Spring is here and these shrimp and zucchini cakes are perfect as a light entree, appetizer or lunch. In my neck of the woods zucchini and shrimp are available year round that I can prepare this dish any time. It reminds me of crab cakes (which I love), only better because it has vegetable in it. For shrimp and crab lovers, this will be a hit.
I remember my mother used to make savory squash (kabocha) fritters with fresh tiny shrimps (soft shells included) and when she fried them the house smelled so good. I wanted to showcase that flavor here just because it’s so good it makes me happy.
When buying shrimp, pick the medium size (25/30 count per pound) that is deveined already. Then remove the shell and chop it into 1/4-inch pieces. I chose to use fresh chives here for the lemon aioli dipping sauce because they’re milder compared to raw garlic cloves that have a much stronger, pungent flavor.
Cooking this dish can’t be any easier. Just mix all the ingredients, form patties, and start frying in olive oil. The result is utterly memorable.
1/2cup Panko bread crumbsplus 2 Tbsp and more for coating
2Tbspgrated Parmesan cheese
1/2tspfreshly ground pepperplus more for dip
1tspMeyer lemon juice
Use a box grater and use the biggest holes to grate the zucchini. Place the grated zucchini into a medium bowl.
Add the red bell pepper, green onions, shrimp, egg, 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and 1/2 tsp. ground pepper into the bowl. Mix together with a rubber spatula.
Preheat the 2 Tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan at medium/high heat. Spread about 2 Tbsp of bread crumbs on a platter. Form 8 equal size balls of the zucchini mixture and gently pat each one to flatten. Place each patty on the platter. Use a flat spatula to push around the sides to make it even.
Use a flat spatula to pick up each patty and fry it in the hot oil for 3 minutes in 2 batches. Do not crowd them. Flip it over and cook for another 3 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
For the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives and 2-3 grinds of black pepper.