Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Experiments: Coconut and Lime Shrimp Sushi Roll

The other day I happened upon a new-to-me blog called Coconut & Lime. The name alone made me smile, as I love both ingredients with a passion. So, when I noticed that Rachel (the creator of said blog) was hosting a special event honoring those ingredients, I had to jump right in and give it a stab.

The very first thing that popped into my mind was how unique and delicious a sushi roll made with coconut shrimp and lime might be. Yes, I am really quite a fanatic about sushi rolls. I gathered some ingredients together and started creating. When I create a new recipe, I really tend to just go for it.. no lengthy plans, and very often, no serious research or testing. Either my creations work or they don't, I don't really worry about it. I generally make things with ingredients I love and so even my failures turn out ok enough to eat. Loving the components of a recipe is a huge step in the right direction.

I started my usual sushi prep work .. steaming rice in my handy rice cooker, rice vinegar seasoned with a pinch of sugar handy to add when the rice is ready. I spread my rice out into a shallow dish, seasoned with my vinegar mixture and allowed it to cool while I prepared my fillings.

I decided I wanted to make a sort of coconut shrimp version of a tiger roll. A tiger roll is usually an elaborate sushi roll with tempura prawns sticking out of the ends with a leafy garnish. I marinated my raw shrimp in fresh lime juice and lime zest with a bit of mirin and sake, and a splash of soy sauce. I may have added a pinch of sugar too. I only let it marinate about 15 minutes, while I sliced up some fresh mango and sweet red Romano pepper into thin strips.

I mixed up a batter of milk and an egg - wishing I had had the presence of mind to pick up some coconut milk to use instead. I laid out a dish of flour, a dish with my milk mixture, and a ziploc baggie of shredded dried coconut. I dredged the shrimp in the flour, then dipped it into the milk mixture, and dropped it into the bag of coconut, giving it a good shake to coat. I then fried the shrimp until golden, just a couple of minutes, and let them drain and cool.

To make the Coconut Lime rolls, I laid out a sheet of Nori, spread my cooled vinegar doused rice over most of it, then laid ribbons of mango, red pepper, some rocket leaves, and some coconut shrimp. Next, I tucked a little gem lettuce leaf out of the ends of each side of the roll, with a tail piece of shrimp and a pepper strip sticking out the side. When cut, the end pieces have the lettuce and shrimp tail sticking upwards attractively and the center pieces look like more typical sushi slices. Overall, I really liked how it looked, although I would make a few changes next time.

First of all, I wished I had made some sort of slightly zippy sauce - perhaps something as simple as a bit of Kewpie mayo with some sweet chili sauce and lime - and added that to the filling, just a tiny bit. Or perhaps made instead a boiled shrimp filling, marinated in lime juice, cilantro, and flecks of minced fresh red chili. If I had gone the marinated un-fried shrimp route, I probably would have made this an Inside Out Roll (rice on the outside), and rolled it in toasted coconut.

In any case, it was a fun experiment and made for a tasty dinner.

Coconut & Lime Shrimp Rolls

about 1 cup cooked cooled sushi rice per roll (seasoned with a bit of rice wine vinegar mixed with a pinch of sugar)
2-3 raw shrimp, per roll
the juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1 tsp sake
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
flour, for dredging
1 egg
1/2 cup milk or coconut milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 sheet Nori
fresh mango, cut into thin strips
fresh red Romano pepper, cut into thin strips
3-4 rocket leaves
2 little gem lettuce leaves

Marinate shrimp about 15 minutes in a mixture of lime juice, zest, sake, soy, and a pinch of sugar if desired. Dredge shrimp in a bit of flour, dip in a mixture of egg and milk, then coat in coconut. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels over a rack.

Spread enough rice to cover a sheet of Nori, leaving a small rim at one end exposed. Lay ribbons of fresh mango, rocket leaves, red pepper, and chopped coconut shrimp on one side. Place lettuce leaves sticking out of each end, topping with a piece of pepper and a shrimp with the tail attached - they should be spilling out the sides of the Nori. Roll sushi into a log, then slice into rounds, standing the two ends with the lettuce leaves sticking out upwards decoratively.


  1. Love, LOVE your presentation Heather! I have never had Sushi actually. I am allergic to shell fish and crustaceans. I would probably really enjoy a vegetarian one though.

  2. Vegetarian sushi rolls are very doable- you can use things like egg, avocado & cucumber, marinated mushrooms - all sorts of things. Maybe I will make a vegetarian one and blog about it for you :)

    And to both Karen and Marie - thank you for the comments :)

  3. Wow!!! What a super blog. I love the photos and your well written explanations on making the recipes.
    I popped over from Recipezaar and wont be leaving :) I look forward to reading back over your blog and to also continue keeping up in the future.
    Jen T from Zaar :)

  4. Hey Heather, John told me about your blog. It is very beautiful!
    I will check it often to see what lovely things you are up too!

    I may even try a few things that you recommend.

    Andrea Cayea

  5. Thanks Andrea :) Glad you liked it and thank you for taking the time to check it out.

  6. Oh!!! That looks wicked! I love sushi and coconut. I've got to try this recipe one these days.

  7. Thank you :) I hope you like my experiment :)