Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Shrimp Fritters with Lemon Aioli #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: This recipe is based on one of those videos that flit across Facebook feeds. I tracked it to a blog called Natasha’s Kitchen, though of course, we changed it quite a bit. Whether you call them shrimp fritters or shrimp cakes, they really are very easy and yummy.

Fish isn’t normally mixed with cheese, but the mozzarella here works both as a binder and to form the crust, and didn’t overpower the shrimp at all. Use a dry brick-type; fresh mozzarella is hard to shred and would be too watery. And yes, it’s fine to buy it shredded and use the rest for pizza!

We discovered by accident that it’s a good idea to let the batter rest 15-20 minutes before frying the fritters. You’ll see by our photos below that the first batch took on a free-form shape; the two we fried later because they didn’t fit in the pan held a cake-like shape better.

The original recipe suggests regular or gluten-free flour. I’m not experienced with using gluten-free flour and don’t know whether it would absorb the liquid well enough to have the same thickening effect. If you try it, let me know.

If, like us, you buy bags of shrimp at Costco, you may have pre-cooked shrimp and wonder whether it will get rubbery. Don’t worry; it will be fine.

This is the full recipe; we cut it in half. Half an egg? Ours were large and I hesitated about using the full thing, so I cracked it into a small glass bowl with a lid and beat it lightly, saving the rest of the egg for breakfast.

We made these for dinner with a green salad, and the half recipe served the two of us beautifully, with no leftovers. They would also be great for brunch or as fancy appetizers.

Shrimp Fritters with Lemon Aioli

For the fritters:

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying

For the aioli:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced

If your shrimp are frozen, thaw them in a bowl of water and drain well. Pat them dry with a paper towel, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, mix together the mozzarella, egg, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the shrimp and stir to combine. Add flour and mix well. Let the batter rest 15-20 minutes.

Make the aioli. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, zest, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth.

Heat a large frying pan to medium heat and add one tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot—you can test it with the tip of a wooden spoon or chopstick; if tiny bubbles form, the oil is ready—carefully place the batter in the pan, using about two tablespoons of batter for each fritter. Flatten the tops of your fritters as you go; the fritters should be about 1/2" thick. Fry until golden brown and flip, about 3 minutes on each side.

Repeat with remaining oil and batter.

Makes 12-16 fritters.

"Budewitz's finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan." --- Kirkus Reviews

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available in trade paper, e-book, and audio):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I love shrimp! This sounds like it would make a lovely dinner and I will be making it soon. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. My pleasure -- it's definitely a repeater for us. Enjoy!

  2. Good tip about letting it rest before cooking.

  3. That looks good, I will be trying it. Thanks for all the tips in the recipe, makes it easy to follow and you've worked the bugs out!

    1. Hmm, bugs -- how would it be with cricket flour? (Teasing -- I would never -- at least, I think I would never!)