Fried food week of unResolution Month is slowly dwindling down, but somehow it just doesn’t feel complete without a shrimp dish. Something like…
Coconut shrimp have a special place in my heart because of my Dad. My Dad loves, loves, loves coconut shrimp. Like Loves coconut shrimp. And maybe you have to know my dad to find this funny, but coconut shrimp is just not something he’s likely to enjoy.
There’s something…fussy about it. Something more dressed up than he’s going to think is necessary. (I was once criticized for watching Food Network so much because “How many recipes for chocolate chip cookies do you need?” He’s just not out there.) As such the combination of coconut and fried shrimp is just something that’s way out there. Or so I thought.
I was surprised to hear that my Dad once worked the phones at a charity tele-a-thon. I was plain shocked that he accepted an invitation to go to a catered volunteer dinner that was thrown in appreciation of all the phone volunteers’ work. But he did and he did. At said dinner, appetizers from the Outback Steakhouse were laid out in trays at every table. Apparently, one of the platters had some “strange fried shrimp,” so he tried one. Then he had another. And then another. After several minutes he had cleaned the tray at his table. Then he walked over to the next table and started cleaning that tray, too.
Only later did he find out he was eating coconut shrimp. I guess he was too busy chewing to ask. Ever since then has been a believer in the coconut shrimp. Even if he won’t step foot in an Outback.
Making Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp gets blessed with coconut goodness two ways. The first is with a quick marinade. The second is with the cococut that the breaded shrimp get rolled in for an extra burst of coconut goodness.
If you really want to go the extra mile, make the coconut marmelade dipping sauce and watch the coconut quotent fly.
You will need:
- 2 pounds 16-20 shrimp
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 teapsoon sriracha
- 3 cups flour (divided)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (divided)
- Oil for frying
- 1/2 cup apricot marmelade
First of all, you have a decision to make. You can butterfly the shrimp if you want. It makes it look more restaurant-like, but it’s more work. The choice is yours.
Butterflied or not, put the shrimp in a bowl and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the coconut milk and sriracha and mix to make sure the shrimp are well coated. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, take the shrimp out of the refrigerator to let them come to room temperature. While they are losing their chill, mix 2 cups of flour, mix, eggs, and salt and beat well to make a smooth batter.
Make a three step dipping station. Put the rest of the flour in one bowl, the batter in the second bowl, and one cup of coconut in the third. Remove a shrimp, dredge it in flour, then dip in the batter and finally roll in coconut. Set it aside so that the batter can set. Repeat with all the shrimp.
Bring the oil to 350 degrees or let it get hot over medium-high heat. Fry the shrimp until golden brown.
Serve with a dipping sauce made by combining the marmelade and coconut and enjoy!
Thanks to norwichnuts’ for the pic.