Stuff My Kid Eats – Soup’er Bowl Food
(Photo: My toddler at 17 months trying her first squid.)
I hail from the great Pacific Northwest and cut my teeth on a variety of seafoods, ranging from the typical salmon and shrimp to the not-so-typical geoduck and octopus. When my toddler was old enough to start on solids, it was important to me that she appreciate seafood as much as I do, so I made sure to introduce her to fish right away. One of the first things I tried was coconut shrimp. I ordered it in a restaurant and gave her one to taste. She held it upright by the tail, eating it like some do a corn dog: slowly nibbling away at the crunchy coating, then devouring the inside in a matter of seconds. She reached for another, and another, until she had stuffed herself and finished nearly half of my meal. Now, when I make this recipe at home, she’ll cozy up to the counter, wag her finger at the platter of shrimp and whisper, “I will eat you, little shrimpies!” So…if you’re a family of seafood-lovers like us, these healthy baked coconut shrimp will be a hit! And if you’re not, it’s an excellent way to warm up your tastebuds to our delicious friends under the sea.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Regardless of where you plan on watching the Big Game, at home or with friends, football fans work up an appetite, so be prepared with some easy finger-food. Impress your fellow tailgaters with a basket of coconut shrimp and a trio of dipping sauces — I promise they won’t even realize it’s healthy! (Recipe slightly adapted from Clean Eating) #GoHawks!
Olive oil cooking spray
½ cup white whole-wheat flour (regular AP white flour will work, too)
2 large eggs
6 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ tsp. sea salt
⅛ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
24 uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
⅓ cup unsweetened apricot jam
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
1½ tsp. fish sauce
½ prepared teriyaki sauce for serving
½ prepared sweet honey mustard for serving
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with foil and mist with cooking spray. Place 3 wide, shallow bowls on a work surface. To first bowl, add flour; to second bowl, add eggs and beat lightly; to third bowl, add panko, coconut, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Holding 1 shrimp by the tail, dip in flour, shaking off excess. Quickly dip in egg, then in coconut mixture, coating thoroughly. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining shrimp. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and flipping shrimp, until they are firm to the touch, lightly brown on the outside with bright pink tails.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on low heat, combine jam, lime juice, fish sauce, and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is fluid and warmed through (*note: do not bring to a simmer).
Serve shrimp with apricot-lime dipping sauce, teriyaki sauce, and honey mustard.
- Serve with a glass of buttery Chardonnay (avoid oaked), an off-dry Riesling, or a nice cold Pilsner.
- To upgrade these shrimp from an appetizer to full-fledged meal, serve alongside jasmine rice topped with stir-fried vegetables (recipes below).
Vegetable Stir Fry
This recipe can be adapted to use any vegetables of your choice; just remember to add the longer-cooking veggies to the pan first, followed by the softer, quick-cooking vegetables.
2 Tbsp. sesame oil (or other high heat oil, such as safflower or canola)
1 head of broccoli, florets and stems cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup or mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced paper-thin
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced paper thin
2-3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a wok or large skillet with tall sides, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully swirl oil around in pan to coat sides. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add broccoli and bell peppers and sear, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, then toss and continue to cook for an additional minute.
Push the broccoli and peppers up the sides of the wok or to the outer edge of the skillet, creating a open space in the center. Add carrots and mushroom to the center of the pan, and cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Toss and cook for an additional minute. Add green onions, reserved ginger and garlic, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp. vinegar to pan. Toss all vegetables together, cooking until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more soy sauce and/or vinegar if needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked rice.
Using coconut water in place of tap water gives the rice a slight sweetness and provides a nice base for the savory vegetable stir-fry.
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
1 ¾ cup coconut water
pinch of Kosher salt
In a sauce pan, bring coconut water and salt to a boil. Add rice, and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes or until rice is soft. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Serve hot.