Our shrimp cakes recipe is really simple and quick.
Are you looking for tasty finger foods for National Shrimp Day (May 10)? Or simply craving a fancy side to enjoy with your meal? Either way, our shrimp cakes can help.
Loaded with flavors and seared to golden perfection, these shrimp cakes possess a crispy exterior and are super chewy on the inside. Best of all, you can prepare them in advance and whip up a batch to serve whenever you want!
Are Shrimp Cakes Healthy?
1. Fried Foods and Cholesterol
Most finger foods, especially fried, are often associated with being fatty and, therefore, unhealthy. This is not necessarily true.
The fat to avoid consuming is trans fat, present in industrial oil and foods deep-fried in hydrogenated oil. By sticking to fat from vegetables and animals, you can rest assured knowing your food is free of trans fat.
The fat to consume in moderation is saturated fat, says the USDA. Sources of saturated fat include animal fat, butter, cheese, and many more.
As for our shrimp cakes recipe, each serving only has 0.6 grams of saturated fat. In comparison to the recommended amount given by the USDA, this is almost nothing:
|Diet||Saturated Fat per Day|
|2,000 Calories||22.2 grams|
|2,100 Calories||23 grams|
|2,700 Calories||30 grams|
Shrimp also gets a bad rap for its high cholesterol content.
However, this is dietary cholesterol. Up to now, there is a lack of evidence to prove that dietary cholesterol is related to cardiovascular diseases.
With that said, let’s have a look into the healthy benefits our shrimp cakes recipe brings:
2. The Good Stuff
To start with, shrimp is a healthy source of lean protein, with very little fat content. For every 100 grams of shell-on raw shrimp, there is less than one gram of fat.
The fat it comes with is not just any fat. It’s DHA and EPA, the omega-3 fatty acids you don’t want to cut back on.
DHA and EPA are primarily found in seafoods. They have been shown to help balance your triglyceride levels, and are especially crucial for children.
We also put chopped green beans in the cake batter. They contain an insignificant amount of fiber, probably too little to make a change, but hey, better than nothing, right?
Types of Shrimp for Shrimp Cakes?
You might think, “Isn’t shrimp just shrimp?” But in reality, there are 300 species of shrimp out there. Lucky for you, only 10 of them (at max!) are available for purchase, which saves you some trouble when choosing.
1. Kind and Size
For this recipe, any kind of shrimp will do. Sticking to the usual— white shrimp— is the easiest and simplest option.
In terms of size, again, it doesn’t matter since they will end up blended in the food processor. But we do know that small shrimps can save you money while large ones save you time peeling and deveining.
The most important aspect of choosing shrimp is whether to have fresh or frozen. This is also the sketchiest aspect, so let’s go through it little by little.
2. Fresh vs. Frozen
First, ask yourself, are those “fresh” shrimp really fresh, or frozen, then thawed? If you live near the sea, chances are they are really fresh and you should go for them.
But since not everyone lives in Louisiana or South Carolina, the “fresh” shrimp you see might be thawed shrimp. They’re okay to purchase and cook immediately, but to be put in the freezer again? Not so much.
When shrimp is frozen for the first time, their cells explode due to water expansion. When they’re thawed, bacteria can feed on them more easily, resulting in the shrimp’s quality decreasing by the minute.
Living without fresh seafood nearby, your only option is frozen shrimp, and that’s actually better. They have been frozen since caught, so you can freeze them again without worrying about your shrimp going bad.
How to Peel and Devein Shrimp
So, you’ve purchased frozen shrimp. Either freeze it now, or thaw them out and follow these steps to prep them for your shrimp cakes.
1. Remove Their Heads
Pick one up, hold its head with the other hand, then twist and yank to remove. Don’t throw it in the trash can, because it (along with the shell) makes delicious stock.
2. Peel Their Shells
We are aware of the many ways one can remove shrimp shells, but we only trust one. This method requires nothing but your trusty fingers.
Hold the shrimp, pull out their legs (optional) to reveal their most vulnerable spot— their stomach. Pry it open with your thumbs, and gently take the shell out.
Again, save the shells to make stock.
You definitely don’t want this vein in your food— it’s filled with bacteria and yucky bits.
Use a paring knife to slice its back open. The vein should be visible by now, so you can take it out easily.
To devein whole shrimp (if that’s what your recipe calls for), follow these steps:
- Use a toothpick to plunge through the part where the tail and body connect.
- Pull the toothpick upward to cut the vein.
- Hold on to the exposed end of the vein near where we removed the head and pull out the rest of it. Discard.
How to Make Shrimp Cakes
What’s left is to make the shrimp cakes!
This is the short version of our shrimp cakes recipe to give you an overview of the steps. For the full version, check out our recipe card below.
Blend the shrimp.
Add seasonings. Mix in vegetables and herbs.
Oil your hands. Divide into balls. Flatten.
Sear both sides.
Mix the sauce and serve.
What Do You Eat With Shrimp Cakes?
1. Dipping Sauce
I can’t stress enough how you must serve finger foods with a dipping sauce. Dipping makes food more delicious, and it’s fun, especially with other people.
In this shrimp cakes recipe, we serve the cakes with a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. The name is “thousand island dressing,” and it’s definitely better than plain mayo or ketchup alone.
A salad on the side to refresh the palate anew— it’s a definite yes to us. This classic combo works because the richness of the cakes pairs well with the salad’s tangy, refreshing bites.
On our site, you can find many refreshing salads that are quick to recreate. We had this with Greek salad and thought they’re a splendid pair.
More Quick, Easy Shrimp Recipes to Try
Here are some tasty, easy shrimp meals that we just couldn’t help but fall in love with:
Shrimp Cakes Recipe
- 28 oz shrimp 16 oz peeled
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp tabasco
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/16 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander seed
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 oz green beans chopped
- 1 tsp shallots minced
- 2 tbsp coriander minced
- 1 tsp Heinz ketchup
- 1 tsp Japanese mayonnaise
- 3 tsp canola oil divided into 2 and 1
- Add shelled shrimp into a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. Scrape down the sides occasionally to blend everything evenly.
- Add pepper, tabasco, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, ground coriander seeds, all-purpose flour, paprika, green beans, shallots, and coriander. Pulse again until mixed through.
- Divide the shrimp into 12 balls, each weighing around 1.5 oz. During the process, dip your finger in 1 tsp of oil to prevent the batter from sticking to your hands. Flatten them afterwards.
- Add the remaining oil to a skillet and heat it over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, sear the balls until they’re golden brown on both sides. Doing this in batches is easier, especially if you have a small skillet.
- Mix ketchup and mayonnaise together in a dipping bowl and serve.
1. How Long Do Shrimp Cakes Last?
The rule applies to all fried foods— serve them hot and immediately. You don’t want to let them sit around without supervision of hungry people.
If you must, they’ll last about a day at room temperature, and 2-3 days more in the fridge (carefully covered). They are edible within this timeframe, but the experience you get will be significantly reduced in the end.
To have this finger food crispy anytime you want, we have a better choice. Freeze the cakes raw and fry them whenever you need.
2. How Can You Freeze Shrimp Cakes?
Proceed to step 4 of our shrimp cakes recipe and place the balls onto a tray, with space in between. Slide that tray into the freezer and you can have a snack whenever you want!
3. Isn’t This Freezing Shrimp for a Second Time?
Remember how we mentioned shrimp shouldn’t be frozen twice? In this situation, you can.
When you purchase frozen shrimp, thaw, prep, blend, then freeze again, the whole process takes less than an hour. This amount of time is not enough for bacteria to ruin the shrimp meat.
On the other hand, “fresh” shrimp at grocery stores are probably thawed for hours. We doubt you’ll need more than 2 hours to cook the shrimp.