* 1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice
* 3 cloves garlic, peeled
* 2 Tbsp soy sauce
* 2 Tbsp cornstarch
* 1 red bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
* 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (may substitute lemon juice)
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp paprika
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
* 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1. Start by preparing the sauce. Put pineapple chunks, including the juice, in food processor and add the garlic, soy sauce, and cornstarch and process until smooth, then add chopped red bell peppers and pulse until peppers are chopped small and blended in (you want to see the peppers but the pieces should be tiny.)
2. Pour this mixture into a saucepan over low heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, then add the vinegar and stir; set aside.
(You can make this sauce ahead of time and refrigerate. It can then be served either hot or cold with your shrimp.)
3. To prepare batter for shrimp: Put the flour, salt, baking powder, and paprika in a bowl and mix together until blended, then pour in the water and whisk until batter is smooth; set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, put the bread crumbs and coconut and mix together.
5. To coat shrimp: Take each shrimp and first dip in batter, then roll in the coconut mixture, making sure the shrimp is well coated. Set each shrimp on a large sheet while you prepare the oil for frying.
6. Using a large heavy cast iron skillet, pour about 1 inch of high-heat oil (I prefer peanut oil) in the skillet and put over medium-high heat until oil sputters when a drop of water is added. If you have a candy thermometer heat to 360 to 365 degrees.
7. Gently place a few shrimp in the oil and cook until golden brown, flipping the shrimp once during the cooking time. Remove cooked shrimp as they brown and put on paper towel covered cooling rack to drain.
8. Serve the warm shrimp with either warm or cold dipping sauce.
When I was in Hawaii, I had the best Coconut Shrimp ever. I have been trying to duplicate the recipe every since, and this recipe has come the closest.
If your shrimp are large enough, 'butterfly' them to cook more evenly and get more coated surface. Just make a shallow cut along the back (where you removed the vein), but not all the way through, and leave the tail intact. Then just gently press it open and somewhat flat.
The pineapple dipping sauce compliments the shrimp so well, don't make one without the other. Enjoy!