A good shrimp burger should be, well, all about the shrimp. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
Some are like over-seasoned bread balls than shrimp.
We want a shrimp burger that's moist, with chunks of shrimp, but still holds together. To make that happen, this recipe combines finely chopped shrimp to help bind the burgers, and some larger bite-size pieces.
Use raw, not cooked shrimp, and, to keep them from becoming mushy, dry them thoroughly before putting them into the food processor. Handle the burgers gently when shaping and grilling so they don't turn rubbery or fall apart.
Makes 4 servings.
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
1½ pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined and patted dry
1. Pulse bread in food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to small bowl. Do not clean food processor. Combine mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper and cayenne in large bowl until uniform.
2. Pulse shrimp in now-empty food processor until some pieces are finely minced and others are coarsely chopped, about 7 pulses. Add shrimp to mayonnaise mixture and gently fold until just combined. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over mixture and gently fold until incorporated.
3. Scrape shrimp mixture onto small baking sheet, divide into 4 equal portions, and loosely pack each into 1-inch-thick patty. Cover and refrigerate patties for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
4. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (41/2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Lightly brush tops of burgers with oil, lay them on grill, oiled side down, and lightly brush other side with oil. Cook burgers, without pressing on them, until lightly browned and cooked through, 10 to 14 minutes, flipping them halfway through grilling. Transfer burgers to platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.