Now that the weather has warmed up and the grill has once again taken up residence on the patio, I've been a grilling fool. I'm sure everybody has their own "go-to" foods for the grill. Ours are chops, brats, hot dogs, chicken breast, corn on the cob, beef burgers and marinated skirt steak (for tacos). On special occasions I actually get a nice thick steak. But what I really look forward to is that familiar smokiness permeating some fish or seafood.
I have pescetarian tendencies, but my family does not. Each of them likes certain types of fish or seafood, but would revolt if I tried to completely remove other meat permanently from their diets. So instead, I just slip some in as often as possible.
A few days ago, I picked up some beautiful fresh shrimp at the market that was just screaming for the grill. I entertained the thought of lining it up on a skewer with some veggies, but since I also had some ground beef, I thought maybe it'd be fun to have a surf-and-turf burger option for dinner that night.
Since the shrimp was so pretty, I wanted to take advantage of it by leaving some larger chunks that you could see when you bit into the burger. The larger pieces make the burgers a bit more delicate to handle, but I thought it was worth it. If you don't want to deal with that, simply pulse the shrimp in a food processor to make a bit more of a paste instead of using a knife.
I was so pleased by the bold flavors of these shrimp burgers, but even more pleased that my family all reached for one before they reached for a familiar beef burger that night. Those pescetarian tendencies of mine must be rubbing off on them—at least a little bit.
Looking for more fun ways to step away from your everyday beef burgers? These salmon burgers with pickled ginger and coriander are another great pescetarian option. Or put that ground turkey and pork to use by making some jalapeño turkey burgers or these sweet and sour pork burgers with pineapple slaw. And since it's always nice to have some vegetarian options, these spicy black bean burgers are another great choice for your summer (or anytime) burger menu!
Shrimp Burgers Recipe
- 1 1/4 pounds shrimp, peeled, tailed & deveined
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 leek, white part only, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced celery heart
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, or parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño, red or green
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- olive oil, or vegetable oil
- 4 hamburger buns
Pat your shrimp dry with a couple layers of paper towels.
Using a sharp knife, cut the shrimp into small chunks, just larger than 1/4-inch big. Place them into a medium-sized bowl. Alternately, you could pulse the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor until you have chunks, but I tend to like the larger chunks of shrimp in my burger.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl, except the oil and buns. Use your hands or a large fork to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Set the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes; this will make it easier to form the patties.
Prepare four large squares of wax (or parchment) paper that are slightly larger than your shrimp burger patty will be, by setting them on your work surface.
After 10 minutes, divide the mixture into 4 equal parts. Even though it's not hard to divide the mixture in four, I like to use my 4-ounce scoop to get the mixture out of the bowl and divide it into portions. The scoop compacts the mixture pretty perfectly and allows for minimal handling and mess.
Once you have your four portions, form them into thick patties. If you used a scoop, you just need to press down lightly on the top to flatten, and turn, smoothing the sides as you go. Transfer the squares of wax paper to a container with a lid that will fit in your fridge. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Preheat a grill or a grill pan to medium. Drizzle a thin layer of oil either directly onto the top of the patties, or into a small container that you can mop generously onto the grill grates or pan. Carefully lift up the shrimp burgers, paper and all, and flip over onto the prepared hot cooking surface; peel off the paper. Close the lid of the grill, or overturn a pan on top of the grill pan. Cook for 3-1/2 minutes. Lift the lid, oil the (now) top of the shrimp burger, and gently flip it. Cover again and cook for another 3-1/2 minutes, or until firm. Remove the burgers to a plate.
Split the buns and place them cut side down onto the grill or grill pan to toast. The residual oil that is now flavored by the shrimp burgers should give the bun some nice, golden grill marks.
Serve the shrimp burgers on the toasted buns with your favorite toppings like lettuce, baby spinach, thinly sliced tomato and/or onion. I also like to mix up a mixture of mayonnaise, capers, and wholegrain mustard with a tiny shot of lemon juice to smear on the bun. You could also just serve it with a lemon wedge on the side.
- It's best to eat these Shrimp Burgers immediately after they are cooked. Reheating them causes them to get "rubbery". If you do not want to serve all 4 burgers at the same time, I recommend leaving them uncooked in the refrigerator until ready to use (but use within 24 hours).
Coleman Roadtrip LXE Grill
Le Creuset Skillet
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls