I have always been a little Forrest Gump in my ways - I love shrimp. I make shrimp as often as most families probably make chicken. I have a whole book dedicated to recipes like Shrimp Jambalaya, Shrimp with Saffron Rice (posted on this blog), Shrimp with Linguine...but I finally was looking for something different. Who knew this inspiration would come in the form of Asian Fast Food?!
I came across a post on Serious Eats about crazy Asian pizza crusts, many of which involved copious amounts of shrimp. My personal favorite was Pizza Hut's Whole Shrimp Cheese Bite, "a ring of shrimp with tails dangling in the air and heads swaddled in tubes of cheese-stuffed dough." Yikes. Well, after looking into the Asian Shrimp fast food obsession, I also found that McDonald's carries Shrimp Burgers in Japan. A little strange in concept, but definitely more palatable than a ring of shrimp doused in pizza cheese.
I scoured the net and cookbooks for a suitable recipe and ended up combining a few. The recipe below is based on Emeril's Marcelle Shrimp Burger recipe. When preparing, note that the shrimp mixture will be a little wet. You can prevent it from being too wet by adequately draining and patting the shrimp dry before adding it to the rest of ingredients. If it still looks too wet, add a few dashes of flour or cornstarch to thicken. Lastly, when forming the patties, use gentle hands as it will still be much more "loose" than a normal meat burger patty would. A little veggie oil rubbed on the hands helps as well. Don't worry, the patties will stay formed during the cooking process! These were extremely tasty and hit the spot. Now, I just need to try out that Mc Donald's version....
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons Creole or Old Bay seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Place half of the shrimp with 1 tsp of the Creole/Old Bay seasoning, salt, cayenne, and garlic in a food processor. Process for approximately 1 minute to combine. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Chop the remaining shrimp and fold into the ground shrimp along with with the chopped onions, red pepper, celery, egg, green onions, parsley and baking powder. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to allow the mixture to chill and firm up.
Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and form into 6 patties.
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with the remaining teaspoon of Creole or Old Bay. One at a time, dredge the patties on both sides to lightly coat with flour.
In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp patties in batches and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
To serve, spread the toasted bun with mayo if using and dress with lettuce and tomatoes. Enjoy!