Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spicy Coconut Shrimp

I almost hesitate to use the words "coconut shrimp" to describe this dish. Together, the words conjure up memories that are deep fried, battered, greasy, and over-cooked. As this dish is NOT deep fried and NOT battered, it is far what you are probably imagining. However, I found it to be satisfying in many other ways... spicy, slightly sweet and plenty of lean protein.

Please note: I don't list any measurements for the cayenne... and never list them for salt and pepper. I lump these things under the heading of "use to taste." This is cooking (art), not baking (science). And besides... someone in the Pacific Northwest may have an entirely different idea of what spicy is compared to someone who grew up stirring a pot of Texas Red.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp

What you’ll need:
Non-stick frying pan


Coconut oil
2 red bell peppers
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper


To prepare, rinse and pat the shrimp dry.  After discarding the seeds and stem, chop the bell pepper into thin 1-2 inch strips. 
Melt 3-4 tbsp of coconut oil in your pan over medium heat.  Add the bell pepper and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Let the bell pepper soften for about 2-3 minutes, stirring only occasionally as to allow some light browning on the edges.  Add in the coconut flakes and stir to incorporate. 

After another 1-2 minutes, add the shrimp.  Lightly season with a bit more salt… and as much cayenne as you are comfortable with.  Just know that you can always add more, but you can never go back.  The shrimp themselves won’t take that long to cook through… maybe another 2-3 minutes, so watch them carefully. 

Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and a few squeezes of lime.
I served mine up with a side of cauliflower hash/mash (not pictured).  I think it would pair even better with something involving avocado… but I was hungry and didn’t feel like delaying dinner for a run to the store.  Honestly, I could have eaten a half pound of shrimp without a side and not thought a thing about it.

Ladies and gentlemen, spicy coconut shrimp.

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