Crispy Shrimp & Red Quinoa Patties

March 31, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Makes Nine 3-inch patties
Author Notes

There are a million ways to serve quinoa. Having greatly enjoyed lentil and other non-meat patties, I thought a version made with red quinoa and sweet cooked shrimp would certainly please. They were so good they didn't last long….I'm very sorry to see them go, but thankfully making a new batch is easy-peasy. Based on reviews at home, I am adding them to the rotation for frequent future appearances. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups red quinoa, cooked** and cooled to room temperature
  • 9 to 12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, and cooked
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarse bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 3 eggs (free-range if possible)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste, for topping
  1. **If you can spare the time to make stock from the shrimp shells and use that as the cooking liquid for the quinoa, you will have extra-shrimpy, even more flavorful patties.
  2. In a good size bowl, fold together the quinoa, shrimp, eggs, onion, garlic, jalapeño, flax meal, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt, and salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. If the mixture is too wet, add more flax meal or bread crumbs. If it is too dry, add a little water or a bit more yogurt. This is not an exact science -- It is important that the mixture binds together, but you don't want it cakey.
  4. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and harissa paste; I like to partially mix, so that some of the experience is creamier yogurt, and some is more fiery/savory harissa. Do as you like in combining them. Place back in the refrigerator until ready to top the patties.
  5. Over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet, sear the patties in a glug of good olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes on the first side. Cook spaced judiciously but without crowding the pan.
  6. You're looking for a nicely crisped surface without any blackening. Use a spatula and flip, browning the second side for 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust heat as needed so that you get golden brown, crispy-edged patties, and of course, add more olive oil as needed as you cook subsequent rounds.
  7. Serve patties dolloped with the harissa yogurt and serve with a zingy cucumber salad or other crunchy, juicy vegetable.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Horto
  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

20 Reviews

sue April 22, 2020
Overall, a good recipe. I didn't have harissa but found a jar of chili-lime seasoning in the pantry which worked well instead. My family is a bunch of losers....the teenage boys will eat anything, however, when they saw the 'patties' coming off the griddle, they reached for hamburger rolls, ketchup and cheese and ate them as if they were hamburgers. Not quite the meal I was striving for, but oh well, they enjoyed them too!
MiamiMom December 5, 2015
These were really, really good even though I was loose with proportions (lots of shrimp) and they didn't keep their shape well. Used seasoned panko instead of bread crumbs and flax seed, a touch of Old Bay seasoning, and subbed sambal olek chile paste for harissa. Yum. Definitely a keeper.
Melina H. December 5, 2015
Thank so much for writing to share your experience. I found I needed to keep the patties in the pan until they had a definite crust before turning them over - longer than you think it should take. But they held their shape that way. Love your substitutions! Yummm sambal olek!!
Noneof Y. April 28, 2014
Any good ideas for a vegetarian substitute for the shrimp? I love this dish and want to make it for someone who doesn't eat meat or fish/seafood.
Melina H. April 28, 2014
Immediately firm tofu - cubed and pan fried - comes to mind. I'd season it with a little cumin, sea salt, and maybe some smoked paprika…
You could also use kabocha or other hearty squash, or even cauliflower. Anything meaty that will add a layer of interesting texture could work. These, diced and pan fried (and cooled) before adding to the mixture. Let me know how it turns out!
Noneof Y. April 28, 2014
Thanks for getting back to me on both of my comments. I made the patties again last night with wonderful results! I will attempt the vegetarian version when I next visit my parents b/c my dad is a vegetarian and let you know how it goes. Also, I have been serving them with Thai sweet chile sauce since many in my family couldn't handle harissa.
Melina H. April 28, 2014
The Thai sweet chile sauce sounds wonderful! And would go perfectly with the squash or tofu additions. FYI you can always lessen the amount of harissa added to the yogurt, or add more of the yogurt, so that it is more mild and cooling. I'm so glad the results were as you hoped. Yum!
Noneof Y. April 17, 2014
Any idea to calculate calories and other nutritional info for this dish? Btw. I found myself adding quite a bit more flax meal and bread crumbs, possibly b/c my quinoa could have cooked a little longer to get drier.
Melina H. April 28, 2014
Hi! Sorry not to see this until now. I don't usually monitor my eating in this way, but I guess you could refer to the package of quinoa, and the same for the eggs, bread/flax meal, and shrimp (everything else would be negligible?) and gauge proportionately. My mantra is that if it's whole food raised responsibly, you're in a good place. Thanks too for your experience re: the bread crumbs and flax meal. Repeat experience has been a great teacher for me to get it just right. :)
Yazoolulu April 13, 2014
Are the ingredients for this recipe listed twice?
Melina H. April 13, 2014
They weren't originally, but yep, it seems the template gate-keeper is out to get me. Thank you for pointing it out. Good thing you were paying attention!
silverspringcat April 11, 2014
what is "three tablespoons" of eggs?
Melina H. April 11, 2014
ARGH. Yes, what a reasonable question. I've had many issues with the recipe template this last go-round and I'm sorry about that. How confusing! It is simply 3 free range eggs.
AntoniaJames April 9, 2014
How much does the shrimp called for in this recipe weigh? We can get them in a wide variety of sizes, so a numerical quantity is rather unhelpful. Thank you. ;o)
LeBec F. April 11, 2014
AJ,you always pick such good recipes to try! i wrote and asked her the same thing. In considering that it makes~9 3"patties, I'm thinking that around 1- 1.5 ou.of shrimp per pattie, a total of ~ 1/2- 3/4 lb. shrimp, would work well. When you go to assemble them, keep some of the shrimp unchopped in case you judge them unnecessary. Then you could halve them lengthwise and garnish each pattie with a half (or eat them as a cook's lagnappe!)
Melina H. April 11, 2014
I'll take the compliment that you're back again, Antonia! and Le Bec, thanks for weighing in. This recipe IS good. I didn't weigh the plump shrimp,but can tell you they are neither particularly small, nor jumbo. I know that's not what you want to hear, Antonia, but the recipe won't suffer from more shrimp. It will suffer from too few. And as long as the mixture binds, you're in business.
Le Bec Fin, your estimate is good: definitely 1.5 shrimp (maybe U15?) per patty. I like your "in case" stipulation and in the event of more than needed, you can do as you've suggested, or freeze the rest for later.
Horto April 8, 2014
looks interesting,what can we replace flax meal with? I have everything but flax meal
Melina H. April 8, 2014
You could use oat bran, more bread crumbs, or even cornmeal. I liked the nutritional benefit of the flax meal, and it just functions as a binder, like the bread crumbs do.
Melina H. April 1, 2014
Hi there! I hate that - in formatting the recipe, the template doesn't always update or reflect what's been added…. sorry you had to be the one to encounter it. It's correct now. Let me know if you make 'em!
omegatop April 1, 2014
Recipe is missing shrimp from the ingredients.