They’re “shrimply the best” according to Justin Chapple.


Crab cakes are a classic for a reason, but if you haven't tried shrimp cakes yet, you'll want to add them to your repertoire. Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple whips up a batch on this week's episode of Mad Genius, and he says they're "just as delicious" as their crabby cousins. They come together in just three simple steps and pair beautifully with an even more simple hot sauce-spiked mayonnaise. Serve them at your next dinner party, and don't forget to have some lemon wedges on hand for serving.

Read on for Justin's step-by-step method and follow along with the video above.

Make the Hot Sauce Mayo

The first step of this recipe is the easiest because all you need to do is whisk together prepared mayonnaise with a little bit of hot sauce. Voila, you've got your spicy mayo.

Create the Cakes

For the cakes themselves, you'll need panko, eggs, finely chopped scallions, finely grated lemon zest (save the lemon to cut into wedges for serving), smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and of course, shrimp. The latter need to be shelled, deveined, and chopped, and Justin demonstrates how you can easily remove the shell covering the tail with either a knife or your fingers. Add everything to a large bowl and mix the ingredients together with a spoon.

Get Them Crispy

To cook and crisp up these shrimp cakes, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once it's shimmering, you can start frying the cakes. Justin scoops portions of the shrimp mixture into the pan and then uses a fish spatula to gently flatten each little mound into a cake (don't stress about them being perfectly round). Let them fry for about two minutes, and then flip to cook for an additional two minutes.

Shrimp Cakes
Credit: © Con Poulos

Don't Skimp on the Condiments

Once the cakes are browned and cooked through, transfer them to paper towel-lined baking sheets so they can drain. Then, pile 'em on a platter with a little bowl of the hot sauce mayo and some lemon wedges on the side. Justin squeezes lemon juice on a shrimp cake first, and then tops it with a dollop of the mayo. Feel free to use either your hands or a knife and fork to eat.

"Irresistible," he says after trying one. "The shrimp flavor is so delicious with that scallion and that little bit of smoked paprika. And the lemon, and then that hot sauce. So amazing that I feel a song coming on."

Make sure you watch the video for Justin's incredible shrimp-themed rendition of "The Best," and grab the recipe so you can make these cakes at home.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Cakes