Don't tell Plankton, but as any astute watcher of Spongebob Squarepants knows, Krabby Patties aren't actually made with crab. Or even "krab." They're made out of chum, leftover scraps, making Krabby Patties the hot dogs of the sea. I'm going to show you how to make a gourmet Krabby Patty, and it doesn't contain any crab, either. Nope. It's all shrimp. And it came out even better than I expected.
Why shrimp? I've learned from many attempts at making Krabby Patties that making them with crab is a waste of good crab. You fry it up in hot oil in a pan and you lose a lot of crab flavor. Plus, it's beaucoup expensive. You may end up adding tons of breadcrumbs to stretch the recipe to feed more than one person, and then it ends up tasting more like breadcrumbs than crab. I've experimented with this recipe over the years. At one point, I started adding shrimp to bind it together and to stretch the crab. I kept adding more shrimp each time I made this until I recently came to the conclusion that it should just be all shrimp. Tastier, yet less expensive.
However, I don't recommend calling them shrimp burgers because whenever I do that people look at me warily. They waver when I offer them one. But, if I say, "Want a Krabby Patty?" they're immediately on the team. "I'll take two!" they exclaim.
What you'll need for 8 burgers
I make my own tartar sauce. I deplore mayonnaise. Instead, I use ranch dressing as a base and add 1/3 part diced onion, 1/3 part diced dill pickle, 1/3 part diced celery, and a good tablespoon of dill weed.
I also make cocktail sauce with a lot of horseradish. Take a jar, fill it 3/4 full with ketchup; fill the remaining jar with roughly equal amounts prepared horseradish, malt vinegar, and hot sauce. It's powerful stuff so a little dab will do ya.
Waldo enthusiasts may notice that there's a red pepper in the picture. I meant to put that in my chum but forgot it. Glad I didn't use it. Keep the chum pure.
You will want to use a food processor for this. It's super easy and takes virtually no time.
First, take 3-4 of the hamburger buns and toss them into the food processor. Add all the dried spices, turn it on, and let it turn this into a very flavorful bread crumb mixture. Pour that into a big bowl.
Same thing with the shrimp. Toss it in and pulse it until the mixture is mostly very small pieces with some chunks of shrimp visible. My goal is to get this to be almost the consistency of raw breakfast sausage, the kind you make into sausage patties. Toss this into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest and hot sauce.
Crack an egg in there and mix it all up by hand. You're halfway there.