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Fast-food shrimp burgers

These sweet, juicy, seafood-studded shrimp burgers take 15 minutes to prep, freeze like a dream, and cook up almost instantly over a camp stove or a fire. Soft, sweet, brioche rolls or Wonder Bread–style hamburger buns are ideal here.



  • 1/2 jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp (deveined, if preferred)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (thawed)
  • 4 soft hamburger buns (thawed)
  • A few packets of single-serve, shelf-stable mayonnaise
  • Bread-and-butter pickles for serving
  • Shredded iceberg or butter lettuce or cabbage for serving (optional)
  • 1 lime


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapeño, ginger, and shallot and process until finely chopped. Add half of the shrimp and the salt and process again to form a paste, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the remaining shrimp to the processor and pulse to chop and combine (there should be identifiable pieces of shrimp) very coarsely.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or plastic wrap. Using damp hands, form four patties and place them on the prepared pan. Freeze until the patties are frozen solid, two or three hours. Stack the patties, separating each one with wax paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Wrap the stack tightly in plastic wrap. Place inside a wide-mouth Nalgene-type jar or repurposed plastic container, and freeze. (They’ll keep up to two months, frozen.)
  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the patties and sear until they’re cooked through, nicely golden-crusted, and the shrimp has turned an appealing pink, one to three minutes per side.
  4. Toast the buns on a grill over medium heat. (Or toast the buns in the skillet over medium heat with a splash of oil or butter.) Dress the buns with the mayo, assemble the burgers, and then garnish with
    pickles, lettuce (if using), and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve immediately. Enjoy! TIP: If you don’t have a food processor, use a sharp knife, first to finely chop the vegetables and then to finely chop half of the shrimp into a paste. Coarsely chop the remaining shrimp, then combine all the ingredients and stir well.

Excerpted from Cook It Wild by Chris Nuttal-Smith. Copyright © 2023 Chris Nuttal-Smith. Photography by Maya Visnyei and illustrations by Claire McCracken. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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