Tyler Florence promises this will be the best fried coconut shrimp you’ve ever had, especially if you’ve only ever had this dish at a chain restaurant. He says the natural sweetness of the coconut is the perfect foil for the spicy peanut dipping sauce.
To butterfly a shrimp, carefully slice it down the center of the back without cutting all the way through. The two sides then can be spread open and flattened as called for in this recipe.
COCONUT SHRIMP LETTUCE WRAPS
For the peanut dipping sauce:
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup hot water
For the shrimp:
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
3 cups (8-ounce bag) unsweetened shredded coconut
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 head bibb lettuce, separated
1 English cucumber, cut into sticks
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 bunch snow pea shoots
To make the peanut sauce, in a small saucepan over low, heat the sesame oil. Add the ginger and garlic, then cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
In a blender, combine the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth. Add the warmed sesame oil mixture and blend until light and creamy, adding additional hot water, if necessary, to achieve a smooth dipping consistency. Set aside.
To make the shrimp, arrange the butterflied shrimp flat on a cutting board. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife on the shrimp and gently pound to flatten. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. In a second bowl, beat the eggs. Place the coconut on a large shallow plate and season with the remaining salt and pepper.
Coat the shrimp in flour, shaking off the excess, then dip them in the egg, then the coconut, coating both sides. Place on a baking tray and set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the coating to set before frying.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot, heat about 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees.
Working in batches, place the shrimp in the hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Remove with tongs and set on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
To serve, arrange bibb lettuce leaves, cucumber sticks, lime wedges and snow pea shoots on a large plate. Serve with coconut shrimp and dipping sauce so wraps can be assembled as desired. Serves 6.