Maple Mer-boy

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 3 to 6 servings
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3 mirlitons (chayotes or Mexican squash)

3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying 

2 cucumbers 

2 large carrots 

1/2 red cabbage, shredded 

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 

Kosher salt 

8 habanero peppers 

4 cloves garlic 

1/2 cup Canadian maple syrup 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 pint dark beer 

12 extra-large (16/20) black tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut the mirlitons in half, toss with 1 tablespoon canola oil and roast on a rimmed baking sheet until the meat is soft, approximately 20 minutes. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the pit from the halves to allow for them to be stuffed. The more you take out, the more you can stuff inside. But if you take out too much, the mirliton will lose its ability to hold anything, so I use the pit as my gauge.
  3. Shred the cucumbers and carrots into a shoestring coleslaw using a knife or mandolin. Place the shredded vegetables in a bowl with the red cabbage, lightly toss them with the apple cider vinegar and lightly salt. Allow to rest for 1 hour so the vinegar and salt have a chance to lightly pickle the vegetables. If you let it sit for too long the acid will break down the vegetables to the point where they lose their crunch and become soggy.
  4. The "po'boy" sauce is a combination of sweet and incredible heat. First take the habaneros and garlic and blitz them in a food processor until chunky. Slowly add the maple syrup and 1 teaspoon salt. Once the syrup has fully captured all the garlic and peppers, add the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil to bulk up the liquid and calm the heat down a bit.
  5. When your slaw and mirlitons are ready, you can begin to fry your shrimp. Heat a pot with 1 inch oil to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer, or heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Heat a grill to 425 degrees F.
  6. Whisk 1/2 cup flour in a bowl with the beer. Place the remaining 1/2 cup flour in a shallow bowl. Toss the shrimp in the flour and then submerge in the beer batter. Remove and fry the battered shrimp four at a time until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. With tongs, transfer to a plate layered with paper towels.
  7. Lightly grill or pan sear the inside of the mirlitons for about 30 seconds to give them a little color and crispiness. Stuff each with some of the slaw. Place two fried shrimp on top of each stuffed mirliton and drizzle with the maple syrup hot sauce.