If you like crab cakes, you’ll love these Thai Shrimp Cakes, aka Shrimp Fritters or Prawn Cakes. Crisp Panko coating keeps them tender and moist. Dunk away in Mango Dip! Gluten-free.
These tiny Thai Shrimp Cakes with Mango Dipping Sauce make a great party appetizer. If you like crab cakes, you’ll love these shrimp cakes. Shrimp Cakes, Shrimp Fritters, Prawn Cakes, whatever you wish to call them, they’re a tasty bite.
Coating them in Panko crumbs keeps them tender and moist. Crispy on the outside, tender inside, these little morsels are fun to dunk in dip. Serve them as tiny bites skewered with a bamboo toothpick, or make them larger for a dinner entrée.
Let’s make a batch. Here’s your shopping list!
Ingredients for Thai Shrimp Cakes with Mango Dip
shrimp: or prawns, peeled and deveined. Any size. If you use baby shrimp, you won’t need to chop them. Larger shrimp will need to be cut into very small pieces. You can use a food processor to do so, but avoid over-processing. You don’t want it to turn into shrimp paste! While fresh is best, you can also use commercially-frozen shrimp. Note, however, that they will have an icy glaze around them to protect them. Thaw and pat dry before using, otherwise the shrimp cakes may be too wet.
egg whites: these will help to bind the ingredients together.
ginger: freshly grated
green chili peppers: from a small can
cilantro leaves: if you don’t like cilantro, substitute parsley or chives
cornstarch: to thicken the mixture
Panko crumbs: regular, or I used gluten-free Panko. You’ll use 1/2 cup in the mixture and 1 cup to coat the cakes.
How to Make Shrimp Cakes
- Begin by preparing the Mango Dipping Sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients except the cilantro, process until smooth, then stir in the chopped cilantro. Set aside to allow flavours to blend while you prepare the shrimp fritters.
- Chop the shrimp or prawns into tiny pieces or use a food processor to do so. Transfer to a bowl, then whisk the egg whites in the now-empty food processor bowl.
- Add these to the bowl of shrimp, then stir in the minced garlic, ginger, green chilies, cilantro, cornstarch and salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Form into patties. If you want them for appetizer bites, make them about 1 inch in diameter. Using a small cookie scoop makes this easy. Scoop, release on to a baking sheet, then flatten slightly. Larger patties are great if you’re serving them as a main course for lunch or dinner.
- Coat with Panko crumbs. I used gluten-free Panko, but both regular or gluten-free work well.
- At this point you can cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day, until you’re ready to fry the fritters.
How to Cook Shrimp Fritters
A cast iron skillet works well when you’re frying these fritters. It holds the heat for a long time. When you’re shallow frying, you want the oil to remain hot when you add the food. This way, the fritters will cook quickly and not soak up too much oil. However, any skillet will work with this shrimp cake recipe. You just have to be aware of keeping the temperature up and know that the fritters might soak up more oil.
Use an oil with a high smoke point, like avocado oil for example, and heat over medium to high heat until it shimmers. Carefully add the shrimp cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Use tongs or a fish turner to flip them over.
Larger shrimp cakes may take a little longer, depending on how thick you formed the patties and the temperature of the oil.
Remove from the skillet to paper towel, then transfer to a serving plate. Skewer with small bamboo toothpicks if you’d like and arrange around a small bowl of Mango Dipping Sauce for dunking. Serve hot.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes! Form into patties, coat with Panko crumbs, arrange on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before cooking.
Can you freeze Thai Shrimp Cakes?
Yes! Make the patties, coat with Panko, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer to an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then follow the pan-frying instructions.
Can you reheat Shrimp Fritters once they’re cooked?
Yes, you can. Place on a baking sheet, cover with foil and heat at 350°F. for 10 – 15 minutes until heated through. Time will depend on your oven.
What other dip recipes would be good with Shrimp Cakes?
Try this Lime Yogurt Sauce that I use as a dip for my Baked Salmon Patties, this spicy dip that I serve with these Bangkok Thai Crab Cakes. or Lemon Yogurt Dip that goes well with Smoked Salmon Zucchini Cakes. A simple lemon aioli would also be delicious!
What should I serve with Shrimp Cakes?
If you’re serving these as a starter or main dish, you might like to serve them with one of the following:
Thai Shrimp Cakes with Mango Dipping Sauce
- small bamboo cocktail picks
- mixing bowl
- cookie scoop
- 1 cup raw shrimp or prawns, any size, peeled and deveined
- 2 egg whites
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1.5 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp canned green chilies, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp cornstarch heaped
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs, divided (1 cup for coating fritters) Gluten-free if necessary.
Mango Dipping Sauce
- 3/4 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
Mango Dipping Sauce
- Place all ingredients except cilantro in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in finely chopped cilantro leaves. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow flavours to blend.
- Chop the raw shrimp into very fine pieces. If using a food processor, pulse to chop, watching carefully to prevent over processing. The shrimp should be finely chopped, not turned into paste. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Whisk two egg whites until frothy (or whip them in the now-empty food processor --no need to wash it out.) Add to the bowl of shrimp along with minced garlic, ginger, fish sauce, chilies, cilantro, cornstarch and 1/2 cup Panko crumbs.
- Gently combine without overmixing. Form into patties. You can make small 1-inch diameter patties for appetizers, or larger ones for a main course. Coat completely with Panko crumbs and place on a baking sheet.
- At this point you can cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day until you're ready to fry them.
- Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until it shimmers. Carefully add the shrimp cakes. Fry on one side until lightly browned 3-4 minutes for the small size, longer for the larger size, then turn and fry on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove to paper towel, then transfer to a serving plate and serve with Mango Dipping Sauce.
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