Shrimp Burgers with Homemade Tartar Sauce

With the tasty flavor of shrimp and a crunchy panko breading, these shrimp burgers may be the hit of your next party or family lunch. Move over hot dogs!
Shrimp burger sandwich

Gotta love all the fun that summer’s casual dining brings! Just set out a picnic table, make a few salads and have some burger style sandwiches.  Like maybe these Italian Sausage Sandwiches or Stuffed Pizza Burgers.

Just. Plain. Yum.

But… sometimes this starts to look like a whole lot of red meat–even if you don’t do meatless Monday. And variety is the spice of life! So how about shaking things up with these fun new shrimp burgers!

Pulsed in a food processor, coated in panko then pan-fried, this is a taste treat as well as an easy answer to summer menu boredom!  

Shrimp burger sandwich

What is a Shrimp Burger?

Shrimp Burgers fall under the category of fish cakea which Wikipedia describes as “a culinary dish consisting of filleted fish or other seafood minced or ground, mixed with a starchy ingredient, and fried until golden.” Fish cakes can be served alone, in sandwiches or even as appetizers.

Many types of fishcakes are popular all over the world because they’re so good!  Other examples include Danish Fish Cakes or Canned Salmon cakes.

The recipe is adapted from Cooks County, and was recommended by one of my readers. It was one of her favorites and now is one of ours too! So a big thank you is due!

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty. Come on, who doesn’t like shrimp! Now you have one more reason to eat them!

A Red Meat Alternative. By the time you’ve had your 42nd burger or bratwurst, this is going to look mighty good. This is true even if your [fill in the blank: doctor, spouse, mother, kid] isn’t also nagging you to cut back.

Fun & Versatile. I love a recipe that you can dress up or down. Just as is, this is perfect for almost any relaxed summer party. And it can also upscale to lend an air of relaxed elegance, similar to crab cakes or deviled crab. Pass the beer. Or the wine.

Holding a shrimp burger patty

Ingredient Notes

Tartar Sauce (or use your favorite tartar sauce):

  • Mayonnaise
  • Dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
  • Dijon mustard
  • Grated onion
  • Ground black pepper
  • (Optional) Lemon zest

Shrimp Burgers:

  • Panko bread crumbs. This is used to bread the shrimp burgers and form a crunchy coating.
  • Raw shrimp. This makes it a shrimp burger!
  • Mayonnaise.  This helps bind the ingredients.
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne. These add flavor.
  • Onion.  More flavor.  Any form of onion (scallions, shallots, white, red, etc.) will work.

Other:

  • Oil.  For frying
  • Buns & lettuce.  For serving

Step by Step Directions

Pulse the panko in a food processor. Remove and set aside to use as breading later. Pulse panko in food processor

Pulse 1/3 of shrimp and remaining patty ingredients briefly in food processor.  

shrimp in food processor

Add remaining shrimp and pulse about 4 times until they are coarsely chopped.

Chopped shrimp mixturre.Remove mixture from food processor and divide into four evenly sized balls. Form into a patty then coat with panko and refrigerate.

breaded shrimp patties

Combine tarter sauce ingredients, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make tartar sauce

Fry the patties until golden on both sides and the center has reached 145F.

Fry patties

Serve on a bun with lettuce and tartar sauce.

shrimp burgers on a plate

How to Serve

Serve Shrimp Burgers anytime you might serve a sandwich or a hamburger. This means they’d be great at lunch or dinner as well as a casual party (see “variations” below for ideas on dressing them up a little)

When I serve a fish sandwich, I love the idea of adding coleslaw, especially if you use a mix that has added red cabbage and carrots for more nutrition.

But any casual salad will work beautifully. Broccoli Waldorf Salad, Thai Carrot Slaw and Carrot Raisin Salad are a few of my favorite options.

shrimp burgers on a plate

Variations

Doing a keto or low-carb diet? Use pork rinds instead of the panko breading and skip the bun.

Doing an evening event with wine? Class it up by topping with avocado and garlic aioli instead of tarter sauce. Perhaps go slider sized.

Or turn this into an appetizer. Make miniature patties and serve alone or on toasted French bread as an open-faced sandwich. Top with a dollop of tarter sauce and sprig of dill.

Your only limit is imagination!

Shrimp burger with bite out

Tips & FAQs

The original recipe has the recommendation to avoid processed shrimp with preservatives if possible. I get fresh gulf shrimp from Fabian Seafood which sells out of a truck summer through fall in the Midwest. My other source is frozen Spot Prawns from Sitka Salmon–guess that would make those prawn patties. (Neither company has sponsored this.).

As usual I made this is a stainless steel pan–no nonstick frying pans in this natural household! If you fry in stainless steel, it is especially important to make sure your oil is hot before adding the burger. A metal spatula with a thin edge is also helpful to help release any area that might stick a little (might happen, might not).

Happy summer!

Shrimp Burger with carrot slaw

Shrimp Burgers with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

With the tasty flavor of shrimp and a crunchy panko breading, these shrimp burgers may be the hit of your next party or family lunch. Move over hot dogs!

Ingredients

Tartar Sauce (or use your favorite tartar sauce):

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup well-drained dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • (Optional) ½ - 1 teaspoon lemon zest (not packed)

Shrimp Burgers:

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4 pounds peeled and deveined raw shrimp (about 1 ½ pounds of shell on shrimp), divided
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 – ½ teaspoon salt (the larger amount is recommended for unprocessed shrimp which are often lower in sodium)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion (or a few chopped scallions)

Other:

  • Oil, for frying (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • 4 Buns, lettuce for serving

Instructions

Pulse the panko in a food processor about 15 times, until medium-fine. Remove and set aside to use as breading later.

Place 1 cup of shrimp, salt, mayonnaise, black and cayenne peppers, and chopped onion in the food processor. Process until shrimp is finely chopped and mixture is creamy-ish, about 8-12 pulses.

Add remaining shrimp and pulse about 4 times until they are coarsely chopped.

Remove mixture from food processor and divide into four evenly sized balls. For each ball, form into a patty then dip top, bottom and sides into ground panko to coat. Lightly press in the panko, then place the burger on wax paper lined plate. Refrigerator the patties while you make the tartar sauce and heat the oil. A brief refrigeration can help them hold together.

Combine tarter sauce ingredients, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

Add half of the oil in a large frying pan and heat until hot. Swirl to coat pan, then add shrimp burgers and cook on medium until first side is golden, 3-5 minutes, Add the remaining oil, flip the burgers, then cook until second side is golden, another 3-5 minutes. If possible use an instant read thermometer to confirm the center has reached 145F.

Serve on a bun with lettuce and tartar sauce.

7 thoughts on “Shrimp Burgers with Homemade Tartar Sauce

  1. Ellen

    Such a delicious sandwich topped off with yummy homemade tartar sauce. This will become a regular feature on our menu.

    1. Inger Post author

      We’re so fortunate to have easy access (well as long as we’re willing to wait for the truck) to fresh shrimp. Hope you enjoy Thao!

    1. Inger Post author

      Since this starts with mayonnaise, I feel a little guilty calling it homemade. But it really made dishes that need tartar sauce easier!

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