At first glance, you might be led to believe that this little combo of shrimp and fish isn’t the most logical idea out there, with both being major ingredients of countless recipes around the world.
You will be surprised by the fact that many cultures have culinary delights which mix shrimp and fish to create dishes overflowing with umami.
From South-East Asia to the Southern United States, all seafaring cultures have experimented with various ways of cooking shrimp and fish together. Naturally, they have been fried, seared, boiled, even minced together to make patties or used in curry.
We will explore the versatility of shrimp and fish with these two mouth-watering recipes that will make you take a quick trip to your favorite seafood and fishmonger.
Southern Cajun cuisine is simple, versatile, and yet extremely delicious. These quick fish cake sliders are not an exception. Instead of going for pre-made fish-cakes, you will find that a patty made with shrimp and white fish is easy to make and an incredible replacement for other heavier, meat-based sliders.
You will need white fish and any type of shrimp. Preferably, and to keep it Cajun-style, catfish should be used, but any other type of white fish will be just as savory. The whole process, including the Rémoulade recipe, will take you only 30 minutes.
If you wish to go full-Cajun, you can make a simple Rémoulade sauce by mixing a ¼ cup of mayo, ¼ of drained pickle dill relish, 3 tablespoons of Creole mustard, 2 tablespoons of minced yellow onions, 2 tablespoons of minced celery, 2 tablespoons of minced red bell peppers, 2 tablespoon of chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, salt, ground pepper, and your favorite hot sauce to taste.
Process all the ingredients together or, for that traditional, hard-working flavor, mix them by hand in a bowl until you get a fine composition. Season it with salt, pepper, and hot sauce gradually until you get the right taste.
For the fishcakes, cut ¾ pounds of fish into small pieces, add a ½ pound of cleaned shrimp (you can go with jumbo shrimp) with a ¼ cup of spring onions, a large egg white, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped, fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of Dijon or Creole mustard, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, either fine or coarse, depending on your taste. Process it all together until the mixture has a ground meat texture. These ingredients will yield 12 sliders.
On a baking sheet, using lightly greased hands, shape the patties. They should be 2-inch round and ½ of an inch thick. Coat a skillet with olive oil and cook the patties golden-brown on each side over medium-high heat. It will take about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
For the fun part, split either store-bought or homemade biscuits in half, spread the Rémoulade or your favorite sauce on the bottom half, add the cooked fish cake, lettuce, a slice of tomato, and pickles. Add the top half of the biscuit and skewer with a long toothpick for extra stability. Make sure you eat them hot!
Thai Shrimp-Halibut Curry
This is a bowl of hot curry, full of umami and easy to make. Coming from India, curry quickly traveled throughout all East and South-East Asia. Thailand offers us a great take on curry by replacing the meat with fish and shrimp. This savory Thai shrimp-halibut curry recipe will take you about 1 hour to prep and cook and it will yield 4 servings.
To start, you will need 2 and ½ teaspoons of lime zest and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Use either a wok or a saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat, sauté together 1 cup of chopped shallots, and 1 large bell pepper diced into ½ inch pieces for 5 minutes. Add 2 and ½ teaspoons of Thai red curry paste, 1 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of your go-to fish sauce, the lime zest, and the lime juice. Simmer and often stir the sauce for another 5 minutes.
Take 18 ounces of halibut fillets, cut them into 1 or 2-inch pieces, 10 ounces of raw, cleaned-up whole jumbo shrimp, salt and pepper them to taste, and add them in the curry sauce. Simmer gently and cook the fish and shrimp for another 5 to 7 minutes while tasting and seasoning with both salt and pepper to taste. Close to the end, stir in ⅓ freshly-chopped basil and ⅓ freshly-chopped coriander.
All good curry goes with a side dish. Rice is a staple choice, but if you consider simple rice too bland for your taste, you can go for this classic, South-Western India Lemon Rice recipe coming from the tiny state of Goa. This recipe will take you just about fifteen minutes to prepare.
Wash 2 cups of Basmati rice, boil for 12 minutes in 4 cups of water, strain until no water remains. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat, and carefully cook 2 tablespoons of dark mustard seeds for 2-3 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste, either homemade or store-bought, 2 teaspoons of powdered turmeric, the juice from 2 medium or large lemons, salt to taste and a pinch of pepper. Cook for one minute, turn the heat off and let the paste cool down for a couple of minutes. Pour over the cooked rice and stir vigorously. Serve it hot with the amazing Thai shrimp-halibut curry for a perfect marriage between the Indian and Thai cuisine. As a drink to pair up with the curry, go for salted lassi, or a fruitier rosé, or a dry Riesling.