Updated: Oct 24, 2018
Light and crispy grain-free battered jumbo coconut shrimp deep fried in pure olive oil and dipped in sweet citrus compote with a kick.
When you bite into a coconut shrimp, it's like food sensory overload. Outer layers of sweet, flaky coconut crunch and lightly salted, crisp, airy fry batter envelope a tender, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery seafood interior. No surprises here, just deep fat fried food as it should be.
Back in my catering days, I made coconut shrimp with Krusteaz pancake batter dredged in sugary coconut flakes, salted and deep fried, then dunked in sweet orange marmalade. The trifecta of fat, salt and sugar is the thing that makes you want more. But it's also the triple threat for obesity, food addiction and bad health.
Now, I'm not here to mess with the taste of your coconut shrimp. I'm just here to make it healthier. Oh, we're still going to dip it in batter and coconut and deep fry it, don't you worry. We're just going to make a few swaps so you can eat more without the unhealthy aftermath.
I'll show you how to make a basic, grain-free fry batter that's light, airy and crispy when fried in pure olive oil. And we'll use naturally sweet, coconut flakes. You won't miss the sugar at all. I promise! And the orange marmalade laden in corn syrup will get an upgrade too. Read on for the full recipe.
LFG Coconut Shrimp
6 Jumbo Wild Caught Shrimp
2 T** Coconut La Croix (or similar seltzer water)
1/2 t Cream of Tartar
4 T LFG Flour Blend*
1/2 t Salt
2 T Arrowroot Flour for Dredging
3 T Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
*LFG Flour is 2:1:1 cassava, coconut and almond flours
**Suze, one of our LFG members, added a bit more water for lower altitudes
Zesty Citrus Jam
2 T Monk Fruit Sweetener
2 T Water
Step 1 Prepare Your Shrimp
Peel and devein the shrimp. Make tiny alternating cuts down feet and back sides to sever the muscle. Be careful not to cut through to the other side, and to alternate the cuts. This will ensure that your shrimp lays flat and doesn't curl when frying. Place the shrimp on a paper towel to absorb excess water.
Step 2 Make the Fry Batter
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, carbonated water and cream of tartar together until frothy. Add flour and salt and whisk until well blended and has consistency of the fry batter you know. Set aside.
TIP: I live at high altitude so you may need to adjust flour/water ratio for your area. Suze, one of our LFG community members said she added a bit more water to her batter to get the right consistency.
Step 3 Batter the Shrimp
This is three-step, assembly line process. Put arrowroot flour in a paper lunch bag. Get your bowl of batter. And put the coconut flakes in another small bowl. Drop shrimp in paper bag and shake lightly until evenly dredged. Then dip the dredged shrimp in the batter. And finally, roll the battered in coconut. Place coconut shrimp on a parchment-lined plate. Pop into the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until ready to fry.
Step 4 Make the Citrus Compote
Zest the three citrus fruits into a small bowl. Filet the orange and put the fillets into the bowl with the zest. Squeeze the rest of the orange juice into the bowl. Cut the lemon and lime in half and squeeze. I use a hand juicer to squeeze them. Add the lemon and lime juice into the bowl. In a small sauce pan on high, add the zest, orange fillets and juice mixture, monk fruit sweetener and water. Whisk together as it comes to a boil. Boil for about two minutes while mashing the orange pieces into smaller chunks. Remove from heat. It should thicken up as it cools. Put into a small dip bowl or divide into individual shot glasses.
Step 5 Fry Your Shrimp
Preheat deep fat fryer filled with pure olive oil (not EVOO) to 320 degrees. Fry shrimp for about 4 - 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Do not overcook or shrimp will be rubbery.
TIP: Suze says you can also air fry these, too, and they come out great. Just spray the freezer-set shrimp with a little approved oil first.
To serve, place a beet leaf in the center of a plate and line up the coconut shrimp on top of it. Place the citrus jam on the side and dot with sriracha sauce to add heat.
Pair with Champagne or a Coconut La Croix. Enjoy!