Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare

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I have almost two weeks off from work, which gives me more time than usual to experiment. About a month ago we had a dish at Lasarte in Barcelona that I really liked: spicy shrimp trackers with tuna tartare. The combination of the spicy crispy shrimp with the tuna worked very well, so I wanted to try something similar. I was quite happy with the result, the only thing I would like to improve is the crispiness of the crackers. Do you think you have an idea to make them more crispy? Please leave a comment!

Update January 11, 2013: I have now find the solution to make them very crispy! Check out this post.

Even with the current recipe these crackers are very nice as an appetizer or as a fancy hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party. A nice thing about this recipe is that the shrimp flavor comes out of the heads and shells that you would normally throw away.

Ingredients

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This was my first guess of the ingredients I was going to need for this. Only the chives are missing, because I thought of them later.

For the spicy shrimp crackers

250 grams (2 cups loosely packed) shrimp heads and shells

200 grams (1 1/4 cup) flour

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried chile pepper flakes

For the tuna tartare

250 grams (8 oz) sashimi grade tuna

freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste

dried chile pepper flakes to taste

salt to taste

extra virgin olive oil to taste

For garnish

freshly chopped chives

Preparation

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Rinse the shrimp heads and shells and pat dry with paper towels. Put them in the food processor or blender.

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Process for a few minutes until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

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There will still be tough parts in there, so use a food mill to remove them.

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The result is a smooth shrimp paste. Put it in a bowl.

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Add 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chile pepper, and 200 grams (1 1/4 cups) flour.

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Mix with a spoon or your hands to obtain a dough.

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Roll out the dough on a floured work surface.

Preheat the oven to 210C/425F.

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Line an oven sheet with parchment paper and put the sheet of dough on that. Use a pastry wheel to cut into crackers.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 210C/425F or until golden.

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Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Cut the tuna into cubes and put in the food processor.

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Pulse to obtain tuna tartare. Add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and chile pepper to taste and mix well. Refrigerate until the crackers have cooled to room temperature.

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Spread out the tuna tartare on the crackers.

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Garnish with chopped chives.

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14 thoughts on “Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare

  1. I have been thinking about those shrimp crackers ever since you first posted about them and I want to try something along those lines… I think I will use the tiniest of dried whole shrimp though. I am wondering if ommitting the oil might make it crispier… I also plan to experiment with a blend of flours … rice and wheat starch too, maybe?

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  2. Should have guessed you’d be whipping up your own home-made crackers! Did you use low or high heat in the oven? You preheated to 425F then baked at 225F, it says. Can you get your crackers any thinner? Perhaps with a pasta maker thingy? I would think the thinner they are the crisper they will be. Also, if you let them cool down in the oven with the door open, they might crisp up more. I’m looking for things to try in the new year that don’t involve sugar, and you’ve inspired me to try crackers – a little less fancy than yours, though, to appeal to the little ones 🙂

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    1. Oops that was a typo — I baked at 425F too! Fixed it now.

      Thanks for your tips. The pasta maker would indeed be a good way to get them thinner.
      I am wondering whether more or less oil or a different oven temperature would also make a difference.
      I don’t really have any experience at all baking crackers.

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      1. One last thought: How much shrimp paste did you end up with? My more basic recipe calls for 2/3 cup water (instead of shrimp paste) along with the same amount of flour and oil that you used. My recipe says 425F, same as yours does. .

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        1. I didn’t measure it, but 2/3 cup sounds about right.

          I also have a recipe that says 500 grams flour (about 3 cups), 180 ml water (3/4 cup), 120 ml oil (1/2 cup), 2 tsp salt, as well as 12 grams of fresh yeast or 4 grams of dry yeast (that’s about half the usual amount for 500 grams of flour). Kneading the dough and letting it rise may also help to make them crispy.

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  3. This sounds wonderful, Stefan. A welcome change for an appetizer. I’ve made my own crackers but certainly not enough to offer advice for a recip such as the one you’re following. I’ll be interested to learn the solution, too.

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    1. They were good as they are. I have some ideas to try out, the most important one to use a pasta roller to make them thinner. I’ll certainly post when I find out something interesting.

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