These crisp and tender Coconut Shrimp are absolutely delicious and couldn't be easier to prepare. A wonderful appetizer for an outdoor summer party, the shrimp are simply dipped in a tempura-style batter of rice flour, beer, coconut milk, sugar and spices and quickly flash fried until they're light, crispy and golden brown. I keep the tails on to make them easier for guests to hold onto as they plunge the Coconut Shrimp in the tangy Chili Citrus Sauce. For an truly impressive hors d'oeuvre, buy the largest fresh shrimp you can find — the meat will be more succulent and the contrast with the delicate flash-fried tempura coating will be divine.
Serves 4 with 5 shrimp each
20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on
1 1/3 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup pale beer or club soda
2 cups dry shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
3-4 cups vegetable oil
Chili Citrus Sauce:
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
zest of one lime
1 tbsp chives, diced
For the dipping sauce, combine the orange marmalade, chili sauce, white pepper, chives, lime juice and zest in a small saucepan, and heat over low heat just until warm. Let cool slightly, then pour into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, beer, coconut milk, sugar, and spices to make a loose batter. Pour the shredded coconut in a separate shallow bowl.
Pour 3 to 4 cups of vegetable oil in a wok or large pot. Once the oil reached temperature, dredge 1 shrimp into the batter, and then into the shredded coconut, pressing the coconut into the batter. Carefully, drop the shrimp into the oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and just cooked through. Don't crowd the pan, but you should be able to cook 3 or 4 at a time. With a metal slotted spoon, carefully remove the shrimp and place on a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat with remaining shrimp.
Serve with the Citrus Chili Sauce and enjoy!