I learned a few lessons from this Coconut Shrimp & Pineapple Salsa recipe:
Lesson # 1 When Sriracha is involved in a recipe, it has to be good! I already knew this...but oh my word! Sriracha, cilantro AND pineapple. Heaven! Also, I love any excuse to use my beloved cock sauce. *snort*
Lesson # 2: No matter how hard I try, I can't convince myself that baked coconut/panko covered shrimp taste just like the original fried version. Not to say that these shrimp didn’t taste good, they were actually pretty scrumptious! It’s just that whenever I order coconut shrimp on a menu, they’re both fried and earth shattering. I’m usually on vacation when this happens... drinking fruity cocktails that have umbrellas hanging off the edge of them. So yeah. Maybe that’s the real disconnect or maybe I just really need a vacation? (I do.)
Lesson # 3 I must make this pineapple salsa OFTEN and triple the recipe! We ran out of salsa before we ran out of shrimp. I think there was a point where I looked back and saw Casey drinking the juice from the little bowl I put it in. I think that's a sign that he liked it?
Lesson # 4 Fry the shrimp next time. If I'm really craving fried coconut shrimp, then I should do it. It's not like I'm going to make this dish weekly... I'll probably follow all the the same steps but fry the shrimp in a shallow amount of oil in a frying pan. If you're looking to eat something lighter, by all means make this recipe!
And we're off!
Get the ingredients together.
Panko, coconut & whole wheat flour. You are supposed to toast the coconut. I forgot to. Oops.
Whip the egg whites and add in the coconut extract.
Pop a shrimp in the flour! I used tail-on/cooked shrimp. (They didn't taste overcooked, btw.)
Then dip it in the egg whites. The flour makes the egg whites stick to the shrimp better. Fun fact!
Then dip the shrimp into the panko mixture and keep going! A little assembly line action time!
Now they're off to bake. Start the simple pineapple salsa. Chop up a pineapple.
Pair it with the cilantro & sriracha.
Just a little goes a long way!
Whirl it up in a food processor! It's so fragrant. Give it a sniff. Taste it. Love it.
The shrimp is ready.
And ready to be paired with that scrumptious salsa!
Now the question is- What should we drink with these?? And who has drink umbrellas? I want one.
Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa
Serves 4 (or 2 HUNGRY people. ahem.)
(recipe adapted from Now Eat This by Rocco Dispirito)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 egg whites
- 8 oz. medium shrimp, tail on (about 21-25 shrimp)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1/3 cup) chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet & set aside.
Place the flour in a shallow dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg white with a whisk until they are foamy but not quite holding peaks; whisk or mix the 1 teaspoon coconut extract into the egg white. Dredge the shrimp in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the shrimp to the egg whites and toss to coat completely. Then add the shrimp, a few at a time, to the coconut-panko mixture and coat completely.
Place the breaded shrimp on the wire rack and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake until the breading is golden and crispy and the shrimp are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the pineapple with sriracha until smooth. If the pineapple salsa is too thick, add a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper.
When the shrimp are done, serve with the pineapple salsa for dipping.