Toasted Coconut Shrimp: A 15-Minute Meal to Make This Week

The shrimp is put in the COCONUT. While any variety of shrimp will taste great Here, Maii suggests using head-on shrimp to get the most flavor. 

THE CHEF: Robynne Maii

Her Restaurant: Fete, in Honolulu, Hawaii

She is known for her dedication to thoughtful local sourcing and sustainable products in her hometown of Honolulu. In partnership with her husband, she serves casual, New American dishes and encourages Hawaiian food producers and farmers.

Despite her impressive training in the culinary arts, Robynne Maii spent years in New York City holding down the regular 9-to-5 work. “I had the kind of position no one leaves,” the chef said about her tenure-track position in the college’s departments of food and beverage. Maii maintained her muscles at home in top shape, however, by preparing elaborate meals for guests at home. When she and her husband decided to establish their own business in Honolulu, they returned to her place of birth in Honolulu, and in 2016, they began opening Fete. “I knew we’d make it work,” she told us.

Maii’s 3rd Slow Food Fast contribution–a speedy back-pocket recipe for coconut shrimp and a bright watercress salad — dates to the period of inventive and intense kitchen cooking in the home. “I fell in love with this recipe,” Maii said. “It’s incredible how cooking shrimp in coconut oil brings out this nutty sweetness.”

Although the addition of fresh leaves of curry to your saute may not be required, the chef claims they add an elegant floral touch. Curious? You can easily find whole parts from Indian markets, or buy them on the internet. Cooling watercress, paired with scallions, mint leaves and cucumber, provides an energizing textural contrast. “It’s so simple, but the flavors are amazing,” Maii stated.

Toasted Coconut Shrimp With Cucumber Watercress Salad

Although any variety is tasty, the cook, Robynne Maii, suggests using head-on shrimp to get the most flavor.

Total Time:15 minutes




  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds of head-on shrimp peeled and deveined. with tails and heads intact
  • Black pepper freshly crushed and salt that has been freshly seasoned.
  • Half cup coconut oil
  • 3 large branches curry leaves Optional
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut chips lightly torn
  • 3-4 cups of watercress. The tough stems can be discarded
  • 1. English cucumber, cut lengthwise in half and seeds removed. Sliced into 1/8-inch crescents
  • Two scallions thinly diced on the edge
  • 1 cup of mint leaves roughly torn


  1. In a large salad bowl, mix vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar, whisking until the sugar disintegrates.
  2. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and an ample amount of black pepper. In a large saucepan, heat it up to medium-high. Add half the oil. When it is hot, you can add half of the curry leaves as well as shrimp. In batches so as to not crowd in the skillet, fry the shrimp in one direction until they are pink approximately 1 minute. Turn off the heat and cook the shrimp using the leftover heat. Transfer the shrimp to a plate. Pour lime juice on the top. Sprinkle with coconut flakes toasted.
  3. Add cucumber slices, watercress as well as scallions, mint and watercress to a bowl with dressing. Toss until well dressed and well-mixed. Sprinkle with salt according to your preference. Serve immediately, placing hot shrimp with the salad.

In the midst of four years’ making plans, Buckner opened Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar in the month of October 2022. The place is elegant, with tall bookcases made of dark wood and upholstered couches, but warm as well. “We want to be Austin’s living room,” said Buckner. Books, both old and new, currently are around 2,000, and the wine selection, selected by Buckner, includes 29 by-the-glass options, such as The Wade Cellars Three by Wade Chenin Blanc ($14) and Zardetto Prosecco ($10). The bottles of wine typically cost more than four times the price of a glass. Every month, Buckner showcases a winery in the state. “We want to raise awareness of Texas wine,” she explained.


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