Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Tropical Dipping Sauce

These might be considered a bit of extra work when you can easily buy them pre-made at the grocery store, but I get a lot of satisfaction when I control the ingredients in a dish. No extra preservatives, chemicals and who knows what else. Plus these are incredibly yummy and worth a little time! I love the tropical combination of the coconut and pineapple dipping sauce with a little spice.

What You Need:
Peanut oil, for frying (You can also use canola but peanut has the best flavor. Also, there is always the option of baking on a cookie sheet).
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup water
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I always recommend Panko bread crumbs)
1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
A deep fry thermometer

If frying, in a large, heavy pot, heat 2-inches of the peanut oil to 325 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the water and whisk until smooth. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.
In a wide, shallow bowl, toss the coconut and bread crumbs together.
Put the shrimp into the batter. Remove the shrimp, 1 at a time, and dredge in the coconut mixture, pressing to help the coconut adhere. Fry the shrimp in batches in the hot oil for 1 to 2 minutes or until brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a wire rack positioned over a baking sheet. (I know many people use paper towel to drain after frying but I have found this tip to keep things crisp). Serve the shrimp with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup apricot pineapple preserves
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or chipotle powder
Add all dipping sauce ingredients to a pot on a low temperature. Heat for 10 minutes, making sure you stir ingredients every few minutes.

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