shrimp burgers

In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the best weeknight meal ever. The thing is, I eat very differently on weekdays and weekends. On weekdays, it’s all about the vegetables and the fruit and the light bean dips and all this healthy stuff, and that’s all very well and good, but by the weekend, I do not want to see a banana or a raw carrot. Also, I would like some meat. But seafood gets a pass for weekdays.

Mayonnaise, not so much. I think I’d forgotten how much mayonnaise this meal includes when I planned it. I’d kept in mind that the slaw had a mayonnaise-based dressing, but I cringed when I added more mayonnaise to the burgers – cringed, but did it anyway. I’d been looking forward to this meal all week and wasn’t taking any chances on messing it up.

As Rebecca said, shrimp burgers are pretty much just like crab cakes, but cheaper and on a bun. Coarsely chopped shrimp, aromatics, binders to hold everything together, all pan-fried until browned and crisp on the outside – I can’t think of too many things tastier than that, especially when it’s topped with tangy, briny slaw tartare. No way was I going to let a bit of mayonnaise get in my way of enjoying this meal.

One year ago: Brownie comparison
Two years ago: Cheesecake Pops (for the Daring Bakers and ohmy was this ever a mess)

Printer Friendly Recipe
Shrimp Burgers
(adapted from Ezra Pound Cake who adapted it from Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s The Lee Brothers’ Southern Cookbook who adapted it from the Hominy Grill’s recipe; I think my version most resembles the original, as I’ve left out the ginger and corn that the Lee Brothers added)

Makes 4 burgers

I didn’t have fresh bread crumbs, so I used panko instead, moistened with a teaspoon or so of the shrimp cooking liquid.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 pound headless large shrimp (26-30 per pound), shells on
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1½ teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh (from about 2 slices bread)
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1½ tablespoons canola oil

1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the water and Old Bay seasoning just to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp, and let stand until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Drain; peel and devein the shrimp, then chop it coarsely.

2. In a large bowl, mix the shrimp, scallions, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir in the mayonnaise and bread crumbs (see note), and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the egg into the mixture.

3. Shape the mixture into 4 patties. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the burgers from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and gently lay them in the pan. Cook until both sides are browned, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

5. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with lettuce, thinly sliced Vidalia onion and tartar sauce (or combine all of those flavors into one delicious slaw).


  1. Mmmmmmmmmm, I love shrimps and I like crab cakes, so I definitely would LOVE this recipe! I should try this sometime! The coleslaw looks good too…

    By the way, did you know you could substitute plain greek-style yogurt for mayo in the coleslaw? Tastes about the same, I’d guess (from Jamie at Home!) and it’s a lot healthier, too! 🙂 just a tip!


  2. These look delicious! I love pretty much any kind of seafood, especially crab cakes, so I know I would love this.

  3. That is some serious citation, I think you’ve really covered your bases 😉

    I’m so with you on eating differently during the week and on weekends – but these sound really good and I will just not look at the slaw recipe so I can pretend there’s really not that much mayo. But if you wanted to keep it lighter next time, maybe try nonfat plain Greek yogurt as the binder, and/or in place of half the mayo in the slaw?

  4. wow, these look delicious.

  5. These burgers look so yummy! I’m a huge shrimp lover.

  6. bridget says:

    I actually meant to use strained plain yogurt (I didn’t have Greek yogurt) for part of the slaw dressing when I made this on a weekday, but I forgot until too late.

  7. These look amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never had shrimp burgers – they totally make sense since crab cakes are delicious. Seriously brilliant! 😀

  8. Oh these look so good! I usually include seafood in my weeknight lineup. It tastes so fresh, especially in the spring!

  9. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since Rebecca posted it. Yours looks great as usual.

  10. Aww, that’s barely any mayonnaise! Substituting with Greek yogurt sounds like a good idea, though. These look really good and are definitely going on my to-cook agenda soon!

  11. wow, these shrimp burgers just made me drool in front of my computer. 🙂 Looks delicious!