Eating Well: Charleston Shrimp Cakes

September 11, 2019

Do you like crab cakes?  Well, you are going to love shrimp cakes!

Last week I attended a luncheon at the home of one of the best cooks I know, and she, once again, wowed us all with her beautifully imagined creations.  This time she had substituted fresh shrimp for crab meat and created the most divine shrimp cakes.  Even the crab cake “snobs” among us had to concede that these yummy, elegant cakes surpassed the flavor and texture of the usual crab cake.

For one thing, fresh shrimp can and should be sweet, cooked just so, and provide a light, satisfying resistance to the teeth.  Crab cakes are too often a mushy combination of lots of back fin meat mixed with a bit of lump meat, green pepper (shudder) and too many strong spices and filler.  Too be honest, the only good crab cakes I have ever tasted had just lump crab meat and a tiny bit of filler.  However, the cost of fresh picked lump crab meat makes me, well, crabby.

There are two seasons for shrimp here in the South – May to August and September to December – and the yummy white shrimp coming in next month are what we are all waiting for. So, here they come, and here’s something wonderful to do with them!

Charleston Shrimp Cakes

1 lb. white or pink shrimp

1 large egg, beaten

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp fresh chives

1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced or 1/2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise

Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

Slowly drop shrimp into boiling water.  Bring water back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Peel and chop into bite sized pieces.

Combine all the ingredients except the shrimp.  Fold in shrimp.  Make patties (I like them to be fairly large, so that one cake is a full serving).  Dust with Panko crumbs and saute lightly in butter until golden on both sides.  A little sprig of dill will complete the presentation.

Enjoy!

Our friend and guest blogger Sheron E. lives in Charleston full time.  A connoisseur of fine things she can often be found walking the streets of historic Charleston with her dog Molly or dining at her favorite restaurant Fig.