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Shrimp Patties|Tortitas de Camaron with Pipian Sauce and Cactus

April 2, 2015

Shrimp Patties

Shrimp patties take me way back. I had not had them in years and remind so much of the Lenten season the week leading up to Easter.  I really wanted to make some for my family this year, so I consulted with my mom and had her share her recipe with me. Shrimp tortitas are usually accompanied with a sauce.  Whether it’s a mild tomato sauce for the kids to enjoy or smoky red chile sauce to complement the egginess of the dish, it’s  delicious and rich.

I went on the search for ground dried shrimp and was surprised at how easy it was to find at my local supermarket.  It’s usually located in the spice isle in the Hispanic foods section.  The magic ingredient for this traditional dish.

To make this humble dish even more interesting, my mom suggested to serve it with a thick pipian sauce and tangy cooked cactus bits.  The perfect finishing touch.  It may sound time consuming and difficult to prepare but you’ll be surprised at how easy and simple it is.

Once you realize how easy it is to prepare, you’ll be making these tasty tortitas year round, not just for Lent.

If ground shrimp or cactus paddles are not available in your area, you can find them online at Melissa’s Produce.

Make plenty of pipian sauce because it’s not only a great topping for this dish but goes great on eggs, poultry and tostadas.  Store in an air tight container and refrigerate.  It keeps well for approximately 3 days.

Click here to find dried shrimp and here to find cactus paddles.
Shrimp Patties

Shrimp Patties|Tortitas de Camaron with Pipian Sauce and Cactus


  • 10 dried hatch chiles, seeded and veins removed
  • 8 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 cup raw pepitas plus 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • For Patties
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ground dried shrimp
  • Topping
  • 2 cups cooked cactus


  1. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add dried chile skins and fry for for 5 minutes. Remove chile skins from oil and place them in a large bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside for 20 minutes. Reserve oil from skillet.
  2. Return skillet with oil to low medium heat. Add 1 cup pepitas and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Don not burn.
  3. Place soaked chile skins, fried pepitas, cumin, bouillon and broth in blender container and blend until smooth.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large sautee pan over low medium heat. Add chile/pepita mixture and fry for 10 minutes until mixture begins to simmer. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  5. Separate egg whites from yolks in a large bowl. Beat egg whites with hand held mixer until stiff peaks begin to form. Decrease mixer speed to low and add yolks one by one. Fold in ground dried shrimp and stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Pour in 1/4 cup shrimp/egg mixture on hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease.
  8. To serve: Spoon pipian sauce on a serving plate, place 2-3 patties on sauce, top with cactus and drizzle with more pipian sauce and pepitas.

Thank you Melissa’s Produce for facilitating the ingredients in this dish.

  • Toni
    April 8, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for a long time. My mom used to make tortitas de camaron during Lent when I was a child. She is gone now, but I haven’t forgotten those tortitas. I’m anxious to try this recipe. Thank you.

    • Ericka Sanchez
      April 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      I’m so happy you found it! I think you’ll love them. 🙂