Coconut Shrimp tend to be considered “restaurant food”, something that most people do not make at home. The lack of a doable recipe, not enough time or unfamiliarity with buying and handling shrimp are possible reasons for this. Now you’ll have no reason not to make them at home. What better time than Super Bowl Sunday. You will reap huge yields of appreciation. I am yet to find someone who does not adore eating them.
And there is more good news. They can be breaded the morning ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them.
First though, let’s talk shrimp. Or do we call them prawns? It has always been a little confusing which name is the right one. Prawns can refer to a shellfish species that is part of the lobster family and a fresh water prawn. Shrimp by definition are from salt water (even though prawns and shrimp can be caught in both kinds of water). There are hundreds of species of shrimp which are called according to their size such as 31/35, 26/30 and 16/20 with the number referring to how many there are in a pound. As a general rule, the bigger the shrimp the higher the price. What also makes the prawn and shrimp distinction confusing is in the United States, jumbo (11/15 size) and colossal (10 and under size) shrimp are generally referred to as “prawns” even though they are shrimp. But just in case you don’t remember any of this when you go to buy them, don’t worry because the names really are interchangeable. All you really need to know is the size you want to buy and how many.
A few things to know about the ingredients when you make Coconut Shrimp. Japanese-style panko crumbs are courser than regular bread crumbs and I like the texture they give to fried food. The combination of half coconut and panko crumbs create the perfect sweetness and crispy crust. Whether you use medium or large size shrimp depends on how many you want to make and how much money you want to spend. For ease in handling, be sure to leave the tail intact when you remove the shells.
The recipe works well as a main dish or as an appetizer and can easily be doubled.
- Orange Sauce:
- ⅓ cup orange marmalade preserves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon seasoning salt
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- 1½ cups Panko bread crumbs (available in Asian section of many supermarkets)
- 1½ cups flaked sweetened coconut
- 1 pound medium size (26/30count) or large size (16/20 count) raw shrimp, peeled, tail intact and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- For the sauce, whisk together marmalade, lemon juice, soy sauce and cilantro.
- For the batter, whisk together water, flour, egg, salt and curry powder in a shallow dish.
- For the breading, process chop coconut in a food processor just until pieces are a little smaller, about 45 seconds; add panko crumbs and process until they are a little smaller, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a shallow dish.
- To bread the shrimp, hold each shrimp by the tail and dip in the batter mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Roll in the coconut and panko crumbs, patting gently to adhere then transfer in a single layer to a sheet pan. Refrigerate shrimp 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours ahead of cooking) as this helps breading to adhere during frying.
- Heat oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees F.; Add breaded shrimp in batches to the oil and cook until godlen brown, turning during cooking, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp, allowing excess to oil drip off and transfer to drain on paper towels. Keep cooked shrimp warm.
- Serve with Orange Sauce.