Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 What is Kataifi? They are shredded phyllo (filo) dough . Commonly used for sweets, like Ekmek Kataifi , a Greek Custard dessert which is one of my favorite dessert.

I bought the Athens brand of shredded phyllo dough for my ekmek and was glad to see that the box had a recipe for kataifi wrapped shrimp. I then divided the phyllo so i can make both.

This dough look like vermicelli. Since i have worked and fried vermicelli for my Crispy Noodles , I thought I could handle it. Well it was quite a challenge.  I posted a picture of how my first shrimp looked like.  It takes practice, patience and a little of your twist and quick movement of your wrist. You'll see what i mean. But over all they are worth it.

And of course me being me, i made my own version making the Athens recipe as my inspiration.

Ingredients ( Measurements are estimate)
Serves : 2 (we love shrimps)

Athens brand Kataifi (thawed)
10 pieces large size shrimps ( cleaned, deveined, tails on)
Lemon juice and zest of one lemon
2 T Sesame Oil ( 1 T for the marinade and 1 T for the cabbage)
2 T Cajun seasoning
1 t Hungarian Paprika
2 C shredded cabbage
2 cloves minced garlic
Canola oil for frying.
Bamboo skewers
Kochu Jang (Korean Hot Sauce)

Marinate shrimps with the lemon juice, zest, sesame oil, Cajun seasoning and Hungarian paprika.
Marinate inside the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Quickly saute' cabbage w/ garlic, sesame oil and S&P. Making sure the cabbage is cooked but still have the crunch. Set it aside.

Thread the shrimps onto the skewers.
Unroll and cut strands of kataifi. (Pls. check pictures below)
Roll and wrap each skewered shrimps leaving the tails unwrapped.

Deep fry the shrimps in a 350 degrees F oil, one at a time until they turn golden brown and crispy. You have to baby sit each shrimp, they cook fast.
Remove and set on a cookie rack to drain excess oil. (This is to avoid the bottom part to turn soggy)

Served with the shredded cabbage and  Kochu Jang (Korean hot sauce).
You may use different sauce like soy sauce,  Sriracha, sweet and sour sauce or tempura sauce why not.

1. Make an egg flour batter and mix the marinade ingredients. The batter will help adhere the strands of kataifi around the shrimps. I believe this will make frying easier.

2. Work on a wider chopping board or those thin plastic chopping board for easy clean up (That's what i used)

So worth making these. Not only do they look pretty they are really good. The crunch of the kataifi , the sweet taste and tenderness of the shrimp, the heat from the cajun seasoning and the sauce....... perfect combination. Great for parties and holidays.

I served them w/ shredded cabbage and Kochu Jang ( Korean Hot Sauce)

Skewered the shrimps with bamboo sticks to prevent them from curling when cooked. Marinated the shrimp with lemon juice, Hungarian Paprika, Cajun seasoning and Sesame oil. Yes, i saved the shrimp heads and wrapped them with kataifi as well. 

Athens Brand Kataifi. (Shredded Phyllo Dough)

After some research, i learned that you can make your own kataifi by thinly slicing phyllo dough sheets. That is if you can't buy them.

Prepared and lined up my kataifi.. Cut and spread few strands of kataifi.


Rolled . Leave the tails uncovered

This is what i meant. 
The bottom shrimp was my first, the kataifi floated leaving a few around the shrimp. 
The middle one, i figured to anchor them down, looked better but i was not satisfied. 
On my third attempt i quickly lifted and rolled it around while frying to make sure the kataifi strands will wrap around the shrimp. 
Finally, they look perfect to me, just like the picture on the box ;)

I am making these again..that's for sure!!! I'm also thinking of making a similar version by using vermicilli. 

Kataifi Wrapped Shrimp served with Shredded Cabbage and Korean Hot Sauce.
A must try dish.