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Gourmet, October 2005


3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

For shrimp cakes

1 bacon slice, chopped

3/4 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled and deveined

1 slice firm white sandwich bread

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 4)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups sliced almonds (6 oz)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Garnish: lemon wedges and fresh cilantro leaves


Step 1Make lemon soy mayonnaise:

Step 2Stir together all mayonnaise ingredients in a small bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

Step 3Make shrimp cakes:

Step 4Pulse chopped bacon in food processor until finely chopped. Pat shrimp dry, then add to bacon and pulse just until shrimp is coarsely chopped (do not purée). Soak bread in milk in a shallow bowl until very soft, about 30 seconds. Add wet bread to shrimp mixture, discarding any remaining milk, and pulse until just combined.

Step 5Transfer shrimp mixture to a bowl, then stir in scallions, cilantro, cornstarch, salt, sugar, and pepper until combined well.

Step 6Spread almonds on a large plate. Using a 1/4-cup measure, drop 1 mound of shrimp mixture onto almonds. Sprinkle almonds over shrimp mound to coat, gently pressing to form a (3 1/2-inch) cake (1/3 inch thick). Transfer cake to a wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Make 7 more cakes in same manner, transferring to baking sheet. Discard any remaining almonds.

Step 7Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook 4 cakes, turning over once and rotating for even browning, until almonds are golden and cakes are just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Discard any almonds left in skillet, then add remaining tablespoon oil and cook remaining 4 cakes in same manner. Serve warm, with lemon soy mayonnaise.

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