Irish Coconut Shrimp Curry

Cooking Irish can also be found at PETITCHEF and Pinterest.

Yet another great shrimp curry dish.  This has toasted coconut, and I enjoyed it at an American bistro in Dublin that does not appear to be still operating.  Part of this recipe is from an entrée on a 1970s menu at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco.  It was a chicken recipe, but the sauce is so similar to the shrimp  dish I had in Dublin that I have worked with it over the years until I was happy with the results.  This is very close to the shrimp entrée I ordered so many years ago.  I hope you enjoy it.

I just read the Trader Vic’s website, and they recently reopened a restaurant in San Francisco where it all started in 1932.  They still have curry on the menu using it as the name of a dish as it was originally used.  Now the word curry is more often seen as the spice.  I had almost forgotten there is a dish called curry.  They still offer a chicken curry, along with a lamb curry, a shrimp curry, and a vegetable curry.  This is a blurb taken from their current online dinner menu. 

“Trader Vic’s Curries: A rich combination of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apples, red pimentos, onions and our own blend of madras curry powder.  All curries come with sunflower seeds, raisins, cucumber, banana, coconut, chutney, chow-chow and tomatoes. 

Chicken  $18      Lamb  $19      Prawns  $23      Vegetable  $16”

In 1932, with a nest egg of $700 and carpentry help from his wife’s brothers, plus his mother’s pot-bellied stove and oven, Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr. built a cozy pub across the street from his father’s store and called it Hinky Dink’s which eventually grew to become the Trader Vic‘s empire of restaurants worldwide.  He featured potent tropical cocktail concoctions and delicious Americanized adaptations of Polynesian food.  Among Trader Vic’s more tantalizing legacies is the original Mai Tai, the refreshing rum cocktail he created at the restaurant in 1944 and introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1950s.  Tahitian for “the very best,” Mai Tai became the slogan for his entire operation.

The bistro where we enjoyed this shrimp entrée so similar to the curry at Trader Vic’s was near Trinity College, founded in 1592 and the oldest university in Ireland and one of the older universities of Western Europe.  On today’s campus, state-of-the-art libraries, laboratories, and technology facilities stand alongside historic buildings on a city-center 47-acre campus.
Trinity is a popular tourist destination when visiting Dublin.  Most of the university’s activities are carried out on the historic campus located in the heart of Dublin.  The west end of the campus is laid out in five quadrangles with distinguished buildings from the 18th century, notably the Old Library.  The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland and is an invaluable resource to scholars.  In addition to purchases and donations accrued over four centuries, the college has had 200 years of legal deposit.  Trinity can claim a copy of every book published in Ireland and the United Kingdom. The library contains 4.25 million volumes, 30,000 current serial titles, as well as an extensive collection of manuscripts, the most famous being the Book of Kells.
Towards the east end of the campus the recently built Hamilton, O’Reilly, and Lloyd buildings house many of Trinity’s science and technology laboratories and complement the recently completed dental hospital.  The Samuel Beckett Theatre is located towards the north of the campus with the Douglas Hyde Art Gallery to the south.  The construction of the country’s first nanoscience research institute has just been completed which houses Ireland’s first science gallery. This new building also includes a state-of-the-art sports complex.  It is fun to walk around the campus and imagine Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Samuel Beckett, and Oscar Wilde walking these same quads and sidewalks.

Carla Mooney and I in the center of Trim



1½ lbs. of large cooked shrimp                                                       1 small tomato, seeded and chopped                                             ½ cup of green pepper, chopped½ cup of fresh pineapple, cut into small bites 
3½ cups of curry sauce [recipe included]
1 cup of coconut, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
Saffron rice
Fresh pineapple slices for garnish



In a saucepan, combine the tomato, pepper, and pineapple.  Mix well.  Cook just until the pepper has softened and flavors have blended. Add the curry sauce, shrimp, coconut, salt and pepper, and heat through.  Serve over warm rice.  Garnish with pineapple slices.

Curry Sauce [In the 70s, this was called Trader Vic’s Susu Curry Sauce; makes 3 ½ c.]  


1 tbsp. of curry powder
2 tbsp. of butter
1 small white onion, minced
2 stalks of celery, diced
½ cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of green apple, diced
½ cup of soup stock [recipe did not distinguish chicken, fish, beef, or vegetable; I use fish or chicken]
1 cup of light cream
1 cup of whole milk
2 tbsp. of cornstarch
2 tbsp. of cold water


In a saucepan, sauté the curry powder in the butter until nicely browned.  Stir in the onion, celery, mushrooms, and apples.  Mix thoroughly.  Add the soup stock of choice; bring mixture to a boil.  Stir in the cream and milk, bringing to another boil. Stir often.  Blend the cornstarch into the cold water, and add to the curry mixture.   Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Adjust the salt and pepper.  And have a Mai Tai or two.  Enjoy.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *