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If you are a fan of lobster rolls, you will love these Shrimp Rolls – and so will your wallet! Capture the flavor of these magical and mystifying made-for-summer sandwiches with this quick and easy recipe and you’ll be well on your way to an awesome July afternoon. Grab a cold summer shandy and a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips and park yourself by a body of water – you won’t be able to slap the smile off your face!
- 1.5 lbs. shrimp
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 1 rib of celery
- 1 green onion
- Butter lettuce, or whatever is available
- 4 rolls or buns
- The juice of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. We will start by bringing a gallon of water to a boil in a large pot to cook the shrimp for our Shrimp Rolls. I would absolutely recommend adding salt to the water but I am on the fence about adding herbs and spices to the water as the shrimp cook in such a short time, it’s hard to tell if the spices are flavoring the shrimp or are simply getting wasted in the water. If you want to add some paprika and garlic powder to the water, or even some old bay seasoning, go for it. Otherwise, my opinion on the matter seems to change every other time and so you are fine with only adding salt as well. Additionally, I am assuming that your shrimp are already peeled and deveined at this time. If not, please clean the shrimp prior to starting to boil the water as that can be a time-intensive step.
2. While the water is coming to a boil, rinse and dry the bell pepper, green onion and celery rib. For the celery, cut the stalk in half lengthwise and then cut those halves into quarters. Next make perpendicular cuts across the quarters to produce small squares. Add to a small mixing bowl. Trim off the ends of the green onion, cut into thin slivers and add to the mixing bowl. Trim off the top and bottom of the bell pepper and reserve for a future use, such as cutting them into small cubes to be used for scrambled eggs or a hash. Remove the seeds and ribs from the inside of the remainder of the pepper and then break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Cut thin strips of the pepper and then make perpendicular cuts across the strips to produce small squares, similar in size and technique as the celery. Add to the mixing bowl. Next cut the ends off of the red onion and then cut it in half. Make shallow cuts across the “arch” of the onion and then make perpendicular cuts to produce more small squares. Do the same for the second onion half and add the cut squares to the mixing bowl.
3. By now, the water should be boiling. Add a few handfuls of ice to a second mixing bowl and fill with a little bit of water. Place near the pot of boiling and make sure you have a slotted spoon or spider on hand to transfer the shrimp once they are cooked. You could alternatively use a strainer in the sink, but any time I can avoid pouring out large quantities of boiling water, I generally try to do so. Once you are set up for success, it’s time to drop the shrimp into the boiling water. Depending on how large your shrimp are, they will take no longer than 2 minutes to cook, but they will more realistically be done within 90 seconds. As soon as the flesh becomes fully opaque, it’s time to take them out. Quickly but carefully transfer the shrimp from the boiling water to the ice water to stop them from cooking further. Once they’ve had a chance to cool, drain the ice water and bring the shrimp over to your cutting board.
4. You have a couple of different options here, so go with whatever suits your personal preference. If your shrimp are small, you can leave them whole. You can also cut the shrimp into thirds or quarters for smaller chunks. I prefer to cut the shrimp in half lengthwise because it leads to a prettier presentation. Whichever direction you choose to go, break down the shrimp and then add them to the mixing bowl with the veggies from earlier.
5. Cut a lemon in half and then squeeze the juice over the shrimp and veggies, using your hand or a small mesh strainer to catch the seeds. Add the paprika and garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, start with a ¼ cup of mayo and add it to the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Depending on how much mayo you like in general and the size of your shrimp and vegetables, you may need to add up to another ¼ cup of mayo to the mixture. Either way, keep in mind that you can always add more mayo, but it’s much harder to take it away. Give the mixture and a taste and check for any necessary flavor adjustments.
6. It’s now time to build the Shrimp Rolls. Take a roll or bun and put down a layer of lettuce first. This will help keep the bread from getting soggy. Next scoop a quarter of the mixture onto the bread and serve with potato chips and a pickle. Repeat until all four sandwiches are made. Serve immediately.