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Shrimp & Scallop Cakes

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 8 full-size cakes or 24 bite-size cakes

Servings: 4 as a main course or up to 24 as an hors d'oeuvre

The trick to making great fish cakes is to buy fresh ingredients, handle them gently, season with restraint, and pan-fry until you’ve got a crisp, brown crust and a succulent center.


  • 2 whole star anise
  • 4 Tbs. peanut or canola oil; more as needed for frying
  • 2 cups stemmed and sliced (1/4-inch-thick) shiitake mushrooms (from about two 3-1/2-oz. packages)
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, any size, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 lb. fresh dry-packed sea scallops
  • 2 Tbs. mirin (sweetened rice wine)
  • 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus 8 cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions (both white and green parts; about 2 scallions)
  • Gingered Soy Sauce


Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings without sauce
  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 140
  • Sodium (mg): 420
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 27


  • Grind the star anise in a clean electric coffee grinder.
  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitakes and sauté, stirring as needed, until cooked through, golden, and slightly crisp around the edges, 5 to 7 min. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool, and then coarsely chop.
  • Coarsely chop the shrimp and transfer to a large bowl. Put the scallops in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add the scallops to the bowl of shrimp. Add 1 tsp. of the star anise, along with the shiitakes, mirin, cilantro, scallions, sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Combine well using a rubber spatula—don’t worry about overmixing. Cover the bowl and chill for 30 min. or more. Discard any remaining ground star anise or save for another use.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a baking sheet and portion it into eight equal mounds. With wet hands, shape each mound into a flattened cake about 2-1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Press a cilantro leaf, nice side up, onto the top of each cake.
  • Heat the oven to 200°F. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using a rubber spatula, transfer four of the cakes to the pan with the cilantro-leaf side down. Cook until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through, turning once or twice with a spatula, 5 to 6 min. total cooking time. Transfer to a plate, cover, and keep warm in the oven. Wipe the skillet clean and then cook the remaining cakes as above, using the remaining 1 Tbs. oil.
  • Serve hot, with ramekins of the Gingered Soy Sauce for dipping.


To make mini cakes, simply portion the mixture into 24 small mounds, shape into cakes, and press a small cilantro leaf on each one. Cook as directed in the recipe.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • user-5935238 | 07/11/2020

    How much sesame oil?
    It is mentioned in the directions but it did not make it to the list of ingredients.

  • skc921 | 11/16/2012

    Very good! I used some inexpensive frozen shrimp and scallops that I had on hand, and they worked great. I left out the mirin and the shitakes, because I didn't have any. They make great hors d'oeuvres.

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