Big Guy has always loved coconut shrimp. I remember in our early years of dating, if we found ourselves at Sharkey’s at OIB, he always requested the coconut shrimp. And while those were delicious, I’m fairly certain the ones we made on Saturday are way better.
I deviated a little bit from the original recipe so I wanted to let you know my changes. I made the sauce a few hours before we were planning to eat so that it would have time to cool to room temperature. The sauce started with Bolthouse Farms Mango Smoothie (the original recipe used their blood orange juice – our little town didn’t have that flavor and so I adjusted as I saw fit) that I whirled in a blender with fresh raspberries to mimic the original flavor profile. The mango-raspberry mixture is then brought to a boil along with rice wine vinegar, sugar and a little water. Once thickened, the chili sauce (I used garlic chili sauce that you find on the ethnic aisle – green top!) and the cornstarch mixture are added to the sauce. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to thicken. Turn off the heat and let sit/cool until you’re ready to eat.
For the shrimp, high quality, wild caught, and local is the best. The shrimp, once peeled, are dipped in flour (I used rice flour), then an egg and coconut milk wash (I could not find the other smoothie that the recipe called for so I used an equal amount of coconut milk) and finally in a mixture of shredded coconut, Panko bread crumbs and almond meal.
But you’re not quite ready to fry the shrimp – refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying. This is a new-to-me tip as we’ve made coconut shrimp before but I honestly believe it made a huge difference in the final product. Also, make sure to season ALL three components of the breading (flour, coconut milk wash, and coconut/Panko mixture) with salt and pepper.
The shrimp are then fried in about 2 inches of vegetable oil until golden brown and cooked through.
These shrimp were everything.
A little spicy.
Coconutty (totally a word).
And absolutely irresistible.