I love 5 ingredient dishes and this is one of them - add something on the side and you've got a main. Serve on it's own and you've got a delicious satisfying snack and all you need is lime, coconut, panko, egg, and shrimp. Shoot - and flour, but that's optional so let's call it a 5.5 ingredient dish shall we?
I love coconut shrimp, that slightly sweet ever so crunchy upgrade on classic fried shrimp. What makes these extra fun is the addition of panko and the zest of a lime.The panko bread crumbs add another airy yet crunchy element to the shrimp and the hint of lime heightens the coconut flavor.
The flour like I said is optional, but here is why I use it: I dislike naked shrimp. You know when you fry shrimp and only portions of it have crunch because despite your best effort the rest of it just won't stay on? Once the shrimp goes into it's egg bath the flour helps the crunchier elements adhere to the egg and covers the gaps between said crunchy elements to give you a shrimp that is evenly goldenly beautiful.
You are welcome to season as much as you like, but having made these a few time I must say I like it best when the subtle natural sweetness of the coconut shines through so a sprinkle of salt & pepper or a dash of fish sauce in the egg mixture is perfect for me.
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup panko bread crumbs
⅓ cup flour (optional)
zest of one lime plus additional limes for serving
2 eggs lightly beaten with a little salt and pepper or a dash of fish sauce
Oil for frying
Combine the coconut, panko, flour, and the zest of the lime on a dish with a bit of a rim - a soup plate works well. Dip the clean dry (important!) shrimp with the beaten egg and then dredge with the coconut coating.
Repeat until your shrimp is all coated. I usually do this a few hours in advance for conveniences sake. When you are ready to eat, heat about an inch of oil in frying pan and wait for it to get so hot that a piece of bread crumb dropped into the oil sizzles and rises. If it turns black then take the pan off the heat for a few minutes and test again.
Now fry the shrimp for about a minute to two minutes on each side till a beautiful golden brown. Spritz with lime juice and enjoy.