Hot Shrimp Sandwich recipe – Nashville Hot Chicken meets Japanese Ebi Katsu Burger (shrimp cutlet burger) for a spicy, succulent panko crusted shrimp sandwich with tangy collard greens slaw.
This month of February, as part of Black History Month, my recipe for Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich will be featured as part of a Black History Month Virtual Potluck along with recipes by 27 other amazing and uber talented black food bloggers. Each of us will share one dish that’s deeply rooted in black culture; and because we all hail from different parts of the world you’ll have the chance to experience a myriad of dishes from across different meal occasions including vegan/vegetarian, meats/seafood, desserts, etc. as well as geographical locations from Africa and the related African Diaspora. Scroll to the end of this post to get the full list of those bloggers participating as well as their delicious recipes.
Why A Japanese and African American Combo
On the surface, I suppose a Japanese African American fusion recipe doesn’t make sense. But in reality, the linkage is closer than you think. First of all fried chicken is universal. Here in the States, particularly in Soul Food kitchens, we have our Southern fried chicken and in Japan, they have karaage fried chicken which is deep fried using potato starch for breading.
Historically as early as the 1500s there was Yasuke, an African Samurai, long before Ghost Dog (great movie btw). I know, black excellence is everywhere, right! Yasuke is a fascinating story and you can learn more about his story in this article on the forgotten African samurai. Not surprisingly religion whether Islam or Christianity played a major role in the African Diaspora, i.e. the mass dispersion of peoples from Africa from the 1500s to the 1800s. Most of the Diaspora focuses on the Americas and Caribbean, but Yasuke was brought to Japan by Jesuits suggesting that the Diaspora is actually more expansive.
Bringing the topic back to fried chicken and modern times, there is a soul food restaurant in Tokyo, called Soul House, run by an African American couple who hail from Atlanta, but now live in Tokyo. They serve delicious fried chicken, as shown on the Netflix series Ugly Delicious that’s wildly popular.
What Is Ebi Katsu?
It was the appreciation for my own culture as well as Japanese that inspired this Hot Shrimp Sandwich recipe. I’ve never been to Japan, but had ebi katsu burgers in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. I put extra emphasis on burgers, cause I smashed three of those bad boys! Ebi Katsu burgers are just panko crusted shrimp cutlets deep fried and served on sesame buns with shredded lettuce and tarter sauce. The cutlets are made from a combo of shrimp paste and diced shrimp. The sandwich is both juicy and delicate with a nice crispiness to it.
What is Nashville Hot Chicken?
My first thought after having my first ebi katsu burger was how do I make this at home. After a bit of research, I settled on an approach and after enough practice, I decided to my own spin on it. In my mind, a Nashville Hot version of the recipe would be Ill to use old school 80’s vernacular. For those unfamiliar, “Ill” is slang for dope, fresh, phat, GREAT! At its core, Nashville Hot Chicken is chicken deep fried and then bathed in a spicy chili oil (dry cayenne based spice mix + oil the chicken cooks in). The chili oil makes it easy to sprinkle on additional spice mix. You can make it as fire as you prefer.
Who Invented Nashville Hot Chicken?
Nashville hot chicken is the rave nationally and is approaching global status thanks to KFC putting it on its global menu and the national growth of chains like Hattie B’s and Gus Fried Chicken. But don’t get it twisted, Nashville Hot Chicken is rooted in blackness and originated among innovative and creative African Americans in Nashville, TN. This article on the origin of hot chicken will give you the scoop, but in short Andre Prince, who started Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is the originator. Bolton’s with it’s dry rub version is the other local pioneer. Prince’s was definitely on my mind when he came up with this hot shrimp sandwich recipe. Late this past December, Prince’s main location was indefinitely closed after a car crashed into the building.
What does Hot Shrimp Sandwich Taste Like
Okay, let’s get things straight up front, “hot” is in the name so there has to be some level of heat in the sandwich. Afterall, the originator created hot chicken as a revenge sandwich for her cheating man. If you don’t do hot, then this ain’t the recipe for you. Now you can moderate the heat levels to your liking. This specific hot shrimp sandwich recipe is mid-level, as I figured I needed to make the introduction mass friendly, vs. the scorching, lip numbing, runny nose and forehead sweat inducing that I like lol. Don’t worry you won’t need a glass on milk as a chaser for this recipe, but a cold beer is a great compliment. I’d say the heat accommodates and is forgiving. But be warned there is an addictive quality to it that may make you want to test the limits. There is magic in the spice rub mix that is used. I went more for “Cajun hot” which features a mixture of cayenne, paprika, garlic, onion powder and dried herbs.
How is Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich Made?
Step 1 – Roughly chop half the shrimp in a food processor or blender
Step 2 – Place the panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and set aside. Mix the flour, egg, whole and pureed shrimp in a large bowl and mix well to combine. It should be a sticky, cohesive mix.
Step 3 – Gently place a mound of shrimp mix in the breadcrumbs. I like mine to extend a little outside the diameter of the bun. Cover on all sides with the breadcrumbs and place in the fridge while the oil heats.
Step 4 – Heat the oil in a frypan or fryer until it reaches 180C/350F. Gently lower the patties into the oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are golden. Drain on cooling rack. If using a deep fryer, you’ll know it’s ready when the patty floats.
Step 5 – Brush the chili oil onto the patty covering it entirely.
Step 6 – Place the slaw on the base bun, then add the patty and top with pickles and mayo/sauce.
Shrimp Sandwich Cooking Tips
- Use a combination of pureed/minced and whole shrimp for the patties. Texturally this works great, as you get a light patty, but that whole plump shrimp feeling and texture when you bite down into the sandwich
- Most Japanese Ebi Katsu Burgers use smaller shrimp for costs but opt for larger ones if you can afford them. The texture will be better.
- Fresh or frozen shrimp each work fine, so if you want to cut down on time buy the already peeled frozen and just plan to thaw them out.
- Season the shrimp mixture before frying for added flavor
- Crisp shredded cabbage is used for Ebi Katsu burgers as the crisp texture and refreshing qualities compliment the deep-fried shrimp. However, I prefer a good basic slaw for the hot shrimp sandwich. The slaw is needed to counter the heat and the vinegar helps break up the fat.
- Simple mayo or a fancy garlicky and/or herb aioli is a great pairing. You can also just use my versatile roasted red pepper sauce recipe to take the sandwich up an even higher level. The red pepper acts almost like a spicy remoulade used to dress shrimp-based dishes in New Orleans
- I prefer simple potato buns, but other soft breads sesame and brioche work fine
- Use cayenne as liberally or lightly as you prefer. Just don’t go so far as to nuke your taste buds and thus miss enjoying the deliciousness of all the complimentary flavors.
Making this Hot Shrimp Sandwich recipe
If you make this Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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Nashville Hot Shrimp Sandwich
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 12 large shrimp
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 potato buns buttered and toasted
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup Collard Greens Slaw
- 1 cup Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 bunch Collard Greens stems trimmed, leaves halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cups Cabbage thinly slice
- 2 small green onions chopped
- 2 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 oz Feta Cheese crumbled
- 1 tsp sugar
Make the Collard Greens Slaw
- Combine shredded cabbage, collard greens, feta and chopped green onions in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and olive oil. Pour over the slaw and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make the Sandwich
- Add half the shrimp to a food processor or blender and blend until it reaches a chunky sticky paste texture. Combine this in a large bowl with the remaining whole shrimp, flour, egg, salt and pepper. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat or heat deep fryer to 350 degrees.
- Spread panko on a large plate.
- Scoop half of the shrimp mixture on top of the panko and coat evenly while shaping into a patty.
- Setup cooling rack by placing a metal grate over a foil lined baking sheet.
- Transfer patties to the skillet, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked and golden brown. If using a deep fryer, cook until patty floats (3-5 minutes).
- Once cooked allow the patties to cool on the racks
Make the Chili Oil
Reserve a tablespoon of the spice mix in a separate small bowl. Collect about a cup of the cooking grease and add it to the spice mix.
Assemble the Sandwich
Use a brush and paint each patty fully with the chili oil. Using the reserved spice mix sprinkle some more of the spice on the patties.
- Top the base bun with slaw, one patty, pickles, sauce and top bun. Enjoy!
Here is the line-up and recipes for the Virtual Potluck. Be sure to check them out!
Beautiful Eats & Things | Okra, Corn, & Tomato Chicken Stew
Beyond The Bayou Blog | Mackerel Balls With Biscuits & Cane Syrup
B Sugar Mama | Red Beans and Rice
Butter Be Ready | Caribbean- Curry Goat with Rice and Peas
Cooks with Soul | Boudin balls
D.M.R. Fine Foods | Spice Roasted Chicken
Dash of Jazz | Soul Food Power Bowl
Dish it with Tisha | Jamaican Curry Chicken
Domestic Dee | Chicken Sliders
Eat.Drink.Frolic. | Bourbon + sweet potato pie
First and Full | Homemade Peach Pie
Food is Love Made Edible | Smothered Okra with Chicken and Smoked Sausage
Foodie In New York | Chess Pie
Immaculate Bites | Pimento Cheese
Kaluhi’s Kitchen | Pilipili & Rosemary marinated mbuzi choma with Kachumbari
Kenneth Temple | Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Marisa Moore Nutrition | Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cabbage
Meiko And The Dish | Hot Buttered Rum Biscuits
My Life Runs On Food | Southern Style Caesar Salad
Rosalynn Daniels | Osso Bucco
Savory Thoughts | Haitian Patty
Simply LaKita | Fried Okra
Sweet Tea & Thyme | Spiced Peach Shortcakes
That Girl Cooks Healthy | Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
The Hungry Hutch | Cornbread Dressing
The Seasoning Bottle | Guava Short Ribs
Whisk It Real Gud | Banana Bread