Let’s Cook! Singapore Shrimp Cakes
November 16, 2011
One of the more popular (and perhaps my favorite) new items featured the past couple of years at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the Shrimp Cakes from the Singapore booth.
Tender, flavorful fried seafood with an Asian flair… it’s right up my alley…
The recipe was in the 2010 Food & Wine festival cookbook, and I’ve been intending to give it a try for quite a while, but since Miss Bonnie sampled the dish this year and fell in distinct like with it, I figured I’d better give it a go…. and it turned out really well… so now it’s time to share…
I’m going to give you the recipe pretty much as presented in the cookbook, with notes on my adjustments at the end. So now, Let’s Cook!
Singapore Shrimp Cakes
1 Lb Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Lb Raw Scallops (the smaller, less expensive, Bay Scallops are fine)
1 Tbl Fish Sauce
1 1/2 Tsp Minced Chives
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Lemongrass (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Peeled Fresh Ginger (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Finely Grated Fresh Garlic (see note below)
1 1/2 Tsp Chili-Garlic Sauce (such as Sambal Olek, available at Asian markets)
2 Egg Whites
2 Tsp Cornstarch
1. Put the shrimp and scallops in your handy food processor. Carefully pulse until fairly finely chopped, but not totally pureed.
The scallops seem to break down a bit quicker and actually become part of the “binder” for the cakes, but I like to keep some chunky bits of the shrimp intact.
2. Put the seafood into a large bowl and add the fish sauce, chives, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and the chili-garlic sauce.
Stir all to combine well.
Add the egg whites and cornstarch and stir well again.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Take a sheet pan (or a piece of foil, etc.) and very lightly spray with cooking spray. Wet your hands with water and form the seafood mixture into patties about 1″ thick and 2″ – 3″ inches in diameter and place on the prepared pan. You should have about 8 or 10 patties.
5. Heat 1/4″ of Canola or Peanut oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. You can test the heat with a piece of bread or small amount of the seafood mixture – it should brown lightly but not be too dark. Add a few of the patties (do not crowd) to the oil. You can use a lightly oiled spatula to move the patties from the pan to the skillet.
Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side until golden brown (and delicious, as AB would say…) and the patties feel firm in the middle when you gently (and non-threateningly) give them a bit of a poke with your finger.
When done, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.
At the festival, the cakes are served on a sugarcane skewer, so it looks like a seafood lollypop. If you wish, get yourself some sugarcane and cut small sticks out of it and form the cakes around them – it’s a cute presentation, but i don’t really think it’s necessary. It was served there with a side of curry-flavored noodles, we’re still working a bit on that recipe, so we’ll save that one for a later post.
You can serve these many ways – with a side of noodles as noted, or atop some greens (arugula would be nice, maybe some other baby greens). If you want a bit of sauce you could squirt a little Sriracha on if you want some heat, or maybe a seasoned mayo concoction of some sort (maybe some roasted garlic and Sriracha added? Or cilantro? Or…?) served alongside. A little bit of fresh lime squeezed atop is nice… One or two patties would suffice as an appetizer – two or three for a main course.
And now for the long-awaited and anticipated note… instead of trying to individually grate the ginger, garlic and lemongrass, I peeled all (the tougher outer layers of the lemongrass removed, and used the lower, lighter-colored pieces) and cut into small chunks. Using about the same volume of each item (if you’re a bit anal, you can weigh the pieces on a kitchen scale to get about the same amount of each), put into a mini-processor (you can get a reasonably good one for something like ten bucks…) and chop until very fine – much easier than the other way…
Oh yeah, from this mixture I used two tablespoons total added to the seafood… more than the recipe calls for, but Dedicated Readers know I like things well seasoned, and it turned out well…
I really, really liked this recipe – it turned out much better than I had hoped it would… so I’m urging you to try it as well!
As usual, we’re back to the kitchen… much to do there!