Asian Shrimp Cakes With Avocado-Wasabi Sauce 4.000

Quentin Bacon

Make It, Freeze It, Take It Jan 5, 2016

Each bite of these savory cakes starts with a crispy panko crunch that contrasts with the creamy, citrusy, subtly tingly avocado-wasabi sauce and leads you to succulent shrimp seasoned with toasted sesame oil and ginger.

Be sure not to make the cakes larger than indicated, to ensure that they cook through properly.

Make Ahead: The uncooked shrimp cakes need 20 to 30 minutes to firm up in the refrigerator. They can be refrigerated for 30 minutes, then sealed in a zip-top bag and frozen for up to 3 months. The baked shrimp cakes can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat uncovered in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Microwaving is not recommended. Frozen shrimp cakes can be reheated (directly into a) 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.The sauce can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days in advance.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the shrimp cakes
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large (26-30 count) shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, seeded red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola or other neutrally flavored oil
  • For the sauce
  • Flesh from 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared wasabi paste, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the shrimp cakes: Combine the shrimp, half of the panko, the bell pepper, scallions, roasted sesame seeds, egg, cilantro, toasted sesame oil, ginger, lime juice, salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. If the mixture seems overly moist, stir in more panko a tablespoon at a time. Spread the remaining panko in a shallow bowl; you'll need about 1/2 cup for coating, so you may have to add a bit if you used more for the mixture.

Divide the shrimp mixture into 12 equal mounds, then shape each one into a patty about 2 1/2 inches wide and about 1/2-inch thick. Coat each patty well with the remaining panko. Place the cakes in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Use a fork to mash together the avocado, lime juice, wasabi paste and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Taste, and mix in more wasabi paste as needed. The yield is 3/4 cup. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until ready to serve (or up to 2 days in advance).

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add as many shrimp cakes as will fit in the pan without crowding. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook until the cakes are golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Just before serving, taste the avocado-wasabi sauce; add lime juice and/or wasabi, as needed. Dollop 1 tablespoon of the sauce on each shrimp cake.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals,” by Ellie Krieger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).

Tested by Mary-Denise Smith.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at