I fail at frying anything, so I was cautious when deciding to try out this recipe that I found on Yahoo! Shine's Food section. The results were perfect restaurant quality coconut shrimp made right at home. I was very impressed, because I had tried to make this before and failed miserably. I think the secret was using breadcrumbs in the mix, and freezing the shrimp for 20 minutes before frying.
18 unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup beer, or in my case I used 1 cup of club soda
1 (7-ounce) package sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
Frying oil, they recommended Peanut oil, bu I used vegetable oil
The recipie on the Shine Food blog paired the shrimp with Maui Sauce. I decided not to make this and tried a copycat recipe for Red Lobster's Pina Colada sauce. I love the sauce in Red Lobster, and even though this one did not come out exactly like it, it still tasted good. My favorite sauce to accompany coconut shrimp is actually the plum flavored one found at Miller's Ale House restaurants. if anyone knows how to make that please let me know.
Pina Colada Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup pina colada nonalcoholic drink mix
1/4 cup canned crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
To begin, peel, devain, and butterfly your shrimp. Mix the coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice into the shrimp and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
Next, mix the beer/club soda and the flour together in a bowl. In another bowl mix the flaked coconut and bread crumbs. After the shrimp is done marinating, dip each one into the flour batter and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Try to touch just the tip of the shrimp while doing this.
After all the shrimp is covered, put it in your freezer for 20 minutes. This helps keep all the coconut flakes in place while it fries. Once the 20 minutes are over you can start frying the shrimp in a big deep pot with 2 inches of oil. Fry the shrimp in small batches until they are golden brown. The nice thing about shrimp is that it cooks fast so you dont have to worry about frying it for a long time to ensure the meat is cooked. With my previous frying experiences, I always ended up burning the outer coating because the meat inside was not done yet. So for frying beginners, start with small/thinner pieces of meat.
I served my shrimp with white rice and coconut milk guandules beans. You can buy the guandules (aka pigeon peas) canned within a coconut milk liquid. I loved how the coconut flavor of the beans reflected the coconut flavor of the shrimp. For some this might be too much coconut going around.
The pina colada sauce was easy to make. Just mix all the ingredients and put in your fridge and let it chill until the shrimp is ready to serve.