The key to making successful Coconut Shrimp is flavor, crispiness, and texture. Flavor starts by seasoning some rice flour with a little curry powder, white pepper and salt. Using beaten egg whites (instead of whole egg) lends a lightness to the crust, and toasting coconut, chopping it, and adding it to panko bread crumbs gives the perfect crunch. You can fry these, cook them in a standard oven, and even finish them in your air fryer.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Frying or sheet pan
1 pound 16-20 count shrimp - tails left intact, and veins removed
6 egg whites - beaten until frothy
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut - toasted lightly in the oven until edges are golden brown
1 cup panko
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each white pepper and curry powder
Cayenne pepper and salt to season
Peanut or grape seed oil if pan frying
Canola or coconut oil spray if baking or air frying
Suggested serving - with a tiny plate of Thai chili sauce, a wedge of lime and a pretty plate!
Prepare shrimp, pat dry, and refrigerate until ready to coat.
Beat 6 egg whites until frothy and fluffy and set aside.
Process toasted coconut until it’s the same texture as the panko. Mix with the panko and set aside.
Mix rice flour with white pepper, curry powder and salt.
Set up an assembly line: shrimp first, rice flour next, then egg whites, and finally panko/coconut - make sure you have a clean platter to put your finished shrimp on (see photo above).
Holding the shrimp by the tail, dredge in the flour, then dip in the egg whites, heavily coat with the coconut/panko, and let rest.
Once all are coated, you can refrigerate until ready to cook.
For pan frying, heat up peanut or grape seed oil in a heavy bottom pan to 375 degrees. Place 7-10 shrimp in the pan and cook, without moving, 2-3 minutes until deep golden. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes, and then drain on paper towels.
If air frying, preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Spray both sides of coated shrimp generously with canola or coconut oil spray. Place 5-6 shrimp on raised grid and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
If baking, preheat oven and a sheet pan to 400 degrees. Spray both sides of coated shrimp generously with canola or coconut oil spray and place shrimp on heated sheet pan in a single layer. Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and serve immediately.
Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce with a generous amount of fresh lime juice added.
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