If you read this blog regularly, you know of our love for all things from seas, lakes and rivers. My first encounter with stuffed shrimp came at the Clear Creek Inn in Kemah, Texas. Kemah is on Galveston Bay near Johnson Space Center. Many restaurants in that part of the country are seldom fancy; they’re there to simply serve up the freshest seafood available. It was one of the famous Gulf of Mexico hurricanes that dealt my favorite Kemah restaurant its final blow.
I ordered only two things from its menu – the fried stuffed shrimp or the baked stuffed whole flounder. I’m sure both shared the same divine crab-meat stuffing. Periodically these two dishes pop out of my memories, and I simply have to do something about it. Shrimp are easy to find almost anywhere, but locating whole flounder on the west coast is near impossible. Perhaps on a visit back East or to Texas, I can beg/borrow a kitchen and satisfy my longing for flounder.
I first tasted the white remoulade sauce at the Gumbo Shop on St. Peter Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I have faithfully dined at The Gumbo Shop on every pilgrimage to Vieux Carré, as The French Quarter is known. Do visit if you’re ever there.
Crown of Deep-fried, Crab-stuffed Shrimp with White Remoulade Sauce
Crab stuffing recipe adapted from Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields and the white remoulade sauce adapted from a recipe in Gumbo Shop: A New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook
You can use your favorite crab cake recipe here for stuffing the shrimp. I use John Shields’ recipe for Gertrude’s Crabettes. John Shields owns and operates Gertrude’s, the restaurant located in The Baltimore Museum of Art. This and other wonderful recipes can be found in Chesapeake Bay Cooking with John Shields, a companion cookbook to the Public Television Series of the same name.
For the stuffed shrimp:
- 12 jumbo shrimp (10-15 count per pound) peeled, deveined and butterflied. Leave the tails on. Devein as you normally would but keep cutting through the shrimp without slicing all the way through so it will flatten out. Pat the shrimp dry and keep cool.
- 1 lb (454 gr.) crab meat
- ½ cup (120 ml.) dry breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 teaspoons (15 ml.) mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) Tabasco Sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) black soy sauce*
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) chopped fresh ginger (I grate mine on a microplane zester)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) chopped garlic
- 2 to 3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, finely minced (jalapeños should be the milder of the two)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) chopped fresh cilantro
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 -2 additional large eggs for coating the shrimp and crab stuffing
- Panko bread crumbs or flour for final coating.
* Black soy sauce is very dark, thick and sweetened with molasses. You will probably find this imported item only at an Asian market. Regular soy sauce may be substituted.
- Mix together items 4 through 13.
- Drain and pick through the crab meat for any cartilage or shell.
- Carefully fold the crab into the other items then add the dry breadcrumbs a little at a time until you have a mixture that holds together. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
- Remove the shrimp and crab mixture from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you intend to mold and fry. Carefully begin molding the crab around the flattened shrimp, making an egg-shaped casing and lay on a clean tray or plate.
- Heat the oil in a deep pan to 350° F (180° C).
- Carefully coat each shrimp with the beaten egg, then cover with the bread crumbs or flour.
- Working in small batches, fry 2-3 at a time until golden in color and the center reaches 120° F (50° C). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or tray to drain.
Note: Previously I have made these with the crab stuffing only on the deveined side of the shrimp. When the shrimp is fully surrounded, however, I noticed that the shrimp in the middle of the stuffing was not thoroughly cooked when the exterior was fully golden-brown. A brief stay in a 250-300° F (120-150° C) oven until the shrimp reached 120° F (50° C) brought these to perfection.
Serves 4 as a main dish
For the remoulade sauce:
This also makes an excellent salad dressing. The original recipe calls for a Creole mustard such as Zatarain’s. The only source I have found is the City Market in Portland, a 50-mile hike. Beaver Brands Deli Mustard from Beaverton, Oregon stood in with rave reviews from the table.
- 1 cup (240 ml.) mayonnaise
- ½ cup(120 ml.) Creole mustard such as Zatarain’s (I used Beaver Deli Mustard)
- ¼ cup (60 ml.) finely minced green bell pepper
- ¼ cup (60 ml.) finely minced celery
- 1 -2 teaspoons (5-10 ml.) grated onion and juice (I grated on my microplane zester)
- Combine all ingredients, mix well, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before using.
Makes about 2 cups (480 ml.)
Stand 3 or 4 shrimp on a plate, leaning against and supporting each other. It may help to use a blanched chive that’s long enough to tie the tails together. Surround with the white remoulade sauce and serve.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities