Summer’s South Carolina Shrimp Burgers — Plus A Cookbook Giveaway

So crisp, moist, and delicious, this shrimp burger is sure to become a new summer favorite.
So crisp, moist, and delicious, this shrimp burger is sure to become a new summer favorite.

Summer’s the time when folks like nothing better than firing up the backyard grill.

But there are some who lack grills — either because they have no suitable yard or balcony or they simply don’t like playing with fire like that.

“South Carolina Shrimp Burgers” are just the ticket for them — and really for anyone who loves a great burger of any sort.

Reminiscent of the popular ones enjoyed all over the coastal Carolinas, this moist-on-the-inside and crisp-on-the-outside shrimp burger is cooked on a skillet on the stovetop in no time flat.

It tastes of pure summer sunshine, long lazy days, and much like a New England lobster roll — except it’s easier and more economical.

The recipe is from the new “The Complete Summer Cookbook”,” of which I received a review copy. It’s by America’s Test Kitchen.

It’s loaded with 500 recipes made for this time of year, including recipes for the grill, stovetop, oven, slow cooker, and pressure cooker. That includes everything from “Mediterranean Couscous Salad with Smoked Trout,” “Pressure-Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Snow Peas,” and “Barbecued Burnt Ends” to “Brined Grilled Zucchini with Mint Salsa Verde,” “Pickled Watermelon Rind,” and “Roasted Plum and Mascarpone Tart.”

Because you start with raw shrimp rather than already cooked ones for these burgers, you won’t overcook the delicate shellfish to the point of rubberiness.

These burgers are made with chunks of shrimp as well as a paste of shrimp to create the perfect texture.
These burgers are made with chunks of shrimp as well as a paste of shrimp to create the perfect texture.

The shrimp are used in two ways. First, some are pulsed thoroughly in the food processor with a little mayo and cayenne to create a paste. Then, the rest of the shrimp are added and pulsed only a few times so you end up with small chunks that will add great texture to the burgers.

Chopped green onions are folded in, then the mixture is formed into four patties that get coated in finely blitzed panko that will provide a golden crisp crust when the burgers get cooked in a pan.

A simple tartar sauce that comes together in a flash.
A simple tartar sauce that comes together in a flash.

The shrimp burgers are finished with an ideal topping of a quick tartar sauce. Just stir together jarred store-bought mayo, finely diced dill pickle and its brine, capers, and minced shallot to create a sauce that would be great on any seafood. The recipe called for one teaspoon of pickle brine but I added two teaspoons because I like the added zing. I included that in the recipe below.

The recipe calls for garnishing the burgers with Bibb lettuce leaves. I used Little Gem leaves just because I had them on hand. You could use iceberg or shredded cabbage, too.

Whether you sink your teeth into these shrimp burgers on your patio or inside the comfort of your dining room, they will provide a taste of the great outdoors from the very first bite.

Reminiscent of a New England lobster roll in taste, but easier and more economical to make.
Reminiscent of a New England lobster roll in taste, but easier and more economical to make.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a free copy of “The Complete Summer Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen. Entries, open to only those in the continental United States, will be accepted until midnight PST July 7. The winner will be announced on my blog on July 10.

How to enter?

In the comments section below, just tell me one of your favorite things about summer. Best answer wins.

Here’s my own answer: “I used to think that spring was the time of hope and renewal, but now I think that honor goes decidedly to summer. After coming out of the shattering pandemic three years ago, there’s just something about the brightness and warmth of summer now that lifts the spirit, hugs the soul, and reinvigorates everything around us. Plus, it’s when I eagerly await the enjoyment of homegrown tomatoes and peaches ripening in my backyard — and cross fingers and toes that I get to them before the squirrels and birds devour them. To me, that squarely makes summer the true embodiment of hope.”

South Carolina Shrimp Burgers

(Serves 4)

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, divided

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 scallions, chopped fine

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 Bibb lettuce leaves

4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

1 recipe tartar sauce (recipe below)

Pulse panko in food processor until finely ground, about 15 pulses; transfer to a shallow dish. Place one-third of shrimp (1 cup), mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and cayenne in now-empty processor and pulse until shrimp are finely chopped, about 8 pulses. Add remaining shrimp to shrimp mixture in processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl and stir in scallions.

Using your lightly moistened hands, divide shrimp mixture into 4 equal portions, then gently shape each portion into 3/4-inch-thick patty. Working with 1 patty at a time, dredge both sides in panko, pressing lightly to adhere, and transfer to plate.

Heat oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook patties until golden brown and register140 to 145 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer burgers to paper towel-lined plate and let drain, about 30 seconds per side. Arrange lettuce on bun bottoms. Serve burgers on buns, topped wth tartar sauce.

Tartar Sauce

(Makes about 1 cup)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles plus 1 to 2 teaspoons brine

1 small shallot, minced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped fine

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. (Sauce can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

Adapted from “The Complete Summer Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen

Another Fabulous Shrimp Recipe From America’s Test Kitchen: Pan-Seared Shrimp with Pistachio, Cumin, and Parsley

Plus More Summery Recipes From America’s Test Kitchen: Honeydew Salad with Peanuts and Lime

And: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Hoisin and Five-Spice

And: Creamy Corn Bucatini (Or Spaghetti) Bowl

And: Sugar Snap Peas with Pine Nuts, Fennel, and Lemon Zest

And: Sauteed Radishes with Vadouvan Curry and Almonds

And: Hoisin-Glazed Lamb Burgers

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  • Most of my favorite memories of summer have to do with my childhood, probably because summer in San Francisco really is not summer at all, in fact, last night, I had to put on my down jacket and it was so foggy that it was practically raining. But as a young child living down in Sunnyvale the nights were warm and summer seemed to stretch on forever! My dad built a nice patio in the backyard and we had one of those old fashioned barbecues. My mom would make French vanilla ice cream base and we would hand crank it in the old ice cream maker that used rock salt and crushed ice. My dad would grill burgers or hotdogs and sometimes I would have friends over. The dog would race around, so excited in the backyard to have company, and our cat, who was king of the neighborhood, would graciously accept homages of pets and bits of your dinner. Sometimes my mom would make Julia Child’s Rosie’s potato salad and that was the best thing, besides the ice cream of course.

  • Angela C Yokota

    Best thing about summer: fireflies and thunderstorms; picnics and outdoor concerts; farmers markets and cookouts. Summer is the culmination of the promises of spring: ducklings tracking their mama, tomatoes ripening on the vine. As a teacher, summer was time to rejuvenate and to dream, to explore new places and new recipes, which on my budget was often a stand-in for the travel itself. Sampling a new cuisine often involved finding a new market in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The sights and smells of new-to-me spices would satisfy my wanderlust, while still allowing me to select another cultural foray the following week. How else could I visit Greece, then Puerto Rico, then Malaysia? Thank you, summer.

  • My favorite thing about summer was the freedom I had as a child. No school, no extracurricular activities, just sunshine, play, best friends, laughter, home made ice cream, and swimming at our community pool. Bliss! Would that I could recreate that feeling.

  • I look forward to Summer because that is when my backyard plum and apple tree are fruiting. I look forward to eating just picked sweet fruit and baking them into delicious desserts and canning some for winter consumption!

  • I love eating outdoors in the summer! Especially fresh fruits and vegetables and something off of the grill. Yum!

  • Saturdays during the summer are the best time of year, as no alarm clocks are needed. I always wake up early – it’s SUMMER!!! to head out with my market go bags to pick and pack the fresh seasonal fruits (so fragrant), vegetables (so fresh) and flowers (so colorful) at my local farmers market.

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