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Boy Eats World!
By David Lawrence
I experimented with several ways to make coconut shrimp without frying them. Not that I have anything against fried coconut shrimp. I love fried coconut shrimp. I just hate standing over a vat of hot oil, dipping and dredging and frying them up. The key to baking them is to toast the coconut first. It's a subtle thing that makes all the difference.
FOR THE SHRIMP
• 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup panko* (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• 4 large egg whites
• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails intact
• Nonstick cooking spray
FOR THE SALSA
• 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
• 1/3 cup finely minced red onion
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/4 cup pineapple preserves
• 1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced, to taste
• Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
• Kosher salt
• Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
*Panko bread crumbs can be found on the Asian aisle of most major grocery stores or in Asian markets.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spread the coconut evenly on an ungreased sheet pan and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
To prepare the shrimp, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, and salt. Place the toasted coconut in another dish. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until frothy. Pat the shrimp dry and dip first in the egg whites, then the flour, back in the egg whites, then roll in the coconut.
Arrange the shrimp on the prepared pan and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until cooked through and golden.
To make the salsa, in a small bowl combine the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, pineapple preserves, jalapeno, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the coconut shrimp.
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