Food is a very evocative thing for me, as I am sure it is for most of us. The smell and taste of some foods can literally act like a time machine, whizzing me back to a memory or place.
A whiff of candy floss, and I’m 9 again, playing at the fairground. The wafting scent of a scone, and I’m with my mama, gobbling down batches of them hot from the oven in our family kitchen. Proper mozzarella makes me think of family holidays spent in Italy, munching mozzarella and parma ham, bobbing on a boat, whilst simultaneously licking salt from my face. I cannot eat spaghetti without thinking of my dad throwing it on the ceiling to test if it was done.
Sometimes food can take me to a memory I haven’t even made yet, but one I have clearly in my mind. The merest hint of coconut, and I’m immediately transported to a Caribbean island, swinging in a hammock, drinking from a coconut, and being fanned by a huge palm leaf. This applies to all things coconut. Bubble bath, moisturiser, sun cream, and coconut milk. Perhaps this explains why I have such a huge collection of coconut scented paraphernalia.
Whilst I beaver away making my Caribbean dream come true, I will settle for these coconut and lime fried prawns, which are absolutely delicious. Crunchy, satisfying, and just the right level of sweet and easy!
I’ve tried my fair share of fried prawns, and the addition of the coconut really makes these some of the best I’ve ever had. I also love using Panko breadcrumbs, as they make the whole thing feel a bit lighter, while giving a gorgeous crunch.
This will serve 4 people as a starter, or 2 as a main. It’s also very easy to adapt, so double up as necessary, depending on how hungry you all are, and how much everyone loves crispy prawns! If your family is anything like mine, that’ll be a lot!
- ⅓ cup flour (wholewheat works too, GF if that tickles your fancy)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Zest of 1 lime
- ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup sweetened dessicated coconut
- 500g raw large prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined but keep the tails on
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil or coconut oil
- Combine flour, lime zest, salt, and pepper in one bowl.
- Beat the eggs in the second bowl.
- Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.
- Dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then cover the shrimp into the coconut. You want a lot of coconut on each shrimp, you may need to press it on to really get it all over. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.
- Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches - do not crowd them in the pan or they wont go lovely and crispy. Flip after 2 minutes and fry the other side until golden brown.
- Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest to soak up any excess oil.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime and some sweet chili sauce for dipping. YUM.