Shrimp Boulettes are a traditional Cajun deep fried snack made of Louisiana’s world famous seafood.
Our crispy Shrimp Boulettes recipe is quick & easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 40 minutes!
The spicy shrimp fritters feature flavourful ingredients like red bell pepper, scallions, celery, parsley, ground prawns, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce.
We love serving homemade Fried Cajun Shrimp Balls as a simple snack dunked in hot sauce, sour cream, remoulade, tartar or cocktail sauce.
You can also serve crispy Shrimp Boulettes stuffed in a sandwich when dropped in a hoagie roll or into a pita wrap.
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What Are Shrimp Boulettes?
Boulette translates to “ball” in French. They’re a traditional deep fried snack in Louisiana made of ground shrimp, vegetables, herbs and hot sauce. They’re often found on the appetizer menu at Cajun restaurants in New Orleans.
Shrimp boulettes, also known as Cajun fried shrimp balls, might remind you of Thai fish cakes or Vietnamese shrimp barbecued on sugarcane. The shrimp is minced and deep fried without any flour or cornmeal since the shrimp is sticky enough to bind the vegetables together.
Throughout coastal Cajun country, home cooks and chefs have played with seafood in many creative ways. Boulettes are one of the most popular deep fried Louisiana culinary inventions. Fish, crab, crawfish, and most especially shrimp are minced, mixed, rolled, and fried until crispy golden brown and delicious.
Shrimp Boulettes can be simply enjoyed with hot sauce or dunked in sour cream as a snack. Or serve with your favourite remoulade, tartar or cocktail sauce.
Travel to Louisiana by Making Shrimp Boulettes at Home
I have enjoyed traveling throughout the USA on press trips as a professional food and travel journalist.
I’ve eaten at many of the top restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Growing up watching The Food Network I was always spellbound by Chef Emeril Lagasse, who helped educate Canadians about Louisiana’s unique Creole and Cajun cuisines.
During my first visit to New Orleans I enjoyed a decadent food tour, spending 3 days eating my way through famous eateries like Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, Ruby Slipper Cafe, Café du Monde, The Court of Two Sisters and Luke Restaurant.
After spending years eating my way across America, I’m still fascinated by the distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in Germany, Italy or Spain, each state in the US had its own local specialities.
If you’re looking to serve an authentic taste of Louisiana at home, make your friends and family this mouth-watering Cajun Shrimp Boulettes recipe!
Join Dobbernationloves founder Andrew Dobson in the kitchen by signing up for a fun virtual cooking class! Classes begin with a cocktail that you can sip while preparing 2-3 recipes that are curated around a unique culinary theme. Check out our current Cooking Class Schedule!
Cajun VS Creole Food
Louisiana is considered one of America’s best foodie destinations. New Orleans with its extravagant Mardi Gras parade and year-round “party all day and night” vibe has made the city a popular attraction for decades.
So what makes Louisiana’s food culture so unique?
Cajun and Creole food are both native to Louisiana and can be found in restaurants throughout New Orleans. One of the simplest differences between the two cuisine types is that Creole food typically uses tomatoes and tomato-based sauces while traditional Cajun food does not.
A simplified way to describe the two cuisines is to deem Creole cuisine as “city food” while Cajun cuisine is often referred to as “country cooking.” While many of the ingredients in Cajun and Creole dishes are similar, the real difference between the two styles is the people behind these famous cuisines.
In Louisiana, the best place to find authentic Cajun and Creole cooking is in homes across the state, which is what makes the food so special. Many of Louisiana’s most talented chefs learned their trade from their parents or grandparents. Cajun and Creole are two distinct cultures, and while over the years they continue to blend, there is still a vast distinction in Louisiana, and both have their own unique stories.
The word Cajun originates from the term “les Acadiens,” which was used to describe French colonists who settled in the Acadia region of Canada which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Authentic Cajun food is a robust, rustic food, found along the bayous of Louisiana, a combination of French and Southern cuisines. It was brought to Louisiana from the French who migrated to the state from the Canadian Maritimes 250 years ago and used foods, right from the land.
Think of meals with lots of smoked meats as well as meat-heavy, one-pot dishes like jambalaya or the rice-filled, spicy pork sausage known as boudin. The backyard crawfish boil is also another byproduct of Cajun culture. Though delicious Cajun food can certainly be found in New Orleans, the true heart of Cajun country lies northwest of the city in areas like Breaux Bridge and Lafayette.
My Family Loves Homemade Shrimp Boulettes
After eating Shrimp Boulettes at several restaurants in Louisiana I was keen to recreate my own recipe at home.
My family loves crispy deep fried snacks, seafood dishes and food from the American South so I knew they’d love this spicy Cajun recipe . I prepared this Boulette recipe at the cottage in Muskoka on a hot summer day as an afternoon snack that we paired with pints of cold craft beer.
Those of us who like spicy food doused them in hot sauce while others plunged the crispy fritters into sour cream.
Our Cajun Shrimp Boulette recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Scallions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Celery is a great source of antioxidants, reduces inflammation and supports digestions.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. High in vitamins and minerals, seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension.
Cajun Shrimp Balls Recipe Cooking Tips
Shrimp Boulettes are quick and easy to make at home. It’s the perfect spicy seafood snack or protein to stuff into a sandwich or wrap.
- The best way to prepare Shrimp Boulette batter is in a Food Processor.
- We suggest purchasing the smaller variety of shrimp in your grocery store as they are the cheapest. Since the shrimp is blended into a paste there’s no need to use expensive large prawns.
- Boulettes in Louisiana are traditionally made with shrimp but you can also find them made with ground fish, crab, or crawfish.
- We’ve used red bell peppers in this recipe but you could also use yellow or orange bell peppers.
- If you like really spicy food feel free to use 2 tbsp of hot sauce in the boulettes batter.
- We like to use canola oil when deep frying as it has a high smoking point and is flavourless.
- We use a cookie scoop to form the boulettes. You can also scoop the shrimp paste with a large spoon and drop into the hot oil by pushing it with the back of a teaspoon.
- Shrimp Boulettes will shrink rather quickly after coming out of the hot oil so ensure your guests are ready to eat moments after they are removed.
What To Serve with Cajun Shrimp Boulettes
Crispy Shrimp Boulettes are the perfect spicy seafood snack or appetizer to serve at a Cajun themed dinner party.
They can be simply enjoyed with hot sauce or dunked in sour cream as a snack. Or serve with your favourite remoulade, tartar or cocktail sauce.
For a heartier meal, we love to stuff them into a sandwich, dropped into a sliced hoagie roll or wrapped into a pita with your favourite fixings.
We suggest eating Cajun Shrimp Balls as soon as they are cooked as they tend to shrink a little at room temperature. If you have leftovers they are fine to eat 2-3 days later when stored in an airtight container.
To reheat boulettes, add them to your air fryer, toaster oven or convection oven for 2-3 minutes at 400 F until hot and crispy.
You May Also Enjoy These Deep Fried Recipes…
- Crispy Tod Mun Pla Thai Fish Cake
- Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich
- Chilli Paneer Gravy Restaurant Style Masala
- Berenjenas con Miel Spanish Fried Eggplant
- Khai Jiao Thai Ground Chicken Omelet
- Chanachur Chivda Bombay Mixture Namkeen
- Parippu Vada Recipe With Coconut Chutney
- Vegetarian Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters
- Bitterballen Dutch Fried Meatballs
- Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette
- Vegetarian Malai Kofta
- Grabong Northern Thai Pumpkin Fritter
- Calgary Ginger Beef
- Shrimp & Pork Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Step By Step Cajun Shrimp Balls Cooking Video
How To Make Cajun Fried Shrimp Boulettes
Crispy Cajun Shrimp Boulettes
- Mixing bowls
- Food processor
- Cookie Scoop
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Wok or Deep Fryer
- Metal slotted spoon
- 3/4 cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 2 tbsp Scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup Celery chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
- 1 1/4 lb Raw Shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
- Peanut or Canola Oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, green onion, celery, parsley, shrimp, salt, pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Using a meat grinder, food processor or French knife, grind the mixture together. Transfer homogenous paste into a mixing bowl.
- Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot or wok with 4 inches of vegetable oil and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 F.
- Using two spoons or a small cookie scoop, form 10 balls of the boulette mix (the diameter of a quarter) and drop them into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 6 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
- Transfer boulettes to a paper towel to drain excess oil and let cool.
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