minutes. You can make the sauces in the meantime.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Wet hands to keep shrimp paste from sticking. Form 2 tablespoons of shrimp mixture into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Repeat with remaining batter. Fry patties in batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don’t forget, if you want extra-crispy patties, dredge them in a little more panko or cornstarch before frying. Garnish with extra cilantro and some finely diced scallions if you want.
- Make sure your shrimp are dry or the mixture will be too soft.
- If you keep scallions root-side-down in water, they will stay fresh longer. The green part will even grow back if you trim it.
- Making shrimp stock is really easy so freeze the shells in a ziplock bag until you’re ready to make it.
- Make these bite-sized for a party. They’re perfect finger-food!