Susanne Duplantis Lagniappe Leftovers
Happy Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit

Happy Lunar New Year! The celebration began last week and will continue for a few more days until the first full moon. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, a Year of Hope, what a beautiful aspiration. Some enjoy eating long noodles during the festivities for they symbolize long life, according to the History channel. The “longevity noodles” are considered even luckier if they can be eaten without biting through the strands. I really like that idea, similar to Southerners belief of eating black-eyed peas and cabbage for luck and prosperity for New Year.

Since long noodles may be in your future, I wanted to once again share this recipe for the leftovers.

This post was originally published on April 29, 2016 

Makeover My Leftover Chow Mein noodles
Chow Mein Noodles

Chinese take-out is something we get every once in a while, whether it is from a craving or from working a “way too late” day. The other day, for me, it was to satisfy a craving. I had a great morning workout, ran some errands, and was on my way home feeling very hungry. So hungry, I just pulled into our neighborhood Chinese restaurant for a take-out order of chow mein noodles, one of my favs. I love eating them from a noodle bowl with chopsticks.  It was obvious to me by the time I ate all I could and looked at the container, that my “so hungry” feeling made my eyes bigger than my stomach. I looked at the leftovers and thought-“well, at least I have dinner… shrimp cakes!”

Almond Crusted Oriental Shrimp Cakes with Cajun Sweet-n-Sour Sauce

Almond Crusted Shrimp CakesThis recipe can be used with any leftover Chinese noodle dishes-mei fun, low mein, chop suey, or chow mein. It can also be used with leftover fried rice, too.

For this recipe, I like to add the shrimp to the food processor. It not only helps bind the cakes but also makes the texture similar to a crab cake. If you prefer, you can finely chop the shrimp. The most important step in this recipe is letting the shrimp cakes sit in the fridge for at least an hour. The cakes can be cooked in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes per side, but the almonds toast really quick, so I prefer to bake them in the oven.

The Cajun sweet-n-sour sauce can be adjusted to your spice preference or use any of those leftover sauce packets from the take-out-spicy mustard, duck sauce, soy sauce. F.Y.I.: Those packets also make a great stir-fry sauce, too, so save them. Just add one packet to 1/2 cup broth simmered down.

Almond Crusted Oriental Shrimp Cakes with Cajun Sweet-n-Sour Sauce
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6 cakes

Almond Crusted Oriental Shrimp Cakes with Cajun Sweet-n-Sour Sauce


  • For the Cakes:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots (1/3 cup shredded)
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup leftover Chinese noodles-low mein, chow mein, mei fun, chop suey
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to liking)
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce (more of less to liking)
  • 1/8 tsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder


  1. For the Cakes: Preheat oven to 350*
  2. In a food processor, process the almonds until fine (will resemble bread crumbs). Remove to a bowl. Add carrots to processor to shred. Remove. Add garlic and shrimp. Pulse until finely minced. Remove.
  3. In a bowl, add shrimp, garlic, carrots, egg, bread crumbs, and leftover Chinese noodles. Mix well wih a rubber spatula.
  4. With moistened hands, form 1/4 cup of mixture into cakes. Set aside.
  5. Pat each side of the formed cakes into the almonds.
  6. Put cakes onto a plate and put into refrigerator for at least one hour.
  7. Remove from fridge. Spray cakes with olive oil or non-stick spray. Put sprayed side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Spray top side of cakes.
  8. Bake in 350* oven for 10 minutes. Flip the cakes. Cook an additional 12-15 minutes or until desired brown.
  9. For the Sauce: In a small dish, mix together cornstarch and vinegar. Set aside.
  10. In a small saucepan, combine water, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, and onion powder. Bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. Let Cool.
  11. To serve: Put shrimp cakes on bed of cabbage or slaw and top with sauce.


Can substitute leftover fried rice.

Serve the cakes over a bed of shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix. Use the sauce as a topping or for dipping each bite.Almond Crusted Shrimp Cakes If you are lucky enough to have leftovers from the leftovers, the cakes can be warmed in the microwave to make a sandwich or eaten up with a fried egg-my choice! Shrimp Cake Breakfast No, it isn’t that crazy of an idea-think about how many Chinese dishes include eggs. (But let’s keep that on the down low, for my non-egg eating hubby!)

Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Think about all the different additions to Chinese noodle dishes and how the flavor of the cakes would change. Think about what the dish already has in it-onions, celery, peppers and what it doesn’t have that could be added. Have chicken, beef, or pork in the leftover noodles? Just dice it up and add it in. Don’t have any carrots? Add in another vegetable, mashed peas, diced broccoli or cauliflower. Want to make a heartier cake? Use ground chicken instead of the shrimp. Don’t have leftover Chinese, but have Pad Thai? Use ground peanuts for the cakes and serve with a peanut sauce!

FOOD FUN: Last week I learned something new and fun. Did you ever wonder about the shape and folds of Chinese take-out containers? According to Huffington Post, “the box seemingly unfolds, lays out into a plate, and if you don’t finish your food in one sitting, it folds right back up and tucks into itself, ready to store back in the fridge” As presented here by Food Beast:2013-01-29-howtoeattakeoutunfoldboxfoodbeast Guess I’ve been eating my take-out wrong for years!

Almond Shrimp Cakes
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One thought on “Almond Shrimp Cakes

  • April 29, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    You had my attention with the words: almond and shrimp. Mouth watering recipe. Almond Crusted Oriental Shrimp Cakes is a winner right there, but add Cajun Sweet n Sour Sauce and it wins FIRST place. Delicious, delicious, delicious!!!! Very clever dish and so versatile. Guess what we are having tonight!!!! 🙂


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