Gastrophoria is Umamicatessen’s shrimp burger.
It’s no secret that Umami is a temple for burgers—beefy well-crafted specimens paired with umami laced toppings such as parmesan crisps, roasted shitakes, truffle cheese, and many more. But, did you know about their non-beef concoctions? Turns out they create burger magic with tuna and shrimp too!
And what magic it is. Juicy, snappy morsels of shrimp are shaped into a hefty patty, topped with a tangy Japanese shredded seaweed salad and slathered with yuzu-kosho aioli. So simple, yet with each element vital to the overall composition. It is a wondrous work of art that lingers in your mind days after the encounter.
So much so that I had to recreate the magic at home. Armed with memories of said burger, I spent a day experimenting with my fellow partner-in-food—code name, the human mixer. We came pretty close to the real deal… but I’ll let you be the judge.
Shrimp Burgers a la Umamicatessen
Makes 4 burgers
4 Ciabatta buns (or of your choosing)
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp yuzu-kosho or wasabi (to taste)
1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (Tiger shrimp 20/pound works well)
Japanese seaweed salad (can be found in your neighborhood Asian market deli)
1. Split the buns of your choice and toast them on a skillet. Keep these warm in the oven while you prep the other elements.
2. To make the aioli, simply mix the mayo with the yuzu-kosho or wasabi. Add more if you like the burn!
3. To prep the shrimp, peel and de-vein accordingly. Set a handful of shrimp aside (say 6-8) and butterfly and cut the rest into fourths. Take the reserved shrimp and chop them finely till it resembles a paste—this will act as the “glue” for the patties.
4. Now, mix the cut shrimp and shrimp paste in a bowl with salt and Togarashi to taste and mix vigorously to activate the protein. This is when elbow grease comes in handy. Picture yourself as a stand mixer and mix till the shrimp mixture gets very sticky and forms into a ball, around 4 minutes.
5. Split the mixture into fourths and fry on a non-stick skillet till golden brown on both sides.
6. Put a shrimp patty on a toasted bun, heap on the seaweed and spread a layer of aioli. For extra zest, sprinkle on some Togarashi on top. Enjoy!