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Sweet Potato and Shrimp Cakes

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  • Prep 5 min
  • Total 1 hr 30 min
  • Ingredients 8
  • Servings 12
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These sweet potato and shrimp cakes are a unique addition to any recipe collection. The Cajun spices blend excellently with the light sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Their consistency is just as surprising; being brown on the outside, yet soft on the inside, all with a delicate texture is unexpected and delicious. They practically melt in your mouth. Make sure to buy white sweet potatoes with brown skin because their taste is more neutral and it goes perfectly well with shrimps. These cakes are easy to prepare, so don’t be afraid to try them. This recipe is very detailed in order to fully explain each step.
by Silvia Martinez
Updated Jan 23, 2017
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  • 1 medium-sized white sweet potato, about 1 1/2 lb
  • 6 oz. shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican-style mayo (with lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spices
  • 8 fresh cilantro sprigs, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, divided
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch


  • 1
    Peel and chop the sweet potato into big pieces. Put them in a pot and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until you can easily poke them with a fork, but be careful not to overcook them.
  • 2
    While the sweet potato cooks, clean the shrimp. Usually, when buying clean shrimp at the store, they’re headless and deveined, but they come with a tail. Remove the bottom of the tail and the shell.
  • 3
    Place the shrimp in a food processor and grind them. When the sweet potato is cooked, strain it and mash it until you make a purée.
  • 4
    In a deep bowl, mix the smashed shrimp, 1 1/2 cup of sweet potato purée (save the rest for another time or add it to a vegetable soup), mayo, spices, cilantro and three tablespoons breadcrumbs. Stir until it’s well mixed.
  • 5
    If the mix is too wet, add a bit more breadcrumbs but do it gradually. If you add too many, the cakes will be dry and hard.
  • 6
    Make 12 round cakes. Pour the breadcrumbs into a serving plate. Take a cake and cover it with bread. Place it on a tray (one that you can fit in the freezer). Repeat until you’ve done them all. Cover them with plastic and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • 7
    Take the cakes out of the freezer and use a glass to flatten them slightly without taking the plastic off. You should get wide circles, like small patties.
  • 8
    Put the cornstarch in a deep bowl. Take a cake and cover it with a light layer of cornstarch. Then, cover it with breadcrumbs again and put it back on the tray. Repeat until you’ve done this with all the cakes. Place the tray back in the freezer while the oil gets hot.
  • 9
    Fry a batch of cakes for about 2-3 minutes or until they turn golden-brown. Turn them over carefully and cook them for 2-3 minutes more. The cakes are really soft, so be careful when turning them over or taking them out of the oil because they could break. Place the cakes in a dish covered with paper towels. Repeat until you’ve fried all the cakes.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1
    If you can’t find Cajun spices, prepare them at home by mixing garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, thyme, black pepper, white pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • tip 2
    The colder the cakes, the firmer they’ll be when frying them. Keep them in the freezer for as long as possible.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
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