Rating: 4.69 stars
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

I love Asian-style fish or shrimp cakes but almost never order them because I find there's too much filler or 'binder.' So if you want to enjoy shrimp cakes in their most pure form, give this recipe a try. It takes just a few minutes if you use your food processor. These little fried cakes are delicious served with Thai chili sauce.

Recipe Summary test

Servings:
8
Yield:
8 appetizer-size portions
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place shrimp, garlic, cilantro, chili paste, brown sugar, salt, fish sauce, turmeric, and cayenne pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off until mixture begins to break down. Scrape down the sides. Continue processing until mixture is very smooth but not pureed and moves around the bowl as a mass. Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; press wrap against the surface of the shrimp paste. Refrigerate until mixture is chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

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  • Place panko crumbs on a plate. Scoop out equal size portions of shrimp and roll them around on the crumbs to coat. Shape into thin patties. Do this in batches.

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook cakes in batches. Fry until golden brown and cakes spring back to the touch, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Cook's Notes:

If you don't have a food processor, just pile up the ingredients on a cutting and, using a large knife or cleaver, chop until you get a paste which actually takes less time and effort than you expect.

Start with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. You can fry up a small bit to check for seasonings before shaping and cooking all the patties.

If you can't find sambal chili paste, you can use an equal amount of freshly minced hot peppers.

If you're using a deep fryer to cook the cakes, you can shape them into small balls instead of flat patties.

Nutrition Facts

302 calories; protein 20.4g; carbohydrates 20.7g; fat 16.8g; cholesterol 156.9mg; sodium 579.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (14)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/12/2016
This was really delicious. Mine came out a little crispier on the outside than shown on the video but we loved them. I was using frozen shrimp so I gave them a rough chop and put them in the colander for a few minutes then blotted with a paper towel. They were still very moist inside. Served with the Thai-Style Sweet Chili Sauce and a cucumber salad. One pound of shrimp was more than enough to make a main course of this for two people. Read More
(3)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/15/2018
no matter how I cooked them the outside burns and the inside is soggy Read More
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/12/2016
This was really delicious. Mine came out a little crispier on the outside than shown on the video but we loved them. I was using frozen shrimp so I gave them a rough chop and put them in the colander for a few minutes then blotted with a paper towel. They were still very moist inside. Served with the Thai-Style Sweet Chili Sauce and a cucumber salad. One pound of shrimp was more than enough to make a main course of this for two people. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
06/23/2017
Delicious!!! Love this recipe...easy to make and so impressive when guests drop by Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/16/2019
This was delicious. Everyone in the house loved it. Made it exactly as written. Also made the sweet spicy chili sauce to dip. Everything was delicious. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
02/23/2021
Thank you Chef John! Made these tonight!! The flavors were spot on! I’m alway easy on the heat an heavy handed with everything else and these were delicious!! I made them a little thicker and gave them 4 stars because of the texture. Maybe if I made them thinner it would have helped, but some chopped scallions or small diced water chestnuts would have added a much needed crunch. Chef John’s recipes have been a Godsend during the pandemic Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/26/2021
We loved it. I had a 1 lb bag frozen Gulf shrimp, which I dried very thoroughly, lots of paper towels. Using what I had, in the processor went the shrimp, 2 T fine dry bread crumbs, 1 egg white, 2 tsp garlic paste, 1 T cilantro paste, 1/2 t tumeric, 1 t sriracha, 1/2 t cayenne and pinch K salt. I wanted shrimp pieces , so processed just enough so the patties would hold together with visible chunks. Chilled 3 hours and using a tablespoon measure, made rounded measures, 12 in total. I flattened to 1/2" thick, dredged well in the panko, and fried 2 min first side, 1 1/2 min second side. Panko crumbs make them so deliciously crunchy, and they were moist and juicy inside. The 2 T bread crumbs blended in well and not noticeable, and kept the chunky mixture together. I'll make again, and will try with scallops, too. Very delicious, thanks Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/13/2017
I made this recipe with fresh/thawed shrimp. Neither one of us is a big eater but these shrimp paddies were GONE at the end of the meal with all the sides. I made baked sweet potatoes and a mixed green salad. IWSG!!!! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2018
Very tasty...made with prawns and substituted tomato paste (with a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes) for chilli paste. Nice appy for sure! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/08/2021
Seriously easy and tasty! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/09/2018
Since we had 5 pounds of salad shrimp I used a pound and a half to make this wonderful dish. I put them in the food processor for a bit just to break them up. After that I pretty much went by the recipe except for me adding a little chipotle sauce to take it up a notch???? Read More
Rating: 3 stars
02/15/2018
no matter how I cooked them the outside burns and the inside is soggy Read More