People love shrimp around the holidays. They generally serve the seafood appetizers with large bowls full of tomato-based cocktail sauce, jazzed up with Tabasco and horseradish.
Lisa Valentine hears different music when she prepares her holiday shrimp. Seems like it could be the sound of Caribbean islands, where coconut and lime are flavors to favor.
“This is my very own concoction,” she said of her coconut shrimp. “I love to create things and be creative. So with being creative I made a coconut dipping sauce, I created the recipe, made it, tried it and it was slamming!”
She peels, deveins and butterflies her shrimp. The last maneuver is a method of cutting foods such as meats and shrimp so they lay flat and even. The slice is made in the center, does not go all the way through and is opened so the meat or shrimp is laid flat — like the wings of a butterfly.
Then the shrimp goes into cream of coconut for a 10-minute soak.
“From the cream I put them into the shredded coconut, then I put them into egg white, just egg whites,” Valentine said. “After that, I put them into my panko — Japanese bread crumbs. They can use regular bread crumbs; panko makes them stand out a little bit more.”
The shrimp then go into the oven. “You put them on 425 degrees for 15 minutes,” she said. “It’s an appetizer in like 30 minutes.”
People will notice the different taste.
“The sauce does have a little kick to it from the curry paste,” Valentine said. “That’s spice!”
The shrimp must be raw to begin with. She would not use cooked shrimp with this recipe.
“Maybe that could be an experiment for another time,” she said.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
1 can cream of coconut
12 large shrimp, deveined and butterflied (leave tails on)
1⁄2 cup dry shredded flaked coconut
For coating mixture:
1⁄2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or any dry refined bread crumbs
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or white pepper (optional)
3 to 4 egg whites
For dipping sauce:
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 lime (cut in half, squeeze 3 tablespoons)
Salt, to taste
Pour cream of coconut into sauce pan and put on very low heat. Only heat to melt and not to heat cream.
Soak butterflied shrimp in coconut cream for 10 minutes.
Stir the coating mixture ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
In another smaller bowl, lightly beat egg whites. In a third bowl, place the shredded flaked coconut.
Holding shrimp by their tails, dip first into the beaten egg, then in the coconut to lightly coat, then dip back in the egg and finally roll in the panko mix and pack onto shrimp.
Spray baking sheet with pan spray and lay the shrimp on sides on the sheet. Bake on the middle rack at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until coconut is lightly toasted (light golden-brown). Turn the shrimp halfway through baking.
For coconut cream dipping sauce: Place coconut milk in sauce pan. Add curry paste, sugar and lime juice.
Cook on low heat, stirring frequently. When sauce starts to thicken, add salt. Cook down until sauce is thickened to spoon and is able to stay on the spoon.
Serve shrimp with coconut cream dipping sauce.