Men like my husband prefer things “crusted.” That’s the highbrow way of stating that if dinner were left to him, we’d too often be eating miscellaneous “cutlets” fried in two inches of canola oil. These shrimp are the middle ground. Just the right amount of coconut intensifies the flavor profile without adding on too many calories. They bake through to a faux-fried crisp in less time than it would take to order takeout.
1 c. panko
⅓ c. coconut flakes
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. olive oil
1 whole egg
1 egg white
Flour (not tons, just enough for coating)
Salt and pepper, of course
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a rack on the top rung.
After peeling your shrimp, rinse them and pat dry. Then, toss in the juice of ½ of the lemon. Set aside momentarily.
Prepare your three-bowl dunking system. Pour some flour in bowl number one. In bowl number two, beat together the egg and egg white. In bowl number three, toss together the panko, coconut flakes, chili powder, garlic powder, olive oil, and salt and pepper (to taste).
Now get dunking. Lightly coat the shrimp in flour first, then the egg mixture, then the dry mixture. This can get sloppy, so make sure to drip off excess egg before tossing in the dry mixture. I do the shrimp one at a time to make sure the crust really sticks.
Place them side-by-side on a broiler pan and bake for 8-10 minutes. If they are not achieving the golden crunchiness you desire, broil for 1-2 minutes, but watch carefully to avoid shrimpocalypse.
My experiment with a sweet chili dipping sauce went south, but I will work on this for next time. I like to serve with plain basmati rice and string beans, sautéed with a little bit of soy, garlic, and ginger.