Monday, December 21, 2015

Thai Coconut Shrimp Cakes

There are very, very few foods that everyone in my family, including all 3 of my kids, like. This is the reality of being a family of five or four or three or even two. Quite frankly, anytime there is more than one member in a household, there is bound to be some food disagreement. And this is one of the many reasons why we have an ever-rotating repertoire of recipes around here - to keep the variety alive AND to stay in hot pursuit of something that everyone will eat. On the rare occasion that everyone is pleased by what I put on the table, I stash the recipe like it's lined in gold and bring it back to the menu almost immediately. Inevitably, someone will decide on the second time around that they "forgot" that they are no longer keen on the dish. Sigh. We can only do our best.

This recipe is one that ALL FIVE family members said they liked. TWICE! Of course it would be a shrimp recipe (which is so totally not affordable enough for me to serve regularly) but I try to splurge every once in a while because the mealtime peace is so worth it. I think the recipe was initially intended to be an appetizer. Alas, I didn't read it closely enough the first time I prepared it and sort of laugh-cried when I saw the pitiful 4 little shrimp cakes that I ended up plopping on the table before my family. Eat up everyone - "dinner" is served. We loved every last crumb that took us all of 3 seconds to devour. Oops, Next time I will pay closer attention to the serving size. I don't remember for sure but I hope I served it with rice that night. Either that or we went to bed hungry.

Don't you worry, I have adjusted the recipe to spare you all the disappointment of getting a whiff of something amazing only to realize you can't have more (like happened to us that fateful first night). I doubled the recipe once but would strongly urge you to double it again if you want any chance of having leftovers. If you've never made a crab cake or a shrimp cake or any sort of savory cake really, don't be alarmed! There couldn't be an easier recipe to break you in. You essentially just toss the ingredients together, form them in balls and press them into a mixture of bread crumbs and coconut. They are not deep-fried and they don't easily fall part. You won't hardly believe the flavor you get for such a simple process. We love coconut over here and, since I don't really know what one pairs with shrimp cakes when serving them as a main dish, I usually opt for coconut rice. Prepare rice the way you usually do but replace a portion of the water with a can of coconut milk. Once the rice is done, toss in a handful of shredded coconut and maybe some chopped cilantro for good measure. Be sure to squeeze your lime wedge on both the shrimp cakes and the rice. Slice up some fresh bell peppers to serve on the side and call it dinner. Done!

Thai Coconut Shrimp Cakes
(adapted from Cooking Light Magazine)

1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
1/2 cup minced unsweetened dried coconut, divided
¼ cup minced green onions
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 Tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound (16 oz) peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, quartered

Combine 2/3 cup panko, ¼ cup coconut, and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add shrimp; stir just until combined. Using wet hands, shape mixture into 8 equal balls. Combine remaining panko and coconut in a shallow dish. Coat balls in panko mixture; press to form 4 (4-inch) patties.

To prepare in batches, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add 4 patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Repeat with remaining 4 patties. Alternatively, heat electric griddle and drizzle with olive oil. Cook patties, 4 minutes per side. Serve with lime.

Serves 4 (2 shrimp cakes each)


  1. I was just trying to figure out a shrimp dish to make this week and this one sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it tomorrow!


posted by kelsie