These two-bite wonders, from Johnson’s cookbookBetween Harlem and Heaven, hail directly from the history in South Carolina and Gullah cuisine. As Johnson writes, “The Lowcountry Gullah islands (located on the coast of South Carolina) offer a legacy of Africa and the Caribbean on the doorstep of the American South, and their culinary and social richness can’t be captured in any one thing. Which is why instead of trying that, we take inspiration from their cuisine and fly off to Asia.”


Credit: Beatriz da Costa

Recipe Summary

18 mins
18 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place 1 1⁄2 pounds of the shrimp into a food processor. Add celery, eggs, chili pepper and soy sauce and pulse until there is a mix of finely minced and coarsely chopped pieces of shrimp, about 5 (5-second) pulses.

  • Gently fold the panko crumbs, lemon zest, parsley and scallions into the shrimp mixture to combine. Chop remaining 1/2 pound shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and fold into the mixture. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon of pepper.

  • Shape mixture into 6 (five-ounce) balls. Heat 1 1⁄2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Place 3 shrimp balls in pan, flattening with a spatula to 1/2-inch thickness. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the edges turn pink, and the burger looks golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and cook 3 minutes or until done. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp balls.

  • Place the burgers on the potato buns and serve.