Chunks of succulent shrimp tossed in a cool, creamy sauce and stuffed inside a buttery toasted bun. These shrimp rolls are everything you want in a lobster roll, made with sweet, wild-caught Argentinian red shrimp.
Unless you live in New England, lobster may not be an accessible, affordable option all the time and sweet red argentine shrimp are the perfect replacement in this simple recipe.
I always have at least one bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer on hand for quick and easy recipes and having Trader Joe’s Argentinian red shrimp means I can easily satisfy my lobster roll craving any night of the week!
What are Argentine Red Shrimp?
Argentinian shrimp are big, meaty deep water shrimp that are wild-caught in the icy cold water off the coast of Patagonia. They are succulent and sweet and the texture and taste have been closely compared to lobster. These beauties are naturally red in color when raw whereas most traditional shrimp varieties are blue or gray and turn pink or reddish when cooked.
Argentine red shrimp are especially unique in that they have a short reproduction cycle of 12-16 months, meaning that they can be harvested in large quantities without depleting natural resources.
Look past the fresh shrimp at the seafood counter and head to the frozen section to look for these little babies. They are definitely my favorite shrimp and one of the most sustainable, affordable and delicious seafood options you can buy.
Why you will love this recipe
- Is there anything better on a hot summer day than a creamy and delicious chilled seafood sandwich with a pile of potato chips? Nope!
- Argentine red shrimp are the best, sweetest shrimp for this and your taste buds will really love flavor and how similarly it compares to lobster.
- This recipe is perfect for entertaining or to stock your vacation house refrigerator as shrimp filling keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- The ingredients are super affordable and we can stuff a whole pound of shrimp into four sandwiches
- If you find yourself with an abundance of leftover shrimp – like shrimp cocktails from last night’s party, this is the perfect recipe to repurpose it into another delicious meal!
Ingredients you will need to make shrimp rolls
If you love lobster rolls, then you’re definitely familiar with the great lobster roll debate – Maine vs. Connecticut style. Essentially it’s either served cold with mayo or warm with butter. For this argentine red shrimp recipe, we’re going with a Maine mayo style. All you need is a few simple ingredients. You just want to enhance and not overpower the delicate and unique flavor of the shrimp.
- Argentine wild-caught red shrimp – I’ve lately been seeing these at my regular local grocery store. If you can’t find them there, the shelves of Trader Joe’s are usually stocked. You can definitely substitute any kind of your favorite shrimp. However, these wild Argentinian red shrimp really do closely mimic the taste and mouthfeel of lobster, making them super decadent.
- Mayonnaise – use good quality mayo. The flavors are super simple in this recipe and you will taste the difference.
- Celery – just a little bit adds some crunchy texture.
- Chives – you could also switch it up and substitute tarragon for a different herby flavor profile.
- Split-top brioche hot dog buns – these are the absolute best buns for shrimp rolls. They’re soft, light, buttery and perfect for this recipe.
- Butter – for toasting the buns.
- Salt and Pepper
- Old Bay seasoning – optional, but I like to add just a pinch for extra flavor.
How to make a shrimp roll
Cook the shrimp: The first thing you want to do is defrost, peel, and de-vein the shrimp. You can quickly and easily defrost raw shrimp by running it under cold water in a colander. My preferred method to cook the shrimp for this recipe is to poach them. You want to gently cook peeled and cleaned shrimp in water and some aromatics like lemon slices, celery scraps, a bay leaf a generous amount of salt and some whole peppercorns if you have them.
Let the poaching liquid come to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Place shrimp in the liquid and remove the pot from the heat. Let the shrimp stand for about 2-3 minutes until they are just cooked through. They should be opaque and form a C shape. If shrimp turn into tight O shapes, they are overcooked. Toss them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Make the dressing: Combine mayo, lemon juice, minced celery, chives, Old Bay seasoning if using and a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper in a large bowl.
Make the filling: Leave the shrimp whole if you like, or cut each one of the shrimp in 2-3 pieces. Cutting it into little bits takes away from the succulent, meaty texture. Add the shrimp to the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Toast the buns: Do not skip this step! The buttery, toasty buns is key to this recipe. Use a serrated knife to slice off a thin slice of the bun on each side, exposing the bready interior of the bun. This makes the sides flat, ensuring maximum bread surface area contact with the pan. Soften a few tablespoons of butter and spread it over the cut sides of the bun. Toast the buns in a hot pan until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Assemble: The best part about using these delicious shrimp (and not lobster) is that because it’s so affordable, you can PILE on the filling and stuff them to the max! Serve immediately with potato chips or your favorite side.
More shrimp recipes to try
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Sheet Pan Shrimp and Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Butter
- Low Country Boil for Two
- Green Goddess Bowl
Argentine Red Shrimp Rolls
- 1 pound Argentinian wild-caught red shrimp
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup minced celery
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning optional
- 4 split top brioche hot dog buns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Defrost, peel, devein and clean raw shrimp. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add aromatics for poaching. (See recipe post). Bring poaching liquid to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add shrimp, remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Dunk into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- In a large bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice, minced celery, chives, salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning if using.
- Remove tails from shrimp. Either leave whole or cut shrimp into bite sized pieces and add to the dressing.
- Toss to combine, taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Use a serrated knife to trim a thin slice off the sides of each brioche bun. Spread the cut sides with softened butter and toast until golden brown in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Divide the shrimp mixture between the buns, top with more chives and serve immediately.