Friday, July 5, 2013

Red Curry Shrimp Burger

The inspiration for this recipe came from a couple of different sources.  The original idea came from my friend Jo, a coworker who strolled with me through the Little Rock Farmers Market one morning.
We met a man at the Farmers Market with fresh Gulf shrimp for $10 per pound.  He drives down once  a week to pick it up, and hey, he had some yummy samples!  I've eaten a lot of shrimp in my life, and I've read all about it in sustainable seafood books.  I love good shrimp.  This is what all the great Southern chefs are talking about it in their cookbooks that I've read.
The shrimp were 16 - 20 count, meaning one pound consisted of about 16 - 20 pieces of shrimp.  These would be considered large shrimp.  You may often see frozen 31 - 40 count shrimp at the store.  They are smaller in size, so there are more to make up the pound.  So my friend Jo shot me a text with the recipe that she was planning to use for her shrimp burger.  I followed it loosely.
I peeled and deveined the shrimp, then sliced each one into little slices.  Then I spread the smaller pieces out, and chopped them up with a cleaver.
Here's where I decided to add my own idea.  I seasoned the shrimp with a teaspoon of red curry paste, and I made 2 patties out of the mixture.  Thai and Vietnamese cooking are so similar that the first time I opened a jar of Thai curry paste, it reminded me of the herbs and spices that my mom often used to season her proteins.  My mom uses fresh ginger, garlic, shallots, and lemongrass of course.  We just don't have Vietnamese jars readily available on the store shelves, so I like to buy the Thai stuff.
I love to buy ingredients from locals, so I picked up some Arkansas Fresh Bakery high - quality challah buns from Argenta Market.  This is the bakery that many of the best burger places are buying from as well.  I may not be a classically trained chef, but I try to cook like one some days.  Using fresh, sustainable seafood form the proper sources, and buying good quality, locally made ingredients.
The original recipe that got the ball rolling on this included cornstarch, flour, and bread crumbs.  I wanted something more pure and simple and all shrimp, so I skipped all that.  I also didn't want to add yellow mustard to my sauce, so I found another recipe here that did not use the mustard.  So our katsu is equal parts mayo, ketchup, and worcestershire.  Also, that recipe talked about how the Ebi Katsu burger was one of McDonald's greatest sellers in Japan.
After refrigerating the patties for 30 minutes, I used a lightly oiled grill pan to cook the burgers about 5-6 minutes per side on medium high heat.  I also toasted the buns in the same pan.

  • 1 pound of 16 - 20 count Gulf shrimp
  • 1 tsp. red curry paste
  • 2 challah buns from Arkansas Fresh Bakery
  • 1 tsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. Peel, devein, & chop shrimp into a paste.
  2. Add the curry paste, mix, and form into 2 patties.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Make the katsu sauce with mayo, ketchup, and worcestershire.  Adjust as needed.
  5. Toast the buns.  Cook the shrimp patties about 5 - 6 minutes per side over medium high heat.
  6. Assemble, add sauce, and top with cilantro.


  1. this looks great. not sure if i'm patient enough though.

    1. Thanks Mike! Maybe I can make some to sell in your cart for a day! :)