Cast Iron

Shrimp Burgers with Roasted Garlic-Orange Aioli

May 26, 2011
10 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes 4 patties
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. - EmilyC

Sandwich fan? Tune into our podcast, The Sandwich Universe, where co-hosts and longtime BFFs Molly Baz and Declan Bond debate and cook up iconic sandwiches every ‘wich way.EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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. Roasted garlic–orange aioli
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Shrimp burgers
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

135 Reviews

Jon R. August 27, 2023
Tasty, but didn't stick together at all. Aioli didn't come together as well as other recipes. Ingredients were fine, but recipe just didn't work.
Danielle October 25, 2022
This is not a critique as I changed a bunch to make this low fodmap (mostly)
-I blended the shrimp in a food processor with scallion greens, lightly sautéed red pepper, salt, pepper, and a vegan aioli recipe I’m faithful to
-I pan fried them, they held together beautifully
-served them on buns with more aioli

The cooked texture was very light and airy for a burger. I’ll definitely make these again
food F. February 27, 2021
I made this tonight and I loved it. My modifications to the recipe were: For the shrimp patties: 1. I used 1 lb shrimp. 2. I chopped half of the shrimp and put the other half in the food processor. 3. Doubled the amount of shallot, fennel, red pepper, and aioli. 4. added 1 egg white and about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in the shrimp mixture to help it hold together 5. Formed, then coated the patties in breadcrumbs 6. Placed them in the freezer for about 20 minutes before frying. For the aioli: 1. Added a third egg yolk after it didn’t thicken, (still not really thick) 2. used double the orange juice, orange rind, & roasted garlic, and generous amount of salt and pepper, 3. After separating out the portion of aioli that went into the patties, I added sriracha, a teaspoon or so of white miso, and white wine vinegar to taste. I fried the patties in olive oil. They held together and I liked the flavor and texture. My partner would have liked a more uniform texture (ie food process all the shrimp instead of half). I think they could use something to brighten the flavor. Maybe lime and a bit more heat, chili powder, sriracha, or Tabasco, as another commenter suggested. I’d definitely make this again. And it inspired me to use roasted garlic more often. and to refresh my skills for making aioli and mayonnaise.
Margaret M. January 11, 2021
This absolutely fell apart on me. It was more shrimp hash than individual burgers. If i make it again I’ll add breadcrumbs and/or use the food processor as other reviewers have mentioned.
LindsayTE May 3, 2020
This aioli recipe is bizarre. I am surprised it passed the food52 test kitchen and can only assume they used aioli already on hand. I tried to save it but ended up throwing it out and remaking my usual go to aioli and adding the orange and garlic.
That said - this shrimp burger is a delight! It’s not that fussy to put together but it could be made more easily with the food processor. Worth making, with your own aioli, or a mayo shortcut.
Susan March 29, 2019
I love this recipe and have used it many times, the best of which was burger night. Tuna burgers, beef burgers, salmon burgers and shrimp burgers were the mains, served with assorted salads. For those having trouble with the aioli there is a reasonable cheat that works fine - unless you are a purist. I use good store bought mayo and doctor it with roasted garlic and the orange juice and zest. This is a short cut that does not diminish the end result. I have done it both ways with no complaints.
dpsd17 July 27, 2018
This recipe was beyond labor-intensive, to the point where it was next to impossible. I think you practically have to be a trained chef to make this work
CanadaDan February 2, 2017
I don't like fennel but this wsa really delicious. My issue was that while my aioli thickened up really nicely after whisking, once i put the orange juice in it fell flat so i added it all bak to another egg yolk while whisking. didn't quite come out too thick again but it did the job. i added some panko to the shrimp to compensate. must say in the end it wsa delicious
Patricia C. November 12, 2016
This was delicious!! I, like others, failed making the aoili, but after two tries used while egg mayo. But my husband and I both gave this full marks!! I will also blend a bit of the shrimp in the food processor to make it hold together a bit better. Thanks for the definite 'to be repeated' recipe. Oh, by the way, we accidentally bought less shrimp (only about 1 pound) but I had already chopped everything else up so I just threw it all in with the shrimp I had. I thought the balance was great so, for those who commented that they like more flavor, try using more fennel/shallot/orange rind mixture.
tom October 16, 2015
This was the only recipe from this site that was a clunker.( and Iv'e tried dozens)
Shortrib July 18, 2015
This all came together very nicely. Although my aioli separated, I rescued it by incorporating my separated mixture (slowly, by hand) into a third egg yolk which re-emulsified the whole business. And I used the previous commenters tips about chopping a quarter of the shrimp in the food processor and giving the patties 10 mins in the freezer before grilling. Yes, I grilled the patties on the BBQ and they stuck together beautifully! And looked gorgeous on the plate. The bad news is that the end result was rather bland and quite disappointing compared to my level of excitement. Maybe my shrimp wasn't spectacular, but the effect overall was very subtle (orange, garlic, fennel) and hubbie and I were longing for something to give it a kick up the prawn tail, chili or lime or something sparky. So overall, I wouldn't do it again considering the effort and cost involved. I think I'd send this idea somewhere toward Vietnam and think sweet and sour carrots, chilis and lime..... But loving Food52. I served it with the watermelon/ tomato/ pecorino/ walnut salad also on this site, which is outstanding.
AnnH June 27, 2015
would this work with frozen pre-cooked shrimp?
cosmiccook May 25, 2015
I forgot to add I also plan on making this w grouper and maybe scallops? I will also try this for crabcakes and grill them next time--less kitchen mess!! I try to take pics and post results next week! Thank you Emily!
cosmiccook May 25, 2015
I'm always looking for different shrimp recipes since we get just caught from the docks regularly. I will slightly freeze them and pulse in the FP. As for yolks in aioli, traditionally the dish is ONLY oil and garlic! But so freakin hard to make! So I use this old BA recipe (sorry couldn't get it to hyperlink)
I use 1 egg yolk to 1/2 oil--try AVACADO OIL; its a great sub! I also use high quality lemon or orange infused OO as part of the oil mix. The cooked egg mixture also enables you to keep this longer so you can make larger amounts. Just sub orange and roasted garlic for what the recipe calls for. Its great. I can't wait till Tuesday for Shrimp!
JanetFL April 9, 2015
Fantastic recipe, Emily!
EmilyC April 13, 2015
Thanks, Janet!
jifferb April 7, 2015
I made these for our Oscar party - little ones, ie sliders ie "American Sliders" (hahaha) and I will be honest, the comments scared me re mayo fails - I have had a bad experience with homemade mayo in the past. So I made some Sriracha mayo (srirach + Hellmans). In any case - people literally RAVED about these! So delicious, these bite-sized burgers flew of the plate!! Thank you for the recipe!
EmilyC April 9, 2015
Terrific -- glad these were a hit at your Oscar party!
jwcog November 20, 2014
my aioli didn't come together so here's how i fixed it: 1 whole egg instead of 2 yolks and put everything in a jar. stand an immersion blender in the jar and blend without moving until it turns white then move the blender around to finish it off. takes less than two minutes start to finish. hope this helps!
EmilyC April 9, 2015
Great tip -- thanks for sharing.
Ilian September 7, 2014
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
Melissafitz September 14, 2014
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!
Ilian September 14, 2014
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.
Joop June 26, 2014
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 . 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!
Anastasia M. June 18, 2014
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.
EmilyC June 18, 2014
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!