These burgers have the best texture of any seafood burgers I have ever had. They are even better if you top them with a spicy mayo or other hot and creamy sauce. This recipe is adapted from one that appeared in Cook’s illustrated Light & Healthy quite a few years ago. This makes four good-sized burgers.
Note: This recipe requires a food processor, a blender will turn the shrimp to mush.
1 lb. cleaned and deveined raw shrimp, preferably untreated for the freshest taste
3 T. mayonnaise, commercial is fine
¾ cup fresh bread crumbs from flavorful white bread slices, crusts removed and bread torn into pieces (1-2 slices if it is from a large boule, more if from a smaller ciabatta or other long loaf).
½ cup of panko (for coating the burgers)
2 scallions, thinly sliced both white and green parts (except the roots and tough green ends)
1 t. freshly grated lemon zest
2 T. flat leaf parsley (or, if you prefer, cilantro), minced
¼ t. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
1-2 t. olive oil
- In a medium or large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sliced scallions, lemon zest, parsley or cilantro, salt pepper and cayenne.
- Put the bread into the bowl of the food processor and pulse to tear into coarse crumbs (this should be about ¾ cup).
- Add the breadcrumbs to the mayonnaise mixture.
- Add ⅓ of the shrimp to the food processor and pulse until it is minced to medium fine (but be careful not to let it become a paste).
- Add the remaining shrimp and pulse between 4 and 10 times to create a mixture that includes both chunks and finely minced shrimp. (Pulse two times then look, then pulse two more times, etc. to make certain you do not go too far–the number of pulses required will depend in part on the size of shrimp you are using.)
- Scrape the shrimp from the processor into the mayonnaise mixture and gently fold with a spatula until just combined.
- Divide the mixture into four portions and shape into burgers.
- Place the panko on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
- Gently place the burgers into panko and sprinkle crumbs over to coat, pressing them to adhere very gently. (If you prefer a softer burger, you can omit the panko).
- Put the burgers on a plate or tray covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (although they can be refrigerated for several hours).
- To cook, place olive oil in a non-stick skillet and heat to very hot (but not smoking). Add the burgers and cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side, allowing a crust to develop, and then turn and cook for 4 minutes or so on the other side until cooked through.
- Serve on hamburger buns with spicy mayo or other condiment of your choosing.