Friday, December 11, 2009

Rissois (Portuguese Shrimp cakes)

Growing up in a large Portuguese family food was always a big part of family gathering. The amount of food during the holidays was insane. And to this day, when I host any type of gatherings I tend keep the "tradition" of going overboard in the food department. As I have gotten older, and have had a child I feel like it's important that I continue to carrying out the family traditions. With my family, you can't have a party without having the shrimp cakes. =) I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Thanks to my mother I am able to continue the family traditions and I am able to share this recipe with all of you.

This recipe should yield about 100 shrimp cakes.

A few tips before you start... To get this recipe to work for you must read this a few times before starting it. The dough is tricky and has to be just right if you want them to hold together. Also This recipe can be spicy, based on your own likes for spicy foods you might need to adjust the piri piri. Personally I like spicy food so the three piri piri are just enough heat for me. One last note, make sure you have enough time because this will take a few hours.

I would also like to say that they are freeze really well and can remain frozen up to 6 months and taste as good as if they were freshly made. (Read below on how to freeze the patties). Also make filling before making dough to allow time for filling to cool.

For the filling you are going to need

2 Lbs of large shrimp
3 cloves of garlic
3 chopped piri piri
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of flour
black pepper
salt to taste
1 tsp of paprika
2 tsp creme de marisco (knorr soup)
1/2 cup fresh parsley

Directions for shrimp:

Boil shrimp in enough water to cover shrimp with 2 cloves of garlic and 1 piri piri.
Once shrimp is cooked strain and save stock. Let cool.

Chop cooled shrimp in food processor until coarse (I like to do a very coarse chop because I like to bite into chucks of shrimp) Once you have gotten the shrimp to your desired coarseness set aside.

In chopper mix finely chop 1/2 yellow onion, 3 garlic cloves saute over medium heat in 1/2 stick of butter and 2 chopped piri piri. Slowly add 2 cups flour and shrimp stock little by little making sure it thickens before adding more. Add a dash of black pepper, season with salt to desired taste and 2 tsp creme de marisco. Add shrimp and 1/2 cup fresh parsley. The filling should have the consistency oatmeal. It should not be runny nor should it be "cookie dough" stiff. Set aside and let filling cool.

For the pastry you will need

3 cup flour
3 cup water
3 TBL butter
2 tsp salt

Boil 3 TBL of butter in 3 cups water with 2 tsp salt. Once it begins to boil remove from heat and add flour. stir well. Reduce heat to medium and continue stirring until dough has formed into a ball.

Roll dough out until thin. Using the pampered chef cut and seal cut out rounds. Fill center of each round with about 1 FULL teaspoon of filling, then take one side and flip over making a half moon shape. Seal with Pampered chef cut and seal. Once you have all your patties made. Scramble 8 eggs, dip each patties into egg and then cover with seasoned bread crumbs. Fry in HOT veggie oil until golden brown. You can eat them warm or at room temperature.

The best way that I have found to store the left over shrimp cakes is to place them on a lined cookie sheet place in freezer allow patties to harden then transfer to ziplock bags. By doing this you will avoid patties from sticking together. If frozen, let patties thaw for 30 minutes before frying.


  1. Hi!
    I'm portuguese also (grew up in Newark, NJ) and I make these every Christmas too!! LOVE THEM!!

  2. Thank you for posting your recipe. Since my grandmother past away, it has been very hard to find someone who can teach how to cook the way she did. Thank you!!

  3. Hi Sandra!

    I also make the rissois and when I make the dough, I also add some of the stock to it for's delicious!

  4. Hi,
    My mother-in-law use to make the rissois for the family and she use milk instead of water to make the dough/pastry.
    And now,im making my own rissois to friends on different fillings like chicken,ground beef and ham with cheese. they like it so much and im even made-to-order on different fillings for them.

  5. Is it possible to bake these instead of frying (to make it healthier)?

  6. I wouldn't recommend baking them because they will come out mushy.

  7. Thank you for the recipe ... one of my fondest childhood memories is eating these with my dad. I only wish he was still around to enjoy them with my family.

  8. Do you bread them before or after freezing?