Pancakes with shrimps

HCH-5-KATSU  HCH 5 / July 2015

Pancakes with shrimps, by Eyal Streett

Wow. Seriously? How fun does that sound?

So, this recipe is based on a traditional recipe from Cádiz. My version is a bit different; I’m not 100% sure it’s better, but you can start here and let your fantasy take you wherever it wants. Just to assure you, it gets quite hot down in Cádiz so this recipe is totally appropriate for the summer (as well as winter, of course). You could serve it with a nice salad on the side and accompany it with some nice chilled wine or some homemade iced verbena tea.

By the way, I’m including an alternative with fish, in case you’re not into shrimp. And I’ll also give you a simple vegetarian idea (no big surprises, by the way).

OK, let’s start cooking!


1 cup chickpea flour

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley (at least)

1/2 medium size onion, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

A bit of black pepper

1 1/2 cups water

100 gram small shrimp. As small as you can get. No need to peel

Alternative: 100 gram dried baby shrimp (relatively easy to find in Asian markets)

Another alternative: 100 gram tiny fish (fresh / dried. The dried fish is relatively easy to get in your local Asian market)

Oil (olive oil, if possible) for frying the pancakes


Before you begin: in case you’re using fresh shrimp or fish you want to do the following:

Boil water in a small pot. While the water is heating up make sure your shrimp (fish) is perfectly clean: rinse under water and massage lightly. Once the water boils give your shrimp (fish) a very short dip in the boiling water: 5 second will do. Immediately dump out the water over a strainer. Dry as well as possible, especially if you’re using fish. Your shrimp (fish) is now ready for the recipe.


The shrimp and the small fish. All nice and fresh

Make sure your fish is as small as possible

1. Lightly fry the onion and garlic (with a bit of olive oil).

Fry until yellow

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together chickpea flour, parsley, fried onion and garlic, black pepper and salt.

Mix it all together

3. Add your shrimp or fish. Mix well.

4. Gradually add your water. Start with half a cup. Mix well. Add another half. Mix well. By now your batter is starting to look liquid. That’s totally fine. Be sure you don’t have any lumps. Add the rest of the water and mix it all together. It’s liquid. That’s fine.

Three different batters: dried shrimp, fresh shrimp and fresh fish. All quite liquid

5. It’s time to fry. Put a generous amount of oil in your frying pan (a finger deep is great) and heat the oil. Be sure it’s hot and drop a ladle-full of the batter into the oil. (I can’t express how important it is that the oil is hot enough. If it isn’t the pancakes won’t really work – talking from experience, unfortunately. Take into account that the heavier the pan the better). Fry one side until it’s nice and golden and a bit crunchy and then gently turn it over for another 2-3 minutes.

These pans aren’t really heavy enough… Learn from my mistakes!

6. Leave the pancakes on paper towels and be sure you get out as much oil as possible.

7. Enjoy your very special pancakes!

Pancake with dried shrimp. Yum!

Pancake with fresh shrimp. Yum, yum!

Important notes:

* You could add some hot paprika to the batter if you like your food a bit spicy. I would recommend this possibility especially if you choose to make the fresh fish version.

* The fresh fish version has a strong fishy flavor. If that’s not your cup of tea I’d recommend the dry fish version.

* When frying the fresh fish version keep in mind that the color of the pancakes will be a bit darker than with the other versions.

* Don’t skimp on paper towels, they’re really important!

* The bigger the pancake the more difficult to turn it over, better start with a smallish ladle.

* Make new combinations: fresh fish + dried shrimp works great!

Vegetarian variation

Very simple, follow the instructions but add another vegetable (or simply put more onion in the batter). I can imagine it working well with red peppers, for example. Fry the red pepper (chopped) together with the onion and garlic.


Enjoy these pancakes and keep on cooking!

a-yally-dalit-3-PRECIOSOS Text & photos by Eyal Streett, Aix-en-Provence, June 2015

TO READ IN PDF (pp. 176–182): HCH-5-JULIO-2015