Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coconut Shrimp (2)

Summertime around these here parts equals heat, humidity, and practically no desire to cook. It's tough to motivate myself to stand in front of any sort of heat source. I mean, we have central air conditioning, thank goodness, but we're not made of money, you know. So we keep it at 76F at the coolest, and that's only on days where it's hot enough that your skin literally bursts into flames the second you step outside. But, that doesn't mean you're not tempted to have a good, satisfying meal. I don't know about you but salad seventeen meals in a row will not cut it for me.

Luckily, I have a solution: coconut shrimp. Shrimp cooks up so quickly that you're only standing in front of the stove for maybe five minutes, max, and then you can immediately enjoy the fruits of your labors while standing in front of the air conditioning vent and fan combo you've set up for yourself. You know the drill.
Ingredients [serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a meal]:
½ lb. shrimp
½ cup potato starch (you can substitute cornstarch if you don't have potato starch)
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup coconut flakes
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
oil for pan frying
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Sriracha
dash of Worcestershire sauce
I shared a coconut shrimp recipe two years ago. It's yummy but it's a bit heavier and clunkier. That was before I discovered potato starch. Potato starch makes this recipe much lighter and crisper.

Okay, so start by butterflying the shrimp. This step isn't crucial but I like doing this because it increases the surface area for breading which equates to more crisp coconutty crunch surrounding the meat. Just use your knife to slice into the shrimp without cutting through it completely and then just flatten it out. Oh, and if you noticed, my shrimp have no tails. Feel free to leave your tails on or off; it's up to you.
Set up a breading station. In the first dish, mix together potato starch and salt. In a second dish, beat an egg. In the third dish, toss together the coconut and breadcrumbs.
Toss the shrimp in the potato starch, dip it into the egg, and then press it into the coconut breadcrumbs.
Heat up a skillet with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then shallow fry the shrimp until golden brown. It should only take about one minute on each side. ONE. MINUTE. That's quick, right? Yeah, that's why I like this recipe in the summer. It's done in a flash.
Drain the excess oil from the shrimp on a paper towel.
If you're in the mood, you can also whip together a quick and simple sauce. Mix together ketchup, Sriracha, and Worcestershire. I always seem to spill the Worcestershire everywhere. I pop the lid, flip the bottle over to shake a few dashes into my bowl and it sprays out all over the place. Does anyone else suffer from this spillstershire-itis?
Serve while the shrimp are hot so that the breading is lovely and crisp. Serve as an appetizer or as a side dish or even a snack and enjoy. Enjoy the crunch of the panko, the sweetness of the coconut, the tenderness of the shrimp, and the tanginess of the sauce. And I don't know, imagine yourself on a tropical island rather than stuck to your couch.
Here's the recipe page:

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