Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Rosie Makes One Of Her Favorites - Coconut Fried Shrimp.

One of my go-to dishes is coconut fried shrimp.
I make a basic batter then dredge the shrimp
through a coconut/panko mixture
and fry at 350° - 375° for 60-75 seconds,
depending on the size of the shrimp.
And for this, you want large to jumbo shrimp.

The batter varies time to time, 
depending on what I have on hand.
Sometimes for the liquid,
 I use buttermilk,
sometimes beer,
sometimes milk,
sometimes club soda,
and sometimes I add an egg.
And sometimes I use a combination.
Depends on my mood and what's in stock.

Also I like a pineapple dipping sauce for my shrimp,
which, like the batter, 
varies each time I make it.

Here's one version of the dipping sauce:
In a small sauce pan, combine:
1 - 8 oz. can pineapple, minced, with juice
juice of one lime
1 TB orange marmalade
1 TB brown sugar
2 tsp horseradish
1 TB Thai chili sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce 
Heat, stirring, over low until simmering and sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Stir in chopped parsley and/or cilantro, to taste.
Here's the shrimp batter:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp togarashi seasoning (Togarashi is a combination of red chile, black and white sesame seeds, nori [seaweed], poppy seed, and orange and lemon zest.  It's a nice little seasoning to have on hand, but if you don't, not to worry. It's not essential here.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 cup cream
1 TB vinegar
(Normally I would have used buttermilk here, but I was out, so I used the last of my cream plus the vinegar.)
I mixed everything together and my batter was still on the thick side, so I added in:
1/2 -3/4 cup club soda
You want your batter a pancake batter-like consistency, so stir in the club soda until the batter "looks right" as Mama would say.  Club soda offers several advantages here - it aerates the batter, making it lighter.  Also it inhibits the development of gluten, so weaker gluten means a lighter, less bready crust.

For the coconut/panko mixture:
3 parts coconut
1 part panko breadcrumbs
To prepare:
Peel and de-tract shrimp.  I say "de-tract" not de-vein because that black line running down the back of the shrimp is the digestive tract, not a vein.  For ease of handling and eating, I leave the tail on.  That way, I can hold the shrimp, dip it into the batter, letting any excess drip off, then dredge it through the coconut/panko mixture.

For the oil:
For frying, I use peanut oil.  It has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. The smoke point of oil refers to the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke and to break down.  When the oil breaks down, quality and flavor are sacrificed.
In a heavy frying pot, heat about 2 1/2 inches of the oil to 375°. (My pot is 4 1/2 inches deep and 7 1/2 inches wide at the top and 5 inches at the bottom.)  I always use an instant read laser thermometer to take the guesswork out of frying.  Relatively inexpensive and worth every penny.

Drop the shrimp in one at a time, no more than 6 shrimp frying at one time.  And keep the shrimp separate.  You do not want them touching each other and you do not want to crowd the pan.  Dumping a bunch of shrimp in at one time lowers the temperature of the oil.  The breathing room in the pan allows heat and air to circulate, allowing your food to develop color, which means flavor, and locking in the moisture.   If you crowd the food while frying, you'll end up with soggy and greasy and your food won't brown.  Always fry in small batches so you get a proper, crisp sear and a golden brown crust.
When coconut crust is golden brown, remove shrimp. Let drain.


Shrimp are battered and dredged and ready to fry.

Drop in one at a time.

One minute should do.

 Let drain.

The side salad was simply sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, pineapple chunks, parsley, and a sprinkling of sugar along with some cider vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet, succulent shrimp.

Like I said, coconut fried shrimp is my go-to dish.
I never follow a recipe.  I just do it.
And I write it down.  For you.
Here's another version.
For the dipping sauce: 
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
2 TB orange marmalade
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB horseradish
1 TB Inglehoffer stone ground mustard

For the batter:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (Enough to make a pancake batter consistency.)

For the dredge:
3 parts coconut
1 part panko breadcrumbs

Fry technique is same as above.


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