Though it’s not so hard to find a healthy snack that’s both easy and a bit sophisticated, sometimes it just doesn’t come up so easily.
So since you’ve found our Thai shrimp cake recipe, we suggest you have it bookmarked or written in your recipe book. It can be enjoyed as a snack or as a side dish!
How is Thai Shrimp Cakes Different?
I’ve been to Thailand, and I must say it’s hard not to love their culture, especially their food. Among the countries of the Asian region, Thai cuisine stands out for its aromatic dishes with strong flavors— spicy, sweet, sour, salty. If you’ve had regular shrimp cakes, here’s how you can imagine what our Thai shrimp cake recipe makes.
It’s with cilantro roots instead of parsley. Cilantro, especially the root, is so favored by the Thai people that it’s called for by almost every Thai recipe. While the leaves have a light but distinct smell, the roots have a much stronger fragrance that lingers even after the dish is cooked.
Also, our Thai shrimp cake recipe has corn. It brings a little sweetness, crispness to each bite, yet adds little healthy carbs and fiber. We can’t say it’s what Thai people often use, but they seem to really enjoy shrimp cakes with corn.
Finally, Thai shrimp cakes come with the signature sauce. It’s made by bringing together tamarind concentrate, sugar, red chili slices, and fish sauce in a saucepan and simmer until it reduces. It’s a kind of dipping sauce that many Thai people love and know how to make. Although we didn’t make it in our recipe, we believe it won’t cause you any trouble.
Deveining Shrimps – Must or Should?
Since we’re using fresh, deshelled shrimps, deveining them seems to be the obvious thing to do. But let’s take a moment to see if it’s necessary to remove the black strip on a shrimp’s back.
I was grossed out by it at first, and I still am after I found out that it’s the digestive tract of shrimps. Removing this “vein” is similar to how we remove fish guts— no bitter, mushy, suspicious, gritty bites. However, shrimps are pretty small, and if you accidentally eat shrimps with veins on, you won’t be able to tell most of the time.
The vein does contain bacteria, as it’s where foods are digested after all, but they will be cooked and rendered harmless. Some people doubt this and still choose to remove it. So do I, but when it’s just a meal of my own and I get lazy, I skip this step. Living “dangerously” is sometimes fun, don’t you agree?
But the bottom line is, it’s the right thing to devein shrimps. To do it, simply make a slit along the back of the shrimp, and use your hand to pull it out. Using a toothpick to push through the center of the shrimp and pull out the vein sometimes works, but sometimes it won’t. It’d be safest to devein shrimps with a knife.
When to Have Thai Shrimp Cakes?
Since it’s versatile, you can have it either as a snack or a side dish. You can turn the cakes into sticks to make it look more of a party appetizer, on a plate with a dipping sauce in the middle. As a side dish, it goes great with soup or curries. We’ve made a full meal of Thai Massaman curry and shrimp cakes, and they were delicious.
Thai Shrimp Cake Recipe
- Blend shrimps, egg, garlic, coriander roots, pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce in a food processor until smooth.
- Dump the mixture into a large bowl, slowly add flour and knead until a dense cake batter is formed. Gently fold in the corn.
- Divide the batter into 8 parts. Use cake rings to shape the cakes into rounds.
- Prepare frying oil in a pot, on medium-high heat. When it’s ready (it sizzles when you put a pinch of the batter into the oil), fry the cakes until golden on both sides.
- Serve with sauce of choice. We’re using mayonnaise.
- (*) Only part of the oil will end up in the final product and we have calculated nutritional values based on that amount. The whole amount is needed for frying the shrimp cakes, but what actually ends up being consumed is 1 tsp canola oil for 4 servings.