Thai-Style Shrimp Cakes With Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce Recipe

Thai-Style Shrimp Cakes With Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce Recipe

[Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton]

We love making shrimp cakes as a full dinner—they're a lot cheaper than crab cakes and work with a good variety of flavor combinations. Here we miniaturize them down to party-appetizer size, combine them with some Thai flavors, and serve them with a tangy chili dip.

Why It Works

  • Processing half the shrimp while leaving larger chunks gives the cakes more texture.
  • They're the ideal size for passed appetizers or a party snack.
  • The chili sauce is a simple but effectively tangy dip!
  • Yield:Makes 12 to 16 shrimp cakes
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:60 minutes


  • 1 pound (500g) medium or large shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • Large handful fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems (plus extra for garnish)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (100 to 200g) panko-style breadcrumbs
  • Peanut or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 recipe Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (see note)


  1. 1.

    Coarsely chop shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside. Reserve a few tablespoons of sliced scallion greens for serving.

  2. 2.

    Combine garlic, jalapeño, remaining scallions, cilantro, lime zest, and a large pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely minced. Add half of the shrimp, the mayo, the cornstarch, and the egg white. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse paste, about 5 or 6 pulses. Add the remaining shrimp and pulse two or three times to combine everything. Some of the shrimp will be chunkier.

  3. 3.

    Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the panko breadcrumbs. Fold in with a spatula or your hands. The mixture should be soft and should just hold its shape if you form a ball. If it’s too soft, add more breadcrumbs a little at a time until a ball just holds together. It will stiffen up more when it gets cold. Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes and up to a day.

  4. 4.

    Once chilled, use wet hands and a tablespoon (or portioning scoop) to form the mixture into bite-sized patties. Transfer to a large plate as you go. When all the patties are formed, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Fry patties in batches until golden brown and cooked through, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes total.

  5. 5.

    Serve warm, scattered with cilantro and finely sliced scallions along with dipping sauce.