The Kataifi Fried Shrimp served at Hellenic Republic in Coral Springs, FL, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Season 37.
Recipe courtesy of Hellenic Republic

Kataifi Fried Shrimp and Greek Style Grits (Traxana)

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Jalapeño Simple Syrup:

Greek Style Grits:

Kataifi Shrimp:


  1. For the jalapeño simple syrup: Combine the honey, sugar, jalapeño, orange and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. (This is a great make-ahead simple syrup and can be used to sweeten and add a nice bite to cocktails.)
  2. For the Greek style grits: Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the salt, then whisk in the traxana to break down the pasta and prevent clumping, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cream, Parmesan and feta and continue whisking until thick. If the traxana is loose, continue to cook on medium heat until the desired consistency. (It should be thick like traditional grits or polenta.) Set aside on very low heat while you prepare the shrimp.
  3. For the kataifi shrimp: Open the kataifi and separate to pieces 8 to 10 inches in length and 1/2 inch wide. (Keep the unused portion of the kataifi covered with a damp cloth to prevent breakage and drying.) Starting at the tail side of each shrimp, wrap the shredded dough around the shrimp and set aside while you finish wrapping all the shrimp.
  4. In a frying pan, add the oil and heat to medium heat. Add the shrimp one layer at a time and cook on each side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to remove excess grease/oil. (You may need to add additional oil to finish frying the remaining shrimp.)
  5. Split the traxana among 4 to 6 bowls or plates, then top with the shrimp and drizzle with the simple syrup. Finish with the parsley and serve hot.

Cook’s Note

Thaw kataifi pastry dough in the fridge overnight. You can find traxana at a local Greek Market. You can substitute polenta or grits for the traxana, just follow the cooking instructions, then add the heavy cream, Parmesan and feta as indicated.