In shrimping towns such as Thunderbolt, Georgia, McClellanville, South Carolina, and Morehead City, North Carolina, you can find shrimp burgers, but every place that serves them has a different “secret” recipe. Some shrimp burgers are chunky with diced shrimp and herbs, loosely bound, and pan-fried. Others are like an enormous shrimp dumpling, with a smooth, shrimpy paste enrobed by a crunchy, deep-fried crust. We tested six shrimp burger recipes for a story and found the one Robert Stehling makes at Charleston’s Hominy Grill to be the finest, to our tastes. It’s the chunkier style of burger, and its genius is its use of lemon zest. When we developed our own shrimp burger recipe, we added corn for texture and a sweetness that draws out the shrimp flavor, and added fresh ginger to give it complexity.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 recipe Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil
- 1 pound headless large shrimp (26-30 per pound), shells on
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- ¼ cup fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (about ½ ear)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons high-quality store-bought mayonnaise, such as Duke’s or Hellmann’s
- 1 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh (from about 2 slices bread)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pepper Vinegar to taste (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1½ tablespoons canol a oil
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the water and shrimp boil to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat. Add the shrimp and let stand until they are just pink, about 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the shrimp (and devein them if you wish; see Notes: Deveining Shrimp,” ) and chop coarsely. You should have 1¾ cups chopped shrimp.
2. In a large bowl, mix the shrimp with the scallions, corn, parsley, ginger, and lemon zest. Stir in the mayonnaise and bread crumbs and season with salt, black pepper, and pepper vinegar. Add the egg and gently fold with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
3. Form the shrimp mixture into 4 patties, each 3½ inches in diameter. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the burgers from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the oil in a ½-inch skillet and heat over high heat. When it shimmers, add the burgers and sauté until both sides are gently browned, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a dinner plate lined with a paper towel.
5. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving and does not include Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil or Pepper Vinegar. For nutritional information on Lee Bros. Shrimp Boil or Pepper Vinegar, please follow the links above.