Friday, March 22, 2024

Coconut Shrimp


Having just returned from a dreamy vacation in Hawaii where I ate coconut shrimp a couple of times, I wanted to keep the tropical spirit going a little longer. We may not have swaying palm trees in New Jersey, but we do have great beaches and delicious shrimp, so I recreated the dish at home to bring back some memories from our wonderful trip to our 50th state.

But before I get to the shrimp, just a few thoughts about Hawaii - a state I last visited nearly 25 years ago. I revisited one of the places that holds sad memories for Americans -- the solemn memorial at Pearl Harbor, where so many lost their lives, propelling the U.S. to enter World War II in 1941.

While on Oahu, my husband and I also hiked up the extinct volcano at Diamond Head and got a fabulous view of Honolulu. This photo of Diamond Head's crater was taken from the plane as we were departing.

The island of Maui was next on our itinerary, where one could get used to waking up to this view of swaying palm trees and the Pacific Ocean every morning.

And seeing a huge humpback whale breaching right before our eyes was a huge highlight of the trip.

We spent the last six nights on Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, for its lush growth and dramatic beauty. You have to look no further to see that drama than at Waimea Canyon, known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

There were lots of other fun adventures too, and plenty of good food and drinks, including an unnamed number of mai tais.

But back to those shrimp. They're quite easy to make, and I have to say, they tasted every bit as delicious as those I ate in Hawaii. I started out with good quality, large, fresh shrimp, wild caught in the U.S. My husband helped with the deveining and butterflying. It's simple to do. Just take a sharp knife and make a slit down the back, but don't slice all the way through. Remove the black vein (the intestinal tract), then rinse the shrimp, and press flat on a paper towel to dry. Continue with the rest of the shrimp and you're ready for the coating.
To coat them, you mix an equal part coconut and panko bread crumbs. First dredge the shrimp in flour, then in beaten egg, and finally the coconut and panko mixture.

Place some oil in a frypan -- just enough to submerge the bottom of the shrimp -- and bring to a sizzle. Then fry the shrimp on one side till golden.

Flip them after a couple of minutes and cook until golden and crunchy on the other side. It doesn't take long.
Serve with lemon or a sweet/sour chili sauce as we ate them in Hawaii. They'd make a great meatless meal for Good Friday or any day really, or as an appetizer that'll wow your friends and family.

Check out Ciao Chow Linda on Instagram here to find out what’s cooking in my kitchen each day (and more).

Coconut Shrimp

printable recipe here

1 lb. large shrimp

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (I used sweetened coconut)

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 cup flour

oil for frying (peanut, safflower or any non-flavored oil)

sweet chili sauce for dipping (optional - I purchased this)

Remove the shrimp shells but leave on the tail. Devein the shrimp and butterfly them, by making a slit through the backside, but not all the way through. Remove the dark vein (intestinal tract) and discard. Flatten the shrimp, give it a rinse and pat dry on a paper towel.

When all the shrimp are clean, mix the coconut and bread crumbs together. Have three separate bowls ready - one with the flour, one with the beaten egg and one with the panko/coconut mixture. Dredge the shrimp light in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg and then the panko/coconut mixture, making sure the shrimp is well coated.

Heat some oil and test with the end of a wooden spoon (or drop in a piece of bread) to make sure it is sizzling but not too hot. If it's too hot, it will burn the coating and not cook the shrimp all the way through. If it's not hot enough, the shrimp won't brown properly and will be greasy.

Drop the shrimp carefully into the oil and fry until golden on one side (it should take only a couple of minutes) then flip over to cook the other side.

Serve with lemon or a sweet/spicy chili sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! We love Kauai the best. It’s so lush. Great shrimp recipe!!!