Want to coax your kids into eating seafood? I’ve got two words for you: deep fried. And to make extra sure they will love it, throw in a little sweetness, in the form of coconut.
Sure traditional coconut shrimp is delicious. But when I checked at my local Whole Foods fish counter this morning, fresh Alaskan Spot Prawns (fat, meaty, almost as sweet as lobster) was going for a cool $19.99 a pound. Luckily, they also had fresh-off-the-boat Ling Cod from the Oregon Coast (mild, un-fishy flavor kids love; flakes beautifully when cooked) for $10.99 a pound too. Now that’s more like it.
So, I developed a recipe replacing spendy shrimp with more affordable white fish. And although the kids love it, my husband is actually not a huge fan of coconut, so I cut the coconut with breadcrumbs to reduce the sweetness of the breading.
Here’s how I made it:
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 lbs fresh Ling Cod (rockfish, snapper, any local, fresh white fish should work too)
3 eggs beaten lightly in a bowl (some people like to use foamy whites, but whole eggs are faster)
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 heaping tsp salt
Canola oil for frying
1. Cut the fish into 3 inch chunks.
2. Mix the salt into the cornstarch in a large shallow bowl.
3. Mix the breadcrumbs and the coconut together in another large shallow bowl.
4. Beat the eggs in a third bowl
The set up looks like this:
5. Dip the pieces of fish in the cornstarch, and shake off any excess.
6. Then dip the pieces in egg, followed by the coconut/panko mixture.
7. Heat about an inch of oil in the skillet on medium heat. Do not heat on high or the breading will burn.
8. Fry on each side for just a minute or two until golden brown.
Serve it with rice if you like.
For a dipping sauce, my kids love Bulldog Sauce, a kind of fruity version of A-1 from Japan that goes great with any kind of cutlets or burgers.
What about sides? I served these with a ceasar salad and edamame made from frozen packets.
Do edamame go well with coconut fish? Who cares? This is a family dinner, not the Four Seasons.
Why'd I make so much? Because they make great leftovers the next night. My husband likes them with melted cheese and tartar sauce on hamburger buns.
But if you just want enough for 4 people for one night, cut this recipe in half.
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