It’s in-like-a-lion March, which means I’m dreaming of sunshine but still getting snow. These Cajun shrimp rolls gave me a quick glimpse of the summer sun right on my dinner plate this week, though.
Of course, any New Englander will tell you it’s all about the lobster roll in the summer; but these shrimp rolls are a very good substitution at a fraction of the price. And frozen shrimp are easy to find in just about every grocery store in America. And really, isn’t half the the allure of a lobster roll about the griddled buttered bun? We got that here!
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These shrimp rolls are all about three things: Cajun seared shrimp, secret sauce, and that toasty, buttery bun. You’ll want raw shrimp in a large or jumbo size–big enough to sear but small enough to fit into your New England style hot dog bun. The sauce…well, this is my secret sauce (revealed below!) And about that bun–if you can get your hands on a New England style bun, that’s what you’ll want for maximum buttery, toasty-ness.
The final ingredient is a bit of time. It takes just a few minutes to sear your shrimp. But you’ll want some time to allow them to chill in the fridge before piling them on your toasted bun. Other than that resting time, this is a fast and very easy recipe that can provide summer vibes even in the middle of a snowstorm.
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Cajun Shrimp Rolls with Secret Sauce
- 2 tbsp softened butter divided
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning blend your fave! see recommendations below.
- 1 lb shrimp raw; cleaned and shelled
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp cocktail sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- ½ tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 4 New England style hot dog rolls see note
- 1 cup lettuce shredded
- Dry your cleaned and peeled shrimp using paper towels. Drying off excess moisture will create better searing conditions. Add the shrimp to a medium bowl and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Toss to evenly coat the shrimp in the Cajun seasoning.
- Place a 10-12-inch skillet over medium heat and let it get hot. A cast iron skillet works well here. Add 1 tbsp. butter to the pan. Once it melts, place half of the shrimp in the skillet and sear on each side until the shrimp are slightly browned on each side and cooked through. This will take about 2-3 minutes per side and you'll know the shrimp is done when they are evenly pink and opaque. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp.
- Remove the shrimp from the heat and place on a plate or in a bowl, cover, and put them into the fridge for at least an hour until they are completely cool.
- Meanwhile, mix up the secret sauce! Stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha, cocktail sauce, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
- Once the shrimp have cooled, remove from the fridge. Cut each shrimp in half and then add to the bowl with the secret sauce. Toss to coat the shrimp evenly in the sauce.
- When ready to assemble, spread each side of the hot dog bun with butter. Place a large skillet over medium heat and let it get hot. Then toast both sides of each hot dog bun until golden brown and toasted.
- Add a layer of shredded lettuce to the toasted buns. Pile with shrimp. Enjoy your summer vibes.
- I like these Cajun seasoning blends: Slap Ya Mama, Tony Chachere’s, and Joe’s Stuff.
- If you can’t find New England style hot dog buns, I’d suggest using thick cut white bread (like Texas toast) and making this into a sandwich because that will give you the surface area to create a buttery, toasty moment which I think is key to this recipe.
- The secret sauce is also good for shrimp cocktail platters, so keep it in mind for your next party.
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