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Shrimp Cakes

shrimp cakes burgers gluten-free recipe

After preparing a plethora of Valentine’s sweets, I once again have post-holiday “dessert burnout” syndrome. Thus, I now find myself constantly craving protein –for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.

I will be eating a lot of these tasty little seafood patties in this new phase of protein craze. Hence I am delighted to share one of my favorite recipes with you –this one for simple, savory shrimp cakes.

Shrimp Cakes

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  • 1 pound (raw) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile, ground
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, for sautéing
  1. Place shrimp in food processor, pulse until finely chopped
  2. In a large bowl, combine chopped shrimp, bell pepper, garlic, scallions, lime juice, agave, salt, chipotle, egg and cilantro
  3. Form mixture into 12 (½) inch thick patties, dip each in almond flour, coating thoroughly
  4. In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil
  5. Add 4 patties to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes per side, until browned; remove and place on paper towel lined plate
  6. Repeat with remaining cakes

Makes 12 Shrimp Cakes

This gluten-free, high protein recipe for shrimp cakes is one of E’s favorites and also my husband’s. J won’t eat it unless under duress, preferring grilled cheese and quesadillas to just about anything I make these days. Alas, we had a good run for so many years where he was completely adventurous in his eating.

Now he is a pure carbo-holic asking me to pack him a lunch of sweetened, flavored yogurt with fruit leather. I have defied this wish of his and lunch comes home untouched day after day. Yesterday, after another virgin lunch came in the door, I asked him what was up and he said, “Mom, if you’d only pack me something good, then I would eat it!” Ok, yogurt and fruit leather, here we come. Can’t starve the boy.

As for myself? I’m sticking with the shrimp cakes.


posted on February 16, 2008, 25 comments

  1. Bonnie

    Good Morning… I have just received another email. I do enjoy receiving the information and the recipes that are included. I have a couple of questions regarding the recipe that I just received (shrimp cakes). Is the shrimp to be raw and not already cooked? Can a substitute be used for the agave nectar??
    Thanks in advance…
    Bonnie

  2. Hi Bonnie-

    Thanks for your comment and questions. Yes, the shrimp is raw (you form the patties with the raw shrimp and then cook on the stove in a skillet).

    In terms of substitutes for agave, I have not tried anything else to sweeten this recipe. Are you allergic to agave or is there some other reason you do not to use it? Are you cutting out all sweeteners? If that is the case and you are trying to lower the glycemic index of the recipe then I would omit the agave, although having a sweetener in this dish really seems to add to the flavor of it –complementing the spicy and sour flavors in the recipe.

    I hope this helps to answer your questions and thanks for stopping by.

    Elana

    • Adrienne

      i used 1/2 cup of almond flour per batch. I made 9 shrimp cakes. Pour oil into the pan, scoop 1/2 cup of almond flour onto a plate and spread it out, then scoop 3 or 4 shrimp cakes onto the flour. Pour some almond flour over the top of the shrimp patties. Shape patties with your hands, making sure that each patty is evenly covered with the flour. Place into heated oil. I found it necessary to clean the pan between batches. Hope this helps.

  3. Sally Parrott Ashbrook @ aprovechar.danandsally.com

    Yum, Elana. That looks/sounds really delicious!

  4. Barry Reese

    Hi Elana,

    Donna and I have tried this shrimp cake recipe a few times and while we find it quite delicious and simple, we are having a difficult time trying to keep each cake held together during cooking. Is there a secret you use to accomplish this or is being fragile just part of the deal?

    Thanks again for letting us share in your site. Truly wonderful and delicious recipes and fantastic photos.

    Barry

  5. Barry- Great to hear from you. I hope you and Donna are doing well! In terms of the holding together issue here are couple questions we can start with to get this solved. First, is your shrimp well ground? Second, maybe pat them together more firmly. Third, maybe use a little bit extra oil in the pan. I hope these techniques will help the shrimp cakes hold together –we definitely need to remedy this situation. Let me know how it goes. xo Elana

  6. Jay Dewey

    Can shredded faux crab replace the shrimp?

  7. Sharon

    Jay,
    If you’re keeping it gluten free probably not. Check the label very carefully, most faux seafoods are held together with wheat flour.

  8. Chrissy

    Elana,
    I am making these tonight with some wild caught canned salmon from Costco. I didn’t care for it in a salmon “salad” like with mayo and stuff… so maybe this will fulfill my Southern longing for fried comfort foods! I also have some fish in the freezer… Tilapia I think… that will be used this week to make those fish sticks on your flickr stream! Yum….

  9. Jay -Good question.

    Sharon -Good answer, I agree.

    Chrissy -Nice gravatar; thanks for stopping by. Let me know how it turns out.

  10. Jenna

    These are SO wonderful!! This is neck and neck with Elana’s stuffed mushrooms for my top favorite thing to eat! I love shrimp cakes but have wondered how I could make a good recipe using almond flour and here it is!! I will make these again and again and again!

    I didn’t have any trouble at all keeping the cakes together. I think if the shrimp is well-drained of any water before food-processing, well ground in the processor and then not handled too much, they will stick together perfectly fine. I am going to try adding flakes of goat cheese inside them next time – I got the idea from a fancy restaurant my husband and I ate at on our honeymoon in Hawaii!

    Thank you for another great dish, Elana!

  11. Sophia

    We ate these tonight for dinner and they were unbelievably good. I should have patted my shrimp down a little better, but mine held together just fine. Thanks Elena!!

  12. Timina

    I made these today and had a bit of trouble holding them together… in my second batch I added a 1/4 c. almond flour to the shrimp mixture before making patties and dredging in more almond flour and had much more success. I also put everything in the food processor at once the second go around and was much more pleased with the time to prepare, texture and general quality of the final outcome! Thanks Elana! You are awesome and have made eating healthy so much fun! I also use coconut oil rather than grapeseed oil for sauteing… coconut oil will not putrefy as readily into a transfat when heated. Thanks again!

  13. Jessica

    Hi,
    Love the flavor of these, and I also have a hard time keeping together. May be because I am using frozen shrimp and then defrosting them — perhaps more watery? When I process the shrimp, I wonder if I am doing it too much, or not enough. Anyway, they are tough to manage, but delish.

    • Thanks for your comment Jessica. Yes, these shrimp cakes are a little messy; you could try adding another egg to better hold the batter together. I also pat them together a bit more in the pan with my spatula to further shape them. Hope this helps and let me know now it goes next time :-)

  14. Sarah

    I just made these for dinner and they were amazing! I admit I was really weirded out blending the raw shrimp in the food processor! I used trader joe’s almond meal. I added about a 1/4 cup into the mix as well. I baked them on a cookie sheet that I sprayed first then sprayed the tops of them. They held together PERFECTLY, better than I expected.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. Adrienne

    Made these yesterday. It looks like a simple recipe, but was a lot more work than I realized. Every second was worth it. Delicious!!!!! :) I made a side of smashed sweet potatoes with olive oil, Earth Balance spread, cumin, chili powder and sea salt. Thank you for this terrific recipe!

  16. Chris LeClair

    I love the shrimp cake recipe. However, I tried using cooked lobster instead of shrimp.
    My one question about using raw shrimp is how you ensure adequate cooking in such a short period of time?

    Using cooked lobster tasted great…I am going to try a shrimp one soon.

  17. Suzannah W.

    Made these for my husband and myself last night. They were awsome!!! I didn’t have any trouble with them staying together. Sooooo yummy my husband is already asking when I will fix them again.

  18. Natalie

    I thought these were good, but my hubby was not a fan. I am going to try again making a few adjustments based on the other reviews here. For instance, I too had a difficult time forming the mixture into patties. It was very wet-like and just stuck all over my hands. My shrimp was probably too wet as others have mentioned. When I ran them thru the processor, it turned it into a shrimp paste rather than chopped shrimp. I literally had to use a spatula to scrap it out because it was very thick and pasty. Dipping it in the almond four was touchy because when I would try to pick up the pattie to flip it over it just mushed up. So I ended up just rolling it around in the four and trying to put thm back into pattie form on a sheet of wax paper. I used coconut oil to fry them in. 4-5 min per side. They were nice and golden brown and held together fine but were a bit too moist inside for my liking. I will definitely try again tho!

  19. Debee

    I just made these tonight. They were wonderful! I did not have any problem with them sticking together. I did place the shrimp, pepper, onion and garlic in the food processor first and got that to the consistency I wanted. Then I added the egg and other ingredients. Maybe that helped.? Also, I used an ice cream scoop to place in the frying pan. They were the perfect little cakes.

  20. Leah

    Best. Shrimp Cakes. Ever! I didn’t have any agave & thought the taste of honey might be too much, so I substituted demerara sugar. My mom doesn’t like cilantro so I used parsley instead. My family loved the shrimp cakes.
    I used the food processor to chop the pepper, scallions, garlic & parsley, transferred to a colander & drained the liquid. Next I prepared the shrimp in the food processor & added what I previously processed, including the remaining ingredients.
    I found the mixture easier to work with after I added some almond flour. Next time I will beat the egg before adding it to the food processor. I still lightly coated the patties with almond flour. The cooking time was spot on. I served broccoli slaw as a side.

  21. Jessica

    These sound amazing! Has anyone tried with crab instead of shrimp? What’s a good sauce to use with them? Maybe a mango salsa?

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top