Chef Johns Spicy Shrimp Cakes Recipe

  • 2 pounds raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon finely crushed garlic, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 teaspoon sambal chili paste, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or as desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, or more if needed
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.