This is my way of heading to the tropics without ever leaving home and it’s my favorite summer appetizer (and sometimes I have it for dinner, just for myself). Crispy coconut shrimp, flash fried until it’s brown and caramelized on the outside, tender and fresh inside. I pile them up high around a colorful platter, then serve it with fresh pineapple salsa. Your guests will love it, or if you’re not entertaining, just pour a glass of wine wine and dig in to this delicious plate by the pool.
Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa
1 lb fresh shrimp (or frozen and thawed) peeled and deveined
1 cup cornstarch (or flour, whichever you have in the pantry!)
1 cup shredded shredded coconut
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
pinch of salt
2 egg whites, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
For pineapple salsa:
1 cup diced fresh pineapple (for tips on peeling and cutting a pineapple, check out this video)
1 cup seeded and diced roma tomato
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime
salt and pepper to taste
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
Place the coconut flakes and the panko, along with a generous pinch of salt, in a medium sized bowl and toss to combine. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk them and finally the flour in a third bowl. Dip the shrimp in first the flour (dust of any excess flour), then the egg whites, and finally in the shredded coconut mixture and coat generously. Fry in hot oil for just a few minutes or until lightly golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with additional salt.
For the salsa, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and gently mix until it’s all combined. Keep at room temperature for a few minutes so the flavors really combine. Serve with crispy coconut shrimp and enjoy!