I have to give credit where credit is due, so believe it or not – this yummy recipe was created & developed by my 8yr old son. In our family, he is the bona fide seafood addict with pretty adult tastes for a kid his age. He had tried calamari at age 3 years and has been hooked ever since. He loves it all – calamari, clams, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobster, all varieties of fish & yes, sushi too. I’m so blessed not to have a picky eater and yes, I am definitely one proud mama! So please enjoy my son’s Spicy Coconut Panko Shrimp recipe.
This recipe can be either fried or baked/broiled in the oven. The use of panko breadcrumbs (which are a larger Japanese bread crumb) adds a wonderful crunch and crispy texture. Japanese panko breadcrumbs are easily available in any large grocery store and supermarket.
SPICY COCONUT PANKO SHRMP
1 lb medium-large size shrimp (peeled, de-veined, tail removed)
2 tbsp rice flour
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (small to medium coconut flakes)
¼ cup freshly minced cilantro leaves
1½ cups Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 tbsp of water
oil as needed (vegetable, canola or peanut)
lemon or lime wedges
Rinse the shrimp, drain well and pat dry.
In a shallow baking dish, combine the rice flour with the spices (paprika, turmeric, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, salt and pepper). Mix well to combine and add all the shrimp so they have a light and even dusting of the seasoned rice flour and spices. Now add 1 tbsp of oil and mix well to coat. Let the shrimp sit for 5-6 minutes before use.
Next, add the cilantro leaves and the coconut to the panko breadcrumbs and mix well. Now set up a breading station for your shrimp with the lightly beaten egg and the panko breadcrumbs. Just before you are ready to fry, dip the shrimp into the egg wash and then into the panko breadcrumbs making sure all the shrimps have a light even coating.
*To fry the shrimp:
Heat a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat. Cast iron skillets are absolutely perfect for this recipe, so if you have one, by all means, use it. Now add enough oil for frying. When the oil is hot (about 375 deg F), carefully add a few of the shrimp at a time. This may need to be done in batches. Cook each shrimp for just a few minutes on one side, then carefully turn the shrimp and let it brown on the other side for just another minute or so. Do not overcook. The outside of the shrimp should be golden brown and crispy while the inside should be fully cooked yet still succulent. Remove the shrimps from the skillet, drain well on a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little salt while the shrimp are still hot. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges, serve hot as a side dish or serve them as an appetizer with your favorite chutneys and sauces.
*To bake the shrimp:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet or tray. Drizzle the shrimp liberally with a little oil to help with the browning and also keep the shrimp moist. Bake on the center rack for about 4-6 minutes per side or until the shrimp are golden brown and crispy on the outside while the inside is fully cooked yet still succulent. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges, serve hot as a side dish or serve them as an appetizer with your favorite chutneys and sauces.
*To broil the shrimp:
Set the oven to the “broil” setting. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet or tray. Drizzle the shrimp liberally with a little oil to help with the browning and also keep the shrimp moist. Bake on the top rack for about 3-5 minutes per side or until the shrimp are golden brown and crispy on the outside while the inside is fully cooked yet still succulent. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges, serve hot as a side dish or serve them as an appetizer with your favorite chutneys and sauces.
Use small size or baby shrimp to make popcorn shrimp for the kids are even as an appetizer for adults.
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers: gently reheat the shrimp in a low oven and then add to wraps or tacos with some fresh lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese and your favorite sauce.
You can also make this using chicken tenders or even large paneer cubes using the same basic recipe, just note that cooking times will vary accordingly.