Makes 6 to 8 servings
When I was a teenager in San Francisco, a sophisticated date meant a trip to the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel. They specialized in "Polynesian" pu-pu platters, and coconut shrimp was a favorite. I still make it as a special treat, but in a less-sweet contemporary version served with a Thai-inspired peanut sauce dip.
Easy Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade,
or use low-sodium canned broth
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
To make the sauce:
Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. (The sauce can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead, covered, and kept at room temperature. If the sauce thickens upon standing, thin to a thick dipping consistency with broth or water.)
To make the batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, curry powder, salt, and cayenne to mix. Add the beer and eggs and stir with a spoon just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup of the coconut. Place the remaining coconut on a plate.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place a wire cake rack over a jelly-roll pan.
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt enough vegetable shortening over medium-high heat to come 3 inches up the sides of the pan and heat to 360 degrees F. Working in batches, dip the shrimps, one at a time, in the batter; then roll them in the coconut. Deep-fry until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted skimmer, transfer the shrimps to the wire rack and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining shrimps, batter; and coconut, allowing the shortening to return to 360 degrees F. before frying each batch. Serve immediately, with the peanut sauce for dipping.
101 Recipes for Everybody's Favorite Seafood
By Rick Rodgers
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created January 1999
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