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Pork and Shrimp Hamburgers - How would you do it?

This idea just popped in my head just now: pork and shrimp hamburgers. Let me know what you think, because when this happens, it usually means I'm off to the store. I see from yahooing that it has been done many times before - like most of my good ideas!

Ground pork
Minced shrimp - small enough to mix with pork, but large enough to discern the texture and flavor when you bite into it.

Ideas? I'm thinking thrown in a little fish sauce, chopped scallions, and bits of very finely diced shallots and hot poblano (which I have on hand). Keep it simple and on the back of the tongue. Should I leave it at that, or try and push it? For some reason, I don't want to add ginger, even though I like ginger. Something tells me not to.

I saw a "cajun" version with the holy trinity. I'm cajun, and I get bored with the holy trinity. I often put carrots in my gumbo and not tell anyone.

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  1. Pork & seafood go well together. I did a shrimp & chorizo stuffing for a Cornish hen ballotine recently and it worked out very well.

    If it were me, i'd take it in an Asian direction, with fish sauce, garlic, scallion & ginger. Touch of soy. Sort of like a spring roll filling.

    1. I can't imagine being able to taste the shrimp in a pork burger, which is btw our favorite burger. Esp. if you add all those other things. Why not do exactly what you describe but with pork alone the first time around? Also there's plenty of discussion here about what exactly is a poblano but they're mild.

      11 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        awww, come on c oliver. I expect more! You can definitely taste shrimp in a pork burger. If pork is your favorite burger, try adding shrimp next time. Nothing to lose, my friend!

        I've got some poblanos that are about as hot as a decent jalapeno. Here in TX, sometimes you never know what you are going to get with a market-bought poblano. And I haven't seen these other discussions. We could use jalapenos instead. Ideally, red.

        1. re: rudeboy

          Does anyone enjoy just a shrimp burger? Dr. Taco in PDC MX made a great one, grilled, with medium floured marinated shrimp plus Mexican cheese as a binder. He had a very good business for years, but then he started a family and moved back to Guadalajara and is sorely missed.

          1. re: Veggo

            MOS burger does a great shrimp burger, with a rice patty and whole shrimp.

            You can see a picture here


            second from the right on the bottom row.

            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              Looks healthy, I prefer a hockey puck of shrimp embedded in grilled cheese, more than the fake amber with embedded bugs in it being sold around the world.

            2. re: Veggo

              I love shrimp burgers! There's a drive in here in NC in Morehead City named El's that has been in business for over 45 years - they make the best I've ever had!

            3. re: rudeboy

              Just doesn't appeal to me.

              Here in CA I've never had a hot poblano.

              1. re: c oliver

                If you ever get one from the market, just save those seed and plant them. That's what I did.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  I have plenty of hot peppers to choose from. Poblano is one that I don't want to be hot.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    okay man, I won't mention them anymore.....;-) I just have to have my rellenos my way. Ooops, I mentioned them again. DAWWPP!

            4. re: c oliver

              I'm with you C. Though when I make Won Tons and other Asian dumplings I often combine the two. The pork, as you know, keeps the shrimp moist. I think with the patty and bread (burger roll) it would be too dense. The light wrapper does not interfere with with the flavors but compliments the flavors. Hmmm, it is 2:00 PM. I've got a lot of ground pork and shrimp on hand. Maybe some gyoza for dinner tonight.

              1. re: Candy

                Ain't it wonderful that we know how to do this thanks to Ms. Nguyen?!?

            5. Maybe citrus, like lime zest? and cilantro?

              1. I don't enjoy surf & turf as a concept so have an instant prejudice against the idea in the OP. And I find the idea worse if they are going to be actually mixed together. Over the years, I've seen many ideas of things that I really don't want to eat and this is really up there with the front runners.

                1. Shrimp plus pork is a common combination in shumai. Some green onions, soy sauce, and shitake mushrooms would make sense.

                  A variation on your idea might be to do bacon-wrapped shrimp as a topping on a pork burger. Pork on pork is often a good combination. Make a juicy pork burger, top it with some crunchy bacon-wrapped shrimp, and use a sauce that adds a little bit of heat (or maybe a spicy mayonnaise).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoodPopulist

                    When I make har gow, there's a small amount of pork fat in with the shrimp but you don't taste it.

                    1. re: letsindulge

                      ATK used pureed shrimp as the binder for crab cakes, which adds flavor, unlike egg white. I;d suggest the OP puree a third to a half of the shrimp, then chop the remainder coarsely, which will provide a stronger flavor punch.

                    2. I'd eat this on fried mantou. Maybe with edamame involved somehow.


                      1. Cilantro. Yes to fish sauce. No poblano use Sriracha on the side (optional)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lastZZ

                          The only thing about Sriracha sometimes is that it changes the pH with the acidity. Actually, instead of poblano, I know the perfect pepper. I grew it two years ago. But i can't think of the damn name of it.

                        2. As FoodPopulist alluded to, shrimp and pork (including in combination) are mainstays of the dim-sum repertoire.

                          But I recently had a very savory restaurant hamburger along the lines proposed here. From a new, classy, VERY good, upscale-ish casual restaurant and wine bar in a silicon-valley restaurant neighborhood, opened by a Vietnamese-immigrant couple. They said they liked to make this hamburger when cooking at home, so they put it on the lunch menu as a "Saigon Burger:"


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: eatzalot

                            Took me a min to find it - it's only on the lunch menu:

                            Saigon Burger - 9
                            Beef & Pork & Shrimp, Vietnamese Sausage, Buttercup Salad, Herb, Curry Aioli

                            looks like a nice menu.....

                          2. I would sub garlic chives for the scallions, garlic for the shallot, use a good bit of black pepper, and a pinch of a sugar like piloncillo. Also agree with having the heat in your bread dressing as opposed to inside the burger.

                            1. I love Chinese dumplings stuffed with shrimp/ pork combo.

                              1. I'd make a mix of real hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches, eating peeled shrimp while I cooked.

                                2 Replies
                                1. like a bigger siu mai put in a bun. i'm sure it will be mighty tasty. take some photos

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: simplelife

                                    Thanks for getting it, simplelife. I'll reply when I put this together. May be tomorrow, or in a month.....but it will happen.

                                  2. I would do a pure pork patty, then top it with shrimp tempura (or deep fried shrimp) dress it with a hoisin-ginger sauce, some finely grated horseradish, some caramelized onions, then serve it all on a lightly toasted brioche bun, and plated with a little dish of gari on the side.

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      THAT'S what I'm talking about. I will not be able to get that fancy, so I just booked a redeye to LA. This sounds like an excellent breakfast.

                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                        Nothing fancy about that just creative.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Yeah, I shouldn't have used the word "fancy." The tempura step, the oil, and the breading would complicate things for me in the environment I anticipate serving this. ipsedixit's item sounds wonderful. If I saw that on a menu somewhere I'd have to order it! I'm thinking brioche anyhow, for sweetness, but a brioche in a round tin, rather than fluted, to be expeditious with the burger process. For my vision, which has evolved with all the responses (thanks all of you), I'm trying to keep with the combined patty concept. I sense resistance to that, but this all started with the shrimp and pork being intertwined.

                                          So, here's where I am based on what I've heard:

                                          1) Ground pork mixed with a puree of: [shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, a wee bit of soy, and a little palm sugar], chopped shrimp (a bit smaller than jujubes), finely chopped [shallot, mushroom, garlic chives, and my mysterious little spicy red pepper],

                                          2) Brioche hamburger buns.

                                          3) Toppings: julienne lettuce strips that go all the way across the burger, along with typical asian slaw items (at least carrots and daikon).

                                          4) Dressing: I like the curry aioli, but I might just jazz up some mayo with a little yellow curry paste.

                                          I'll take pics of mis en place, the cooking process, and the final product. If it comes off the rails, I will post the results anyhow and eat crow!

                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            OK guys, i finally did the pork and shrimp burgers; want you all to know that your input was definitely helpful. here's what I found:

                                            The final product was "wet" and a little hard to handle, I was able to assemble the burgers and "start" them on a baking sheet over charcoal. The liquid dropped out and then I finished them over direct heat.

                                            The shrimp pieces were definitely present despite being entombed in the pork matrix. I did the shrimp puree for half the shrimp, but between that, the fish sauce, ginger, and the vegetables, there was more water than I wanted. I've had this happen with beef hamburgers too, though.

                                            Next time, and there will be one, I'm going to use shrimp paste instead of the pureed shrimp....because it is dried, packs lots of flavor/less water/, has the fifth taste. I'm sticking with my mantra of not mixing fish and shellfish.

                                            Being an idiot, I forgot my deep flavored soy sauce and left it at home. The Shu Mai flavor didn't develop like I wanted. Was a little short on my Red Boat fish sauce,

                                            I used the carrot and daikon mixture, shredded, as the only condiment other than the mayo. Worked very well. A little lime and sweet chili sauce (also Mae Ploy)

                                            For the mayo, I simple mixed in Mae Ploy Green Curry Paste in with Duke's mayo. It had a bite to it. I had run out of red and didn't realize that prior to go-time, so I had to use green. I think that the green actually works better than what I was expecting. This was so easy....to the point of being ridiculous. Got compliments on it. Since the peppers that I'd used in the pork and shrimp burgers weren't very spicy, the mayo really rounded out the flavor.

                                            The pre made "brioche" that I bought really were the only disappointment (this is described on the Austin board). Zero sweetness. I passed on a suggestion to use challah bread, because I wanted to use brioche. Should have gone to a different vendor for Brioche or made my own bread.

                                            I don't think that the cremini mushrooms added much to the overall flavor....just hidden, Simply more fluid. I decided to use ginger based on comments above.

                                            Anyhow, here's what I'll do next time:

                                            1) Ground pork mixed with a puree of: [shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, a wee bit of soy, and a little palm sugar], chopped shrimp (a bit smaller than jujubes), finely chopped [shallot, garlic chives, and some sort of spicy red pepper],

                                            2) Anything other than the brioche buns that I bought. I was even thinking about those Hawaiian rolls.

                                            3) Toppings: carrots and daikon with a bit of lime juice and sweet chili sauce.

                                            4) Dressing: Mayo with a moderate amount of GREEN curry paste.

                                            I'm a horrible photographer, and somehow, the mis en place pics got lost. Here are a patties, raw.

                                            1. re: rudeboy

                                              Wrong pic - that was the toasted brioche

                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                Looks tasty! An unusual surf & turf you are perfecting.

                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                  Thanks Veggo! It was interesting how the flavors blended together. Needed a bit more salt in the mix, so I'm hoping that the shrimp paste and soy will work.

                                              2. re: rudeboy

                                                I'd been looking forward to reading and seeing this. I think the shrimp paste is a good idea. We make pork burgers all the time and I agree that ya gotta be careful regarding it being too wet. Thanks and keep us posted. Once we're back home I want to fool around with this also.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Thank you c, forgot to mention that I also added bacon grease to the mix....because I was afraid that it would be too dry. I think that the omission of pork fat and the addition of shrimp paste and soy would "congeal" the flavor.

                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                    FYI, to minimize moisture, at many latin markets you can buy dry powdered shrimp, bagged like spices.

                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                      I've searched but can't find it. But somewhere fourunder gave a super recipe for shrimp paste.

                                                  2. re: rudeboy

                                                    Looks good. What about rehydrated, slivered shiitake mushrooms? They'd still retain a little texture, unlike the cooked creminis. And add more of that umami flavor.

                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                      Both great ideas, Veggo and tcamp. .

                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                        As for a sauce how about cilantro, ginger, scallion and lime salsa verde? Or make that into an aioli?

                                                        You could add some hot pepper into the mix as well

                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                          That would taste good! I sometimes use shrimp powder and hot pepper with Duke's mayo for a dressing for a salad with hearts of palm, cactus fruit, and nopalitos.
                                                          With lime juice, of course.

                                          2. Classic Asian flavors. I *would* add ginger, green onion, fish sauce and a bit of soy sauce. Think....big pot sticker filling! Top the burger with mayo and shredded lettuce. Sounds good to me!!!

                                            1. Be like a wonton patty. Little soy, sesame oil,ginger,fish sauce,green onion,egg white, celery and carrot if you like, my 'secret' minced water chestnut. or go more thai w/lemongrass. Then make a ban mi type 'burger'.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: daislander

                                                daislander - can you explain the secret minced water chestnut? That sounds intriguing.

                                                1. re: rudeboy

                                                  My guess is there's simply a missing colon; i.e., "my 'secret': minced water chestnut". That would add crunch but no more flavor than a raw potato.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    When I make har gow I sub water chestnuts for the called for bamboo for that little bit of crunch.

                                              2. I've been thinking about this and it's sounding better and better :) I think I'd do the banh mi carrot daikon and skip the lettuce. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about this. This old dog is about to learn a new trick!

                                                  1. Now, Guy Fieri might drive you up a wall, but this is a segment in which the restauranter makes a beef, shrimp and pork burger and it looks pretty good. Several ideas in there.


                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                      Man, I wish I'd seen this before. Great ideas for production level burger making (and selling!). It takes a lot of energy for the home cooking type person to reproduce this. I'm so jealous of those buns. Thanks.

                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                        Oh, I actually like Guy - even if he's all coked up about food. Forgot to mention his alter ego: Bobby Moynihan from SNL.

                                                        Don't open this at work