pork + shrimp patties

Homemade dumplings are one of the best things around.  Before my parents moved to Calgary, we visited them a few times a year.  Each of those times, my mom and I would dedicate at least half a day to making her famous Korean dumpling, “mandu” (만두), filled with beef, tofu, chives, garlic, and ginger.  I got pretty good at crimping them really nicely, but you could always tell which ones were my mom’s (the best looking).  They were best eaten straight out of the steamer, dipped in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and Korean chili flakes.  My mom would freeze a few large Ziploc bags full of them and I’d cart them back home to tide me over until my next visit.

These days, I have easier and closer access to my mom’s 만두, but eating a majority gluten-free diet prevents me from enjoying them as often as I used to.  A few months ago, I went searching for a recipe for gluten-free dumpling wrappers.  I found one and made dumplings successfully a few times with it, but I found that the dumpling wrapper was much thicker and not as light as its regular, gluten-filled counterpart.  Of course, I didn’t expect that gluten-free wrappers would be anything close to the gluten kind, but I was still optimistic.  The other thing to consider about gluten-free dumpling wrappers is that they require a bit more time and care to get right.  They tend to tear easily and need to be handled delicately.  I found myself spending at least a couple of hours in the kitchen making a batch of dumplings.  While delicious, it often left me thinking, “why do I keep going to all these efforts for these dumplings?!”

So you might be thinking, why all this talk about dumplings and 만두 on a post about pork and shrimp patties?  Well, these patties are made with a delicious dumpling filling.  I started making these when I got too lazy to make dumpling wrappers.  This filling is quick and easy to whip up, and even quicker and easier to fry them up into bite-sized patties.  You could even make them into burgers.  Or you could make dumplings using regular, store bought dumpling wrappers and just be done with it, but what’s the fun in that?

ingredientsIt only takes a few key ingredients to put these patties together.  You’ll need ground pork, shrimp, garlic, nira (or substitute green onion), ginger, mirin, sriracha, soy sauce (or tamari, for the gluten-free), and sesame oil.  For the shrimp, I used 8 of the 26-30 count.  Feel free to use whatever raw, frozen shrimp you might have in the freezer.

bowlThe only real prep work is chopping up the shrimp (I like my shrimp chunky so I don’t mince it too much), nira, garlic, and ginger.  Put everything into a bowl and give it all a good mix.

mixtureHere it is, ready to go.

fryingHeat up a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.  I added a bit of canola oil to get some crust on them.  Feel free to use as much or as little oil you want.  The beauty of a non-stick skillet is that you don’t have to use any oil, to keep it on the healthy side.  I formed them into about 2-inch rounds.  Let them fry on one side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

friedpattiesGive them a flip and fry them for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.

patties4And that’s all it takes to make these simple patties.  This is one of my lazy-day go-to’s for a quick and easy dinner.  Enjoy them with a dipping sauce or eat them plain.  Served up with a side of rice and steamed veggies, it’s a perfectly balanced meal.

Pork + Shrimp Patties

  • 200g ground pork
  • 8 shrimp (26-30 count), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup nira (or green onion), finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Mix well.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add a teaspoon or so of canola oil (optional).  Form the mixture into 2-inch patties and place in the skillet.  Let fry on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.  Flip the patties and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and serve hot.

This mixture also makes an excellent dumpling filling.

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