Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is a favorite of mine, and pretty easy to make.  Cleaned, raw shrimp are dredged in flour, egg wash and a Panko bread crumb-coconut mix and then fried.  I add some homemade curry powder to the eggs for a little extra flavor.

You can serve coconut shrimp as an appetizer or over rice. I serve mine with a sweet chili sauce.

Eating shrimp always feels like a splurge or a special occasion. I think that started in my childhood. We didn’t eat shrimp often when I was a kid. Only a few times a year, always a special occasion. New Year’s Eve, for sure. My mom would make the classic shrimp cocktail, cold shrimp, served with cocktail sauce, served in pretty stemmed glasses. As an adult I have learned to enjoy shrimp a lot of different ways. I eat it more often now, but it still feels special.

Here is how I make mine. You don’t need a special occasion to make it.



Coconut Shrimp

2 cups oil – I like to use peanut oil or avocado oil
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 pound  shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1-2 t. curry powder, or to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. In a large bowl, combine Panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut; set aside. Combine eggs with curry powder, set aside. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste. Working one at a time, dredge shrimp in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the coconut mixture, pressing to coat. Working in batches, add shrimp to the Dutch oven and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce, if desired. Serves 4.


Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

For  dinner with a friend the other night, I decided to make sweet and sour pork. It takes a bit of work- but it is worth the effort. I used a fresh pineapple, which I prefer, but canned could be used, too.

I have to admit to loving all things sweet and sour. You can buy sweet and sour sauce in most grocery stores, but I like my own better.

Make the sauce first, so you can just toss it over the pork and veggies when ready to serve.

The pork is cubed and marinated overnight in a mixture of soy sauce, cornstarch and an egg. The pork comes out very tender, when prepared this way. You could substitute cubed chicken, for the pork, if you prefer.


Sweet and Sour Pork

1-2 lbs. boneless pork

1 egg

1 t. cornstarch

2 t. soy sauce

Additional cornstarch for dredging

oil for frying

1 medium onion, chopped

1 sweet red or yellow pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups peeled and cubed fresh pineapple,  or 1 can pineapple in juice, drained, reserving juice for sauce

Sweet and Sour Sauce, recipe follows

Chopped green onions

Cut meat into cubes and place in bowl. Combine egg, 1-t. cornstarch and soy sauce and pour over the meat, stirring to coat. Allow marinating at least 1 hour in fridge, but best if done the day before, or early in the day.

When ready to cook, heat  1-2 inches of oil in a medium sauce pan to 350 degrees. Dredge the pork in corn starch to coat. Set aside. Heat 1T. oil in large skillet or wok. In wok, sauté onions on high until tender. While you are cooking the onions and other vegetables, start cooking the cubed pork in the sauce pan in the 1-2 inches of hot oil. It will take several batches to cook the pork. As the pork cooks- it will take about three minutes per batch- remove the pork from the pan and drain on paper towels. Continue to cook the pork in batches while finishing the veggies and pineapple in the wok.  Add pepper to onion and sauté 3 minutes more. Add pineapple and cook until pineapple starts to brown a little. Add the cooked pork to the onion mixture. Then and some of the sweet and sour sauce and toss until coated. There is usually extra sauce for a later use. Serve over rice,  and top with some green onions. Makes 4-6 servings.

Sweet and Sour Sauce- see note

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. pineapple juice

3 T. ketchup

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. cornstarch

1 t. dried minced garlic

1-t. fresh grated ginger

Hot pepper flakes to taste

In saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring as mixture gets hot, until sauce begins to bubble. It will also get much clearer. Boil gently 1 minute, stirring constantly before removing  You may also want to use only some of the sauce and save the rest for another use.from heat. Makes 1 1/2 c. Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Note: If you make the sweet and sour sauce ahead of time it will get runny when reheated if made with regular cornstarch. Either use modified cornstarch (Clear Gel ) or make sauce just before using.


Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Still in the mood for Chinese food so I made  a version of Won Ton Soup. I had some leftover won ton wrappers so I filled them with chicken. Simmered them in chicken stock and added spinach at the last minute. Not a traditional Won Ton Soup, but I had to work with what I had. It tasted good so that is what matters in the end.

Won Ton Soup

24 Won ton wrappers

1 c. cooked chicken

1/4 c. minced celery

1 t. soy sauce

1 t. sesame oil

4 c. chicken stock

4 c. fresh spinach

Combine chicken with the celery, soy sauce and sesame oil. Place 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center of a won ton wrapper. Moisten edges and fold in half to form a triangle. Press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Heat stock and add the wrappers and spinach and cook until heat through and spinach is cooked, about 5 minutes. Serves 2-3.

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