I Can’t Stop Eating Shrimp Rolls

It took me years and years to understand the appeal of shrimp rolls. I think this is because I tend to only encounter them at places where you can also eat lobster rolls, and…I mean…eating shrimp when you can eat lobster is sort of like eating white chocolate when milk chocolate is available, no? Like, why would you do that?

The answer, as it turns out: Because lobster is expensive, and lobster is really only great when it’s fresh…but shrimp? Pretty cheap, actually – especially if you get it at Costco, ahem. And shrimp are delicious even when they’ve been frozen and defrosted, making them practical, as well.

I’m very particular about my lobster rolls – I need them to be juuuust the right combination of lobster meat and mayo, with very few other ingredients gunking up all that perfect simplicity – and it turns out I’m equally particular about shrimp rolls. Which means that when I tell you that the one that I have been making constantly these past few weeks is perfect, I mean it. It’s perfect. (Did I mention that you can easily make it in large quantities for guests, as a much more swishy take on regular old hot dogs?


(serves four, but the recipe can be doubled or tripled)

What You Need:

  • About 20 oz fresh or frozen shrimp, deveined with tails removed (remember to defrost the shrimp by running it under cool water for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise (you can use more or less, to your liking)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh dill, roughly chopped

What You Do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  2. Pat the (defrosted) shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with salt.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan, then add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, place the buns on a sheet pan in the oven and toast about 3 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and crispy.
  5. To the bowl with the cooked shrimp, add the juice of the lemon (making sure not to let any seeds slip by), the celery, the mayonnaise, and the dijon mustard. Taste the dressing and adjust the proportions of mayo and mustard to your liking (I’m so specific; I figure you might be too). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the dressed shrimp between the hot dog buns, and sprinkle a little chopped fresh dill on top of each.


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