So, I had a moment last week. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and decided that I DESPERATELY needed seafood. Luckily, we still have tons of Zaycon shrimp in the freezer from our last haul.
I’ve made these before, and they were to-die-for-delicious. I made them for my mother, the queen of ordering coconut shrimp appetizers wherever we go– and she loved them. I made them for my in-laws, who live in St. Augustine and therefore have constant access to glorious seafood–and they loved them. I made them for Tansey and the kids, with all sorts of sauces–and by golly, they loved them, too!
Well about halfway through my prep, my neighbor stopped by and started talking about some gigantic scallops that he got from the local seafood market. He was waxing poetic, talking about their buttery sweetness in exquisite detail, when I decided (of course!) that I had to have some scallops to go along with my shrimp.
30 minutes later, the boys and I are heading home from the market with a pound of the most luscious dry scallops you have ever seen.
(Quick note: Although more expensive, “dry” scallops are the WAY TO GO. They have been untreated by phosphates–added to help them absorb water weight and lower costs for the scallop processor–and are much, much, much tastier. One sure sign of a dry scallop: a vanilla-like color instead of the bright white we’ve all seen before.)
Even though I was excited about the scallops, the coconut shrimp were going to be the stars of the show. I took tons of photos and lots of notes while making them. But then…then. We finally sat down to dinner. And the scallops were SO tasty that I stopped what I was doing (eating) in order to take photos of the (very few) scallops that were left. So today, my friends, you get a two-for-one deal here. Coconut shrimp, and scallops. Great on their own, or great together.
We paired both the shrimp and the scallops with Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc and let me tell you, we were floored. The combination was beyond perfect. And although I only sipped the wine, I agree with Tansey’s raving review: this stuff is good. Give it a try.
As far as the sauce goes, I’ve tried tons of different types. I’ve mixed orange marmalade with hot sauce, raspberry preserves with lime juice and red pepper flakes, and even tried a creamy sriracha style sauce. Basically, whatever I’ve got in my fridge ends up being the coconut shrimp dipping sauce. That said, our favorite (and thankfully, the easiest!) solution is the store-bough Sweet Chili Sauce pictured here. It is spicy–we like spicy–and super, super tasty. Is it full of sugar and therefore not the healthiest option? Hell yes. But sometimes, after cooking 2 lbs of coconut shrimp and 1 lb of scallops…you just want a sauce that comes from a bottle.
- 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 3 eggs
- 1-2 cups coconut oil, enough to fill 1 inch of your pan
- 1 lb dry scallops
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper.
- In a second bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and coconut flakes.
- In a third bowl, beat together the eggs.
- Create an assembly line of all three. Working one at a time, dip each shrimp into the flour mixture, then the egg, then the coconut mixture, and then lay them onto a platter.
- Heat the coconut oil in a skillet of saucepan over medium high heat.
- Add a few shrimp to the pan, keeping them in a single layer. Let them fry for about 6 minutes on each side, or until the coconut turns a golden brown. Remove to a plate with a paper towel.
- Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.
- Heat the oil and butter together in a small skillet over medium high heat.
- Salt and pepper the scallops, then add them to the pan in a single layer (no overlapping). Depending on the size of your scallops, sear them for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the edges start to get crispy and golden.
- Remove to a plate with a paper towel. Serve immediately.