Mini Shrimp Cakes with Lemon Soy Aioli

If you love shrimp, then these mini shrimp cakes will wake up your palate when paired with the lemon soy aioli. Shrimp cakes are very similar to crab cakes, but are cheaper to make – they pack a more flavorful and moist punch in a single bite. Never made an aioli before – it’s easy. You can think of it as a mayonnaise on steroids. These mini shrimp cakes are a perfect appetizer with a cocktail, or double the recipe and make full size shrimp cakes as an entrée. Add a side salad and crusty bread and you have a full meal.

Sauce – Lemon Soy Ailoi:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
Zest of one lemon, grated
Juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine. Cover and chill up to 24 hours in advance.

Shrimp cakes:
3/4 pound shrimp, cleaned and shelled
1 slice thick slice bacon (or 2 slices regular bacon), cut into lardons
1 slice firm white sandwich bread
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 4)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a shallow bowl, combine the bread and milk to moisten the bread. Once bread is moist, squeeze excess milk from the break, discard any leftover milk and set bread aside.
In a food processor, pulse the bacon until finely chopped. Add shrimp, and pulse two or three times to combine.
Next, combine all the rest of the bread, scallions, cilantro, cornstarch, sugar, salt & pepper. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop shrimp mixture and place into oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Once flipped, press down to create mini cake. Don’t overcook!

Drain on paper towel, keep warm in a low oven. Serve w/dipping sauce. Makes 24 mini shrimp cakes.

Variation: Double recipe, make larger cakes and serve as a main course.

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