Celebrating World Coconut Day

You can’t make a piña colada or a decent Thai curry without it, its water makes a great recovery drink, and its fibrous husk, when burned, repels mosquitoes! These are just three of many excellent reasons to celebrate World Coconut Day which takes place on Friday, September 2.

One of nature’s most versatile products, the coconut plant, and its various parts, can be used for food and drink, cosmetics and decorating. Coconuts are also high in iron, magnesium, fibre and protein and coconut products play prominent roles in gluten-free, soy-free and vegan diets.

With all this in mind, here are four fabulous recipes, utilising this versatile fruit, from the chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio to try out on your friends this World Coconut Day.

 

Coconut Prawns

Coconut prawns DineJoziStyle

Ingredients
500g large prawns peeled and deveined, tails intact
½ cup plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
coconut oil for frying (you can also use vegetable oil but taste is not as good)

Batter
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
½ cup soda water

Coating
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

Method
Season prawns with salt and pepper and set aside. In one shallow bowl, add ½ cup flour for dredging. In another shallow bowl, whisk the batter ingredients together until combined. The batter should resemble pancake consistency. If too thick, add a little extra soda water and whisk. In the third bowl, mix the shredded coconut and bread crumbs. Dredge each prawn in the flour, shaking off any excess, and then dip in the batter, again shaking off any excess, and coat in the breadcrumb/coconut mixture. Lightly press the coating onto the prawn. Once done, arrange the prawns in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and freeze until firm (about 30-45 minutes). In a deep frying pan, heat coconut oil (about 5cm-7cm deep) until hot. Fry the frozen prawns in batches of about 6 to 7 for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain them on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with a sweet chilli sauce.

 

Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

Thai Coconut Curry DineJoziStyle

Ingredients
180g stir-fry noodles
400ml coconut milk
¾ cup roasted red peppers
1½ tbs oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced
3 tbs red curry paste
1½ tbs freshly grated ginger
2 tsp chilli powder
3 cups chicken stock
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbs fresh lime juice
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup coriander
1 lime, cut in wedges

Method
Cook noodles in boiling water until soft and set aside (2 minutes). Combine coconut milk and peppers in blender and blend until smooth. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic and shallots and cook until tender (3-4 minutes). Stir in red curry paste, ginger and chilli powder (1 minute). Stir in chicken stock and coconut milk/red pepper mixture then stir in the chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender (15-20 minutes). Remove chicken and shred before returning to the pot. Stir in the lime juice. Serve over noodles and garnished with red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime..

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons DineJoziStyle

Not to be confused with macarons, or even Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, these treats are chewy, sweet, moreish and so easy to make.

Ingredients
2 large egg whites
3tbs honey
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup desiccated coconut
¼tsp salt

Method
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Using a hand mixer, briskly beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the honey, vanilla, coconut, and salt into the egg whites with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Scoop heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving space in between to prevent overcrowding. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on top and around the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pina Colada

Pina-Colada-DineJoziStyle

Ingredients
120ml fresh pineapple juice
90ml white rum
60ml coconut cream
2 cups crushed ice

Method
Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend briefly at high speed. Pour into a tall glass, garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and a cherry.

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