Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli

By • May 26, 2011 • 117 Comments

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Author Notes: The roasted garlic-orange aioli plays double-duty here: it binds the shrimp burgers and serves as a perfect condiment slathered on a toasted bun. I've added caramelized fennel and shallots, along with red bell pepper, herbs, and orange zest, to the burgers to up the flavor and complement the aioli. Although these are a breeze to fry up in a cast iron skillet, they would be lovely grilled. - EmilyCEmilyC

Food52 Review: In summer, we say the more burgers, the better. This one provides a spunky break from beef, pork, and turkey, opting instead for fresh shrimp dotted with confetti-like accents of red pepper, fennel fronds and orange zest. In her accompanying aioli, EmilyC forgoes the wallop of a raw garlic and lemon for the mellow, floral flavors of roasted garlic and orange, and cleverly uses the aioli not once but twice: to bind the shrimp patty (we used 2 teaspoons, but you may want more), and to layer on just before biting down. Note: For the aioli's flavors to fully develop, we recommend making it the day before and letting it hang out in the fridge overnight, tightly covered. - A&MA&M

Makes 4 patties

Roasted garlic–orange aioli

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice plus 1 teaspoon finely grated zest (from 1 orange)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. To roast the garlic: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel away the outer skin of 1 garlic head, and cut off top ¼ to ½ inch of the head to expose the individual cloves. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the garlic head, wrap in foil, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cloves are soft when pressed. Cool, then squeeze the cloves from their skin. Mash 3 cloves and set aside -- reserve the rest for another use.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the remaining olive oil, then the grapeseed oil; begin with small drizzles, then whisk in a thin stream until the mayo is very thick. Whisk in a pinch of salt and then the orange juice, a little at a time (you may not need the full amount), orange zest and the roasted garlic paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shrimp burgers

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fennel, from one small bulb (fronds reserved)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon zest from 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, finely chopped by hand
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons roasted garlic-orange aioli
  • Toasted hamburger buns for serving (brioche is nice)
  1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and shallots and cook until they start to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook about 3 minutes longer; you want the pepper to soften but retain its texture. Remove from the heat. Mix in the fennel fronds, chives, and orange zest.
  2. In a bowl, combine the shrimp with the sautéed vegetable-herb mixture and salt and pepper (to taste). Fold in aioli, a teaspoon at a time, to just bind the burgers. Form into four patties, and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a pan (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat and fry the patties until golden, about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  4. Spread the aioli on both sides of the toasted buns; serve the shrimp burgers with your favorite condiments, such as a big leaf of butter crunch lettuce.
Jump to Comments (117)

Tags: aioli, shrimp

Comments (117) Questions (4)

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about 1 month ago Ilian

Egg YOLKS and olive oil DO NOT MAKE "very thick mayo"!!!
Did you mean egg whites?
I tried everything - Vita-Mix, blender, whisk...
AND I make my own mayo all the time.
YOLKS and oil DO NOT MAKE mayo
Can I get some guidance, please

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about 1 month ago Melissafitz

Egg yolks and oil are a very typical emulsifying combination. I'm surprised you're having trouble with it. Since you make your own mayo often, I would just make your version and add the flavorings from the recipe (garlic &'orange). Easy fix!

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about 1 month ago Ilian

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your response.
I made a special trip to a store (we eat 100% organic) to gather all the necessary ingredients.
After a FOURTH attempt to make the second step - "very thick mayo", I was steaming...
I never failed so many times in my own kitchen :-(
I didn't know I was suppose to make a mayo. I thought I am making something that will "look" or have "a consistency" of mayonnaise (the recipe I use lists 5 ingredients).
I would suggest for the owner of this recipe to list an alternative for the "mayo step", since it is not an easy task to complete successfully.

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4 months ago Joop

Sounds like a great recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I make Shrimp Burgers with a similar recipe which include some lime zest. I pan fried them in a little garlic butter and served them on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and avocado…..what a hit!!

The good news-bad news is that you have to prepare and eat them in short order. They are good cold and sort of OK when nuked. Best when hot and sizzling.

While cruising the net, I came across Chef Big Shake’s Original Shrimp Burgers from www.TheQuickShipWarehouse... . They come frozen and have a year shelf life. Pretty easy to prepare and quite good which makes it nice when the spirit moves you.

After cooking, we squeeze a little fresh lime on them and add the avocado. Voilà!

Stringio

5 months ago Anastasia Miller

Tried to make the aioli three different times (whisk/blender/hand mixer), but couldn't make it come together and ended up adding the seasonings to regular mayo. The flavors were terrific despite my mayo fail. I think I'd like to try and see if the flavors would work for a cold shrimp salad, too.

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5 months ago EmilyC

Ah, I've had plenty of mayo fails so I feel your pain. GREAT idea on the cold shrimp salad. Thanks so much for trying these and reporting back!

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6 months ago SweetTooth

Wow!!! What a fantastic recipe! I actually chopped up all the shrimp in the food processor (I just did 3 or 4 quick pulses). It seemed to work out really well. The shrimp burgers formed well and the texture was great. I also followed ChezHenry's suggestion and put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. What a wonderful, amazing flavor!

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5 months ago EmilyC

Sorry I missed your note! So glad you enjoyed the burgers. Thanks for trying them!

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7 months ago SY Butler

Can't wait to try these

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5 months ago EmilyC

Hope you enjoy them!

Stringio

10 months ago Beini Qu

very tasty but finely chopping the shrimp by hand didn't work for me, I chopped until I felt like my hand was going to fall off but the shrimp did not bind.

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5 months ago EmilyC

sorry to hear that! maybe try the food processor next time?

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about 1 year ago procrastibaker

I made these last week for dinner, and both my boyfriend and I were delighted. I also used Crispy's suggestion to puree 1/4 of the shrimp, which helped the burgers come together, and then threw them in the freezer for about 10 minutes, per ChezHenry. Fantastic, flavorful, and still excellent when we reheated them (in a pan, about 3 minutes on each side at medium low heat) for lunch this afternoon.

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

So glad you liked them! I love that this recipe has gotten better through community input, too!

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over 1 year ago LeeLeeBee

I made this recipe for while visiting family. I was a little unsure about whether they'd like them, being somewhat unadventurous eaters, but they were a bit hit! Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

Sorry I missed your comment, LeeLeeBee. I'm so happy that you and your family enjoyed the burgers. Thanks for trying them!

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over 1 year ago Diapotpie

These are simply delicious. I have wanted to make them for a very long time and am so glad I did. Love the aioli! I took Crispy's suggestion and pulsed about a fourth of the shrimp into a paste before mixing with minced shrimp. This is a technique Pierre Franey also used with crabcakes and it works. For insurance, also put the cakes in the freezer per Chez Henry. They stayed together beautifully. I gilded the lily by making brioche buns--I agree that the delicate flavor requires a lighter bread.

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

What a nice comment, thank you! I'm so happy that you shared your notes on how you made them -- sounds like they turned out well!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Jenny Sun

I'm having trouble getting the aioli sauce to a thick consistency /(

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

Are you making it by hand or in a food processor? I've had the same problem before in the food processor. Although it requires more work, sometimes the old-fashioned whisk by hand method is the most reliable. If that doesn't work, then you could take a short-cut and mix the roasted garlic and orange juice/zest into mayo (I'll admit to doing this myself sometimes)! : )

Stringio

over 1 year ago Jenny Sun

I think I put in the oil too fast:/ but I'll try using mayo thanks!

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over 1 year ago Richard Wylie

if you have a burr mixer or hand mixer it workd great the trick is pouring the oil in if you put it in a measuring cup and pour it just so its comming out like a string , not in gulps you willl get a greater consistency

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over 1 year ago vivavo

i had a really long and terrible day and decided to make these. even though they were pretty ambitious on 4 hours of sleep they turned out great - although didn't stay together as well as i wanted. my store here: http://www.thingsimadetoday...

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

So glad to hear these hit the spot after a long day, vivavo! I've found that the key to getting the burgers to stay together well is finely chopping the shrimp. I prefer a sharp knife for this task but others have reported success with a food processor (with short pulses so you don't get a paste). Thanks for sharing your blog post and reporting back!

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over 1 year ago babieejuls

Is there a substitute for the grapeseed oil?

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

Peanut, safflower, or vegetable oil could be substituted. The main thing is that you want a mild, fresh-tasting oil, something that won't overwhelm the extra virgin olive oil.

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almost 2 years ago ChezHenry

Wow these were great. I used a trick I learned with crabcakes to help them stay together in the pan. Once formed, I put the plate of burgers in the freezer for 15 minutes. Straight from the freezer into the pan works like a charm. Thanks for the recipe, I was skeptical on the orange and thought of substituting lemon-glad I didn't-the orange flavor was sublime.

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almost 2 years ago EmilyC

Thank you ChezHenry. So happy you liked them, and thanks for sharing your tip!

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almost 2 years ago kstallbe

I've made this twice now. Wow, so flippin' good. Much more than the sum of the parts. Thanks!

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almost 2 years ago EmilyC

This is so great to hear! Glad you're enjoying them, and thanks for reporting back!

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over 2 years ago GreenKitchen

We don't eat shellfish but I love the recipe. While I think Salmon is too strong a fish for these delicate flavors (and I might be wrong) I was thinking about trying some less expensive white fish that will nicely absorb the flavoring. Has anyone tried this? I will report back on how it worked.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Please do report back...would love to know how it works!

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over 2 years ago jphilbin

Do you think these would freeze well?

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Good question, and to be honest, I'm not sure. My gut instinct is that the flavor and texture would suffer and I'd be wary about freezing shrimp that has previously been frozen and thawed (since even "fresh" shrimp is flash frozen and defrosted prior to sale). Probably best to just make what you need!

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over 2 years ago Crispy

Just a note on the binding... I processed (pulsed a few times) a little more than half of the Shrimp (large Key West Pinks) and roughly chopped the remainder. Processing made the shrimp "stiiiicky" so I only used about 2 teaspoons of the Aioli and they stayed together perfectly. Next time I will only process 1/4 of the shrimp.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Thanks for this feedback! I've never used the food processor for prepping the shrimp so your comment is helpful.

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over 2 years ago Crispy

On the 4th of July I made Emily’s Shrimp Burgers (unbelievably delicious) along with cucinettaNYC’s Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad (always a hit) and Jennifer’s Sweet Cherry Hand Pies (Wow!) for dessert. The best part – everything came out great… there were no leftovers!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

So happy that you liked the burgers! Your entire FOOD52 menu sounds fantastic.

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over 2 years ago oregon cassie

Fresh fennel is impossible to find in my small town. Can you give substitute suggestions? Anxious to try on the grill -- sounds fabulous!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

I think celery or yellow bell pepper would work well, and you could add a little crushed fennel seed to the vegetables while they're sautéing if you have some. I also think you could just leave the fennel out, no substitutes, and the burgers won't suffer. Hope you like them...let me know how they turn out!

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over 2 years ago Gmarkb

Could you chop the shrimp in a food processor?

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

You should be fine using the food processor as long as you're careful to not overprocess the shrimp into a paste. I might pulse a few times, then check, then repeat if necessary. Hope you enjoy the burgers!