Grilled or Broiled Shrimp Burgers

Of the three burgers in this book, this is the fanciest—but it’s no more difficult.
TIME 30 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
Vegetable oil as needed
1 garlic clove, peeled
1½ pounds shrimp, peeled
1 small red onion, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh parsley leaves
Hamburger buns or hard rolls, toasted if you like, optional
Lettuce, tomato, sliced onion, pickles, and condiments as you like

1 Prepare a grill or turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. If you’re grilling, clean the grates with a wire brush. If you’re broiling, grease a rimmed baking sheet with a thin film of the oil.

2 Combine the garlic and one-third of the shrimp in a food processor and process to a purée, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the container as necessary.

3 Add the remaining shrimp along with the onion, bell pepper if you’re using it, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the parsley. Pulse until the shrimp is chopped, but not too finely. Shape the mixture into 4 patties and put on wax or parchment paper.

4 Brush the grill or the patties lightly with the oil. To grill: Put the burgers directly over the fire. To broil: Put them on the prepared baking sheet and under the heat source. Cook, undisturbed, until the side exposed to the heat develops a browned crust, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn the burgers and repeat on the other side, cooking until the shrimp has turned opaque throughout, another 3 to 5 minutes. Serve on buns if you like, with mayonnaise, ketchup, or any other condiments you like.

  • Grilled or Broiled Salmon Burgers: Try substituting skinned salmon fillets in this recipe. They’ll be a little more fragile but still hold together.
  • Thai-Style Grilled or Broiled Shrimp Burgers: In Step 2, add 1 seeded fresh hot green chile (like jalapeño) and 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger along with garlic and the first third of the shrimp. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and the juice of 1 lime along with the remaining shrimp. Replace half of the parsley with fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai basil). Continue with the recipe. Serve with mayonnaise spiked with hot sauce and lime wedges.

  • Shrimp contain collagen, which when puréed acts as the “glue” that holds these burgers together. Make sure you chop (not purée) the rest of the shrimp, or else you will get a burger that’s all glue (sticky and mushy). And don’t add too many more vegetables or the burgers might start to break apart when you cook them.
  • For a switch from lettuce, try garnishing with whole basil leaves.

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