Southern Shrimp Burgers

Southern Shrimp BurgersOn The Run With A Burger And A Bun
I have never met a burger I didn’t like, and I’ve had a lot of them. Not all of them have been good. But, in my book even a bad burger is better than no burger.

However, you can’t eat burgers all the time. Well, you can but you better have a cardiologist on standby. As I have gotten older, I have noticed that I am eating fewer beef burgers and instead opting for something different but still burger-like.

If you are looking for alternatives to the classic beef burger the good news is that there are plenty of options from turkey, to salmon, to black bean. And you could even try the meatless versions that are currently popular—just be aware of the sodium content. (Yikes!) One of my favorites is this shrimp burger. It is great when I want something burger-ish but also a little different.

This recipe is adapted from the Lee Brothers Southern Cooking cookbook. This was a book we explored in my cookbook club many moons ago and it still remains a favorite. Since the weather outside says it’s summer even though the calendar doesn’t, put off putting your grill in storage and give these a try this weekend.

Southern Shrimp Burgers
Adapted from Lee Brothers Southern Cooking
Yields 4 servings

For the shrimp boil
2 quarts water
1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound large shrimp (26-30 per pound) with shells on

For the burgers
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 1/2 ear)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh (from about 2 slices bread)
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste, optional
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil

For serving
Hamburger buns
Chopped tomato
Sliced onion
Avocado (optional)
Tartar Sauce

Do the shrimp boil
In a 3-quart saucepan add the 2 quarts of water and the Old Bay Seasoning. Bring the water 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 the shrimp and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel and devein the shrimp. Chop them coarsely—you should have 1-1/4 cups of chopped shrimp.

Mix the burgers
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 hot sauce (if using). Add the egg and gently fold it in with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it is evenly distributed.

Form and refrigerate the patties
Form the shrimp mixture into 4 patties, each 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the patties in plas­tic wrap and let allow them to stand in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Fry the burgers
Remove the burgers from the refrigerator and unwrap them. Place the oil in a 12-inch skillet and heat it over high heat. When it shimmers, add the burgers and sauce until both sides are gently browned (about 3 minutes per side). Drain the burgers on a dinner plate lined with a paper towel.

Serve the shrimp burgers on toasted hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce.

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