Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with oil and heat to 360 degrees F.
In 2 batches, add the coconut to the oil and cook, turning with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with the powdered sugar while still warm, and sprinkle over the bread pudding.
Yield: 1 cup
To open and peel the coconut:
1 ripe coconut
Place the coconut flat on a work surface covered with a kitchen towel. Using a hammer or large meat mallet, drive a large nail or metal skewer into 1 of the eyes. Drain the liquid into a container and reserve for another use.
Place carefully whack the center of the coconut with a meat mallet or the blunt back of a large, heavy cleaver several times until it cracks open cleanly into 2 halves.
Wrap the coconut in the towel and whack it several times with a hammer to break into pieces. Using a short, heavy knife, carefully pry the meat away from the shell. (If necessary, loosen the meat from the shell by heating the coconut for 15 to 20 minutes in a 400 degrees F. oven.)
Trim any remaining brown skin from the meat with a small, sharp knife.
To grate the coconut, use the large side of a heavy grater. To make coconut ribbons, use a vegetable peeler. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.
Yield: 2 cups