Most of the food ingredients in Nauruan Cuisine have to be imported, but one exception is fish and seafoods. These are harvested from the surrounding ocean waters by the indigenous fishermen called the “Kiribati”. Also plentiful in availability are coconuts, which grow on trees all over the country. So seafood and coconuts play large roles in Nauruan cuisine.
In pre-mining eras, Nauru provided varieties of pandanus trees and shrubs, as well as fish. Edible products from the pandamus and fish meats were, and still are, most often combined with coconut milk, cream, and flesh in Nauruan cuisine. The profits from mining operations (Nauru is abundant in buried phosphates) allow for a large variety of well stocked supermarkets. These markets provide other favorite ingredients in Nauruan cuisine, such as milk and turkey meats.
The national dish of Nauru is Coconut Fish, and that is what is our first offering below. There will be more to come, but for now enjoy your ethnic foods adventure to the tiny island and country of Nauru, and have a fine taste of …
Coconut Crusted Shrimp
- 12 jumbo prawns (“shrimp”)
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the breading-
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (more or less) coconut oil, for skillet frying
- 1-2 limes, sliced thin
- In a large bottomed mixing bowl, stir together the shredded coconut and breadcrumbs.
- Next, crack your eggs and whisk them until frothy in another mixing bowl.
- Salt and pepper your prawns liberally—the salt and pepper sets off the sweet crust nicely.
- Dip and coat the shrimp in the egg, and then dredge them through the coconut breadcrumbs, making sure they are well coated all over. You would do well to pat the breading a bit, to help the coating to adhere nice and thick.
- Shake the prawns free of any excess coating, and sauté them over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side—the length of time will vary, dependent on the size and thickness of the fillets you have. Don’t overcook, or the flesh will get too tough, but you do want the crust to have started turning a pleasing golden brown.
- Note: If you have to work in batches, due to skillet size, keep the cooked shrimp in a warm oven until they are all cooked and ready to serve.
- Serve your Nauruan cuisine national dish, Coconut Crusted Shrimp, with freshly steamed rice and a dollop of tartar sauce on each serving plate.
For more Nauruan dishes, in print-friendly format, click on the recipes below:
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