Coconut Shrimp are a popular appetizer that is easy to make at home.
For this recipe I used one pound of fresh wild caught pink gulf shrimp in the 15-20 count size range (15-20 shrimp per pound). I highly recommend using fresh shrimp for this recipe if you can get your hands on them. There is a huge difference in the taste between wild caught gulf shrimp and some of the frozen farm raised tiger shrimp you may find that are a product of Thailand. One pound of shrimp will be more than enough as an appetizer for 6-8 people.
Start by cleaning your shrimp if needed. The fresh shrimp will need to be peeled and de-veined. I remove all of the shell except for the last part of the tail. Removing the veins on these shrimp was a easy step because I was going to butterfly them anyways. After removing the shell, just slide your knife down the back of the shrimp about 1/8"-1/4" deep and this will expose the vein that can be removed and washed away under some running water.
With the shrimp washed, I seasoned them lightly with salt and fresh black pepper. I then began the breading process by rolling the shrimp in flour. The flour is followed by a egg wash, and then our breading mixture. For the coconut breading I used a 2/3 mixture of shredded sweetened coconut and 1/3 panko or Japanese bread crumbs. After the shrimp are breaded they can be covered and placed in a cookie sheet in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
The shrimp are fried in enough vegetable oil to cover them at 350 degrees for about 4-5 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the size of your shrimp. When the shrimp are golden brown remove them and place them on paper towel to drain.
A simple and delicious dipping sauce for these shrimp is reduction of mango and ginger. Peel a fresh ripe mango and cut up all the flesh into small cubes. Place the mango into a stock pan with 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (any vinegar on hand will do), and salt to taste. Cook the mixture to boiling and let it reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes. Finish by blending the mixture in a blender until smooth.