Coconut Shrimp Risotto with Lime and Mango

Winter 2009
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Streamline the preparation of this lively entrée by assembling and measuring all the ingredients in advance. Purchase panko at Asian grocery stores.

Risotto
3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
1 cup (250 mL) light unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut oil
1 cup (250 mL) finely diced sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1⅓ cups (325 mL) cup arborio rice, about 8 oz (250 g)
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ to ½ tsp (1 to 2 mL) salt
1 medium ripe mango, diced
½ cup (125 mL) shaved unsweetened coconut, toasted
¼ cup (50 mL) coarsely chopped fresh coriander

Shrimp
1 lb (500 g) large tail-on raw shrimp, size 21 to 25
2 cups (500 mL) panko (Japanese dry bread crumbs)
½ cup (125 mL) medium-flake or shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
2 eggs
¼ cup (50 mL) light unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups (500 mL) peanut oil
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Heat broth and coconut milk in a small saucepan, or in the microwave, until hot but not boiling. Keep hot over low heat.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add diced onion; stir 3 to 5 minutes or until transparent. Then add rice all at once; stir 2 to 3 minutes or until coated and edges are becoming transparent. Add a ladle of broth mixture; stir.

3. Continue to slowly add ladles of broth mixture, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until each is absorbed. This takes about 25 minutes. The rice ultimately is creamy and tender to the bite. Taste; add lime juice and salt as needed. Cover, turn heat to lowest possible point and keep risotto warm. Set mango, shaved coconut and coriander aside for garnish.

4. Peel shrimp, if needed, leaving tails attached.

5. Preheat oven to 175°F (80°C); place a baking sheet lined with several paper towels in preheated oven. Stir panko with coconut. Stir flour with salt. Use a fork to stir eggs with coconut milk in a small bowl until well mixed.

6. Place flour and crumbs separately into small shallow bowls. Cover another baking sheet with waxed paper. Holding shrimp tail (and leaving it uncoated), dip shrimp into flour, tapping off any that does not adhere. Dip into egg mixture to lightly coat; then into crumbs, pressing so crumbs adhere. Place on waxed paper; coat all shrimp.

7. Heat a couple of inches (10 cm) of oil in a chicken fryer or other deep, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot (350°F/180°C). Then fry several shrimp at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, turning often, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper-towel-lined baking pan; keep warm in oven while frying more.

8. When ready to serve, if risotto has become too thick, thin with tablespoonfuls of boiling water as needed. Then stir mango into risotto. Heap into warmed shallow soup bowls or deep plates. Scatter with coconut and coriander. Top with several shrimp and serve with a wedge of lime.

Serves 4 to 6