Sometimes, my middle child – Tartine #2 – surprises me. Like today, she asked to eat tomatoes. On some days, she will ask me for a carrot or pechay (bok choy) – gasp! She’ll also ask for her can’t-live-without staples: apple, mango, pomegranate, pear, cantaloupe, watermelon, nectarine, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, etc. – so we always have them on rotation for her! She will give up meat first before she will fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.
She is so different from me when I was a child, because I loved my meat. You couldn’t get me to eat fruits and vegetables then, even if you tried. Well, the fruits, I would have eaten, but it had to be pre-cut for me! Heaven forbid if I had to do my own peeling and slicing!
So, when I made these shrimp and pork patties, I wasn’t sure at the kind of reception these will get from my veggie-loving Tartine #2. I must say, she devoured these mini burgers like there was no tomorrow, so I knew I had an excellent recipe at my disposal.
These are little patties made with mashed shrimps and ground pork, but you wouldn’t believe the texture and taste! It’s a variation on the Chinese dimsum, shiu mai, only this one is grilled on the barbecue (or pan-fried, if you prefer). The shrimps really give each bite a little springiness and some much-needed moisture that is usually lacking with lean ground pork alone. Some Asian spices here and there…and – bam! – you’ve got these juicy, iron-rich patties!
My meat-picky daughter totally loved this, and if you could believe it, the whole family was asking for seconds. And thirds. And fourths.
Until they were all gone…
Next came the shouts for “more!”
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 250 grams (about ½ of a 454-g pkg) fresh or frozen uncooked shrimps
- 500 grams lean ground pork
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced + more for garnish
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- sweet Thai chili sauce (optional)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Put shrimps in a food processor and whirl for a few seconds until shrimps are mashed.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk egg with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch. Add the shrimp and pork to the mixture, and gently stir together.
- Stir in the green onions and carrot, and mix well.
- Shape into 2-inch patties, about ¼-inch thick.
- Heat the grill to 375 degrees F and oil the grates with paper towel.
- Cook the patties covered, about 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until the patties are browned and firm to touch.
- If pan-frying, heat a large pan over medium heat and add oil. You may have to work in batches for this - do not overcrowd the pan. Cook patties until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining patties.
- Serve with sweet Thai chili sauce that is garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.
- Makes 12 patties.*