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Shrimp Cakes

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Shrimp Cakes

This is one of the craziest, busiest, and most hectic weeks of summer we’ve had so far — I guess to make up for the peace and quiet I enjoyed while both of our girlies were away at camp last week.  Well, the party’s over, as they say.

After a week-long hiatus, I’ve resumed my roll as the official DamFam taxi driver, laundress, short order cook, maid, and  referee, and my ‘to-do’ list is spiraling out of control. I have about 8 loads of laundry piled up in the hall upstairs, which must be dealt with, because while Camp Minikani is a wonderful place to visit, the scent that lingers is, well…not so pleasant.

Seriously, laundry from camp reeks — I would even place it in the same smelly category as my brother’s old goalie bag.  P.U!!!

When I’m going to find time to wash, dry, and fold this laundry remains to be seen.  We’re on our way to a 5-hour swim meet this afternoon, and then of course, I’ve got my daughter’s 9th birthday party to plan.

Oh, when is her birthday?  How nice of you to ask.   Uhm, it’s tomorrow.   (Yeah, tomorrow.  That’s how I roll).   Bad Mom, reporting for last minute birthday planning duty, that’s me.

Anyway, in the midst of all this craziness, dinner still found it’s way to the table.  All three of my DamKids were off doing their own thing, so I whipped up these crunchy little Shrimp & Sweet Corn Cakes with Basil-Jalapeno Tartar Sauce for the Husband and myself.

Oh. My. Gravy.  We LOVED these!

I  used the Censea Cleaned Jumbo Shrimp that are on sale, $12.99 for a two pound bag.  Although it says “JUMBO” on the bag, I have to tell you, I think that’s a little misleading to the average shopper.  These shrimp are 26/30 count, which (in case you didn’t already know this) means that there are between 26 and 30 shrimp in each pound.  This also means the shrimp are, well, a little shrimpy.   These are not the shrimp I like to throw on the grill or serve in a shrimp cocktail (that’s just me); I prefer much larger shrimp for those types of preparations.

I like to use these shrimp for recipes such as this one, where their size doesn’t really matter, because they’re chopped up pretty finely in a food processor.

With the help of your Cuisinart, this recipe comes together quite quickly.  You’ll just need to set aside an hour or so for them to chill in the fridge before they’re quickly sautéed.  As I mentioned, I did serve these Shrimp Cakes for dinner, but they could easily be formed into teeny little cakes and served as an hors’ doeuvre.  ENJOY!  Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m off to sort more laundry.


Makes 4 Servings (or 8 appetizer servings)

Adapted from The Dean Bros. Cookbook, Recipes from the Road, by Jamie and Bobby Dean and Melissa Clark, p. 206 (a really fun cookbook that I highly recommend!)


  • 3 scallions, rough chopped
  • 1 smallish clove garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, tails removed
  • ½ c. fresh corn off the cob (*see note)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 hefty pinch of chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 2 c. Panko breadcrumbs, divided (find these in the Asian aisle on the bottom shelf)
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Neutral cooking oil for sautéing


  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and rough chopped (please, wear gloves!)
  • 1 smallish clove of garlic, minced
  • 5-10 basil leaves, rough chopped
  • 2 t. capers, drained
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and ground pepper

Place the first eight shrimp cake ingredients into the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse enough times to coarsely chop the shrimp, but not to the point of turning them to total mush.  Add one cup of panko, and pulse to blend.  Season with salt and pepper and pulse a couple more times.

Form the shrimp mixture into individual cakes (I got 8 cakes out of this).  Place the remaining cup of panko into a shallow bowl.  Dredge each shrimp cake in the panko, and place cakes on a plate.  Refrigerate the cakes for one hour.

Meanwhile, make the Tartar Sauce:

Place all tartar sauce ingredients into the bowl of your food processor (which you’ve cleaned out, of course – or avoid handwashing it altogether and use a mini-prep).  Pulse to combine to desired consistency –  I like mine pretty smooth.   Transfer to serving dish and chill until serving time.

Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add enough oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan (1-2 T.).  When oil is hot (a crumb or two of panko will immediately sizzle when dropped in the oil), add the shrimp cakes (don’t crowd your pan; this took me two batches).  Brown 3 minutes on the first side (or until they reach a pretty golden color), flip; brown about 2 minutes on the second side.  Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, drain.  Transfer to a pretty platter, serve with the Basil Jalapeno Tartar Sauce.

**NOTE: Cutting corn off the cob can be a messy job.  You can avoid having it fly willy-nilly all over your kitchen by doing this simple trick:  get out a medium sized glass mixing bowl.  Place a smaller bowl upside down in the mixing bowl (I use a little cereal bowl).  Cut the bottom off of the corn cob to make it flat.  Stand it on top of the upside down bowl, and slice the kernels off of the cob.  They should all land in the mixing bowl.  Nifty, right?!

No need to thank me, I live for this stuff.


Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1215392092 facebook-1215392092

    Great way to use awesome Wisconsin sweet corn at the peak of the season!

  • mzs

    Anytime I can accomplish something in one bowl…or food processor in this case…it is a winner! Wonderful alternative to the crab cake. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Voeller/100000076046672 Paul Voeller

    These Shrimp cakes are awesome. We just had someone in the Sendik’s corporate office make these and I have heard nothing but great comments. They have a unique taste and texture and the sauce is to die for. One other comment that made my day was that we will be selling these out of our Fish Departments very soon. How good is that?! Taste and Convenience. It does not get any better than the Balistreri Owned and Operated Sendik’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erik.difrances Erik Difrances

    Wow!! I just tasted this and it's an absolutely amazing combination of flavors. Well done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Miann-Navarre/746169528 Miann Navarre

    I echo the other Sendik's team members who are raving about the shrimp cakes. They rock!! The sauce is awesome and I loved the corn. I really enjoy your blog. Your recipes are terrific and I love the cooking tips you throw in. Thanks.

  • pddoty

    I agree with Miann, the corn really added a lot to the recipe. Thanks for such a great treat! I can't wait to try the bisque.

  • LeahDamron

    Wow, you guys made my day!! So happy everyone liked them….I have another version that I'll share another time. :-)

  • cindycooper

    Just made these for dinner. I love crab cakes, and thought I would try them with some left over shrimp. Easy to make, saute up nice,…and these best part…my boys went back for seconds!( which they don't do on my crab cakes).

    Thanks..I will be looking for other recipes in the future.

    Cindy Cooper

  • LeahDamron

    So happy your kids liked them, Cindy! Thanks for chiming in. I love knowing someone out there other than my Mom is reading the blog. :-)

  • cindycooper

    I will keep checking back to see what else you are cooking up. I love to try new recipes…and easy ones. An old friend from HS and College, Cindy Z had your link posted on fb. Thats how I found out about you.

  • cindycooper

    I will keep checking back to see what else you are cooking up. I love to try new recipes…and easy ones. An old friend from HS and College, Cindy Z had your link posted on fb. Thats how I found out about you.

  • anoderer

    Shrimp cakes rock!

  • Pingback: A Friendly Shopping Tip, From Me To You… « Sendik's Talking With our Mouths Full

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