These coconut shrimp are dunked in a frothy beer batter then rolled in shredded sweetened coconut flakes before a quick fry in grapeseed oil and then baked for a few minutes in the oven to finish. I served them with a sprinkle of kosher salt, lime wedges, and a grainy mustard apricot sauce.
First things first: buy the best quality shrimp you can find (fresh, domestic, wild) and as far as size is concerned, U-15 is ideal. For frying, in general, I love grapeseed oil for its neutrality and high smoke point. Now for the how-to:
1 1/2 lbs U-15 Shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails-on
6 oz beer (I used a stella but any light-ish beer will work)
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling at the end)
1. Clean your shrimp. Using a pair of scissors, cut the shell up the back to the tail - but don't cut the tail - and remove shell and vein
2. Set up your dredging station. You will need 4 medium bowls and a plate or tray (just make sure it can fit in your fridge). In one bowl, place your clean shrimp. In the 2nd bowl, add 1/2 cup AP flour and 1 tsp kosher salt. In the 3rd bowl, add beer, 1/2 cup AP flour, baking powder, and eggs (whisk well until it becomes a nice frothy batter), and in the last bowl, your coconut and panko (you can pulse it in a food processor first to break it down a bit if you want a finer textured coating)
3. Take each shrimp and dredge lightly in flour, then batter, then coconut and then place on plate or tray. Repeat until all shrimp are prepared. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so they can firm up a bit.
4. Pour 2-3 cups of oil into a deep-fryer or 3qt stainless steel saute pan or large cast iron skillet and heat until 350 degrees F. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on sheet tray (if you have a fry rack, use it). Once all shrimp are on tray, place in 375 oven for 5-7 minutes to finish them off.
5. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of kosher salt, lime wedges, and grainy mustard apricot sauce (recipe below). Enjoy!
Grainy Mustard Apricot Sauce
1 cup Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves
1/2 cup Maille old style grainy dijon mustard
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Enjoy.
[Photo Courtesy: RW Simms]