Shrimp Cakes (鲜虾饼 Xian Xia Bing)
November 7, 2020
I made these Shrimp Cakes one day for my baby boy, and had a few left over. It turned out, not just my baby boy, but the rest of my family also loved them. They tasted pretty good even without any salt. I added some salt and pepper the next time (when serving to my family instead of our baby) and they tasted even better. The cakes are both tender and chewy, and full of shrimp flavor. I like to pan fry them until the cake surface is slightly golden brown and crispy.
You don’t need to add egg or starch to form the cake. Shrimp, after being chopped into tiny pieces and paste, becomes sticky and can be easily shaped into a cake of any size. In fact, I’ve tried other versions with starch, egg, or oil. None came out as tightly formed as this one, which omits any of those “gluing agents.” To make the shrimp more flavorful, I also add minced ginger and green onions to enhance the umami flavor.
This tasty recipe is super easy, simple, and versatile. And it requires only a few ingredients. You can make the shrimp cakes for dinner, pack them in a lunch box, use them as an after school snack, or even make them for breakfast.
Gluten Free, Low Carb
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: about 10 small cakes
- 1 lb (~450g) shell off shrimp1 (either fresh or thawed)
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 green onion
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Remove the shells from the shrimp and rinse the shrimp under cold water. Pat dry.
- Peel and mince the ginger. Chop the green onion into tiny slices.
- Lay the shrimp on a chopping board. Using a heavy cleaver,2 chop the shrimp into paste (it’s okay to have small pieces leftover). Then put the shrimp paste in a bowl.
- Add the minced ginger, green onions, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper to the shrimp paste, mixing well.
- Heat a large non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet under medium heat. When the skillet is getting warm, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Using a spoon about the size of a tablespoon, scoop out a spoonful of shrimp paste and form it into a round shaped cake in your palm. Place the cakes one by one into the pan, leaving some space in between the cakes.
- After about 3 to 4 minutes, flip the cakes. The cooked surface should be slightly golden but not burnt. When both sides are cooked through, carefully transfer the cakes out to a plate. Enjoy either hot or at room temperature.
- I got my shrimp from Costco. They came de-veined and peeled except for the tail part. Any size will work.
- I find it much easier to chop shrimp into paste with a heavy cleaver. The cleaver’s weight helps with chopping motion.