Why this recipe works:
A good shrimp burger should be first and foremost about the shrimp. Our recipe features a moist yet still cohesive patty, and seasoning that complements the sweet shrimp flavor without overpowering it. We kept the seasonings simple: minced scallion and parsley, as well as lemon zest, which accentuated the sweetness of the shrimp, and a touch of cayenne.
NOTE: Be sure to use raw, not cooked, shrimp here. Dry the shrimp thoroughly before processing, or the burgers will be mushy. Handle the burgers gently when shaping and grilling; if overhandled while being shaped, the burgers will be dense and rubbery, and if handled roughly during cooking, they will break apart. Serve with tartar sauce.
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
1 1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and patted dry
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Pulse bread in food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
2. Pulse shrimp in now-empty processor until some pieces are finely minced and others are coarsely chopped, about 7 pulses. Transfer shrimp to large bowl.
3. Combine mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, cayenne, salt, and pepper in large bowl until uniform, then gently fold into processed shrimp until just combined. Sprinkle bread crumbs over mixture and gently fold until incorporated.
4. Scrape shrimp mixture onto small baking sheet, divide it into 4 equal portions, and loosely pack each into 1-inch-thick patty. Cover and refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
5A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4 1/2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour them evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
5B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain a medium-hot fire.)
6. Clean and oil cooking grate. Lightly brush tops of patties with oil, lay them on grill, oiled side down, and lightly brush other side with oil. Cook patties, without pressing on them, until lightly browned and cooked through, 10 to 14 minutes, flipping them halfway through grilling. Transfer burgers to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.