There’s a seafood restaurant here in town that’s amazing, but a bit expensive. Alan and I used to go, spend a fortune on dinner, and leave stuffed. But recently we’ve been ordering off the appetizer menu: bisque for me, chowder for him, salad, and bang bang shrimp to share. It’s much more affordable, and just the right amount of food.
I am gluten intolerant, and avoid gluten as much as I can. So I decided to try to make the shrimp at home, breaded in coconut flour, not wheat flour. It took a few tries to get it right. First, I used all coconut flour, which was too strongly flavored and too dense. So I added some arrowroot powder to lighten the breading.
Then I stopped double-breading the shrimp, and switched to single-breading. I would toss the raw shrimp into the coconut/arrowroot, then into the egg wash, then back into the coconut/arrowroot. Again, it was too thick, too dense. A lot of fried shrimp recipes are super breaded, but I decided I like a slightly more delicate crust.
Here’s my recipe and technique. I can actually whip this up in about a half-hour after school, which makes a seemingly complicated recipe weeknight-friendly!
Ingredients for two servings:
- 16 raw large shrimp
- 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp. water
- pinch salt
- 2 cups neutral oil
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably homemade
- 3 Tbsp. sweet Thai chili sauce
- 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
- Boston bib lettuce
In a shallow bowl, combine 3 Tbsp. coconut flour, 3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Mix with a fork until uniform.
In another small bowl, crack one egg, add 2 Tbsp. water, and a pinch of salt. Beat with a fork until well blended.
Set up an assembly line: shrimp, egg wash, coconut/arrowroot breading, an empty plate.
Put the shrimp in the egg wash, and turn over so all sides are coated evenly.
Then put the shrimp in the breading, again coating to get both sides.
Now for a critical step: roll the spine of the shrimp in the breading, opening up the crevice, and getting breading evenly on the now-opened side.
Put 2 cups of oil into a small pot on the stove. I love this one.
It’s marketed as a steamer, although I read about it on The Kitchn, touting its ability to easily can a small batch of jam. I do use it to steam vegetables or boil a small amount of root vegetables, and to fry shrimp!
Heat the oil over medium-high until it’s 375 degrees F.
While the oil is heating up, mix the sauce. Combine 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce, and 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce in a medium bowl.
Mix with a fork until evenly blended.
Taste the sauce. If you want it sweeter, add a little more sweet chili sauce, 1 tsp. at a time. If you want it spicier, add a little more Sriracha, 1/2 tsp. at a time.
Now, drop four shrimp into the oil, one by one.
Cook for 60-90 seconds, or until the breading is golden brown and the shrimp is pink all the way through.
Carefully lift the shrimp out of the oil.
And empty into the sauce. I use a fork to help tip the basket upside down without burning myself.
Turn the shrimp over, making sure they get thoroughly coated in the sauce.
Repeat with remaining shrimp.
These are really good wrapped in Boston bib lettuce for lettuce wraps, or on top of a salad. The sauce sticks beautifully to the light, crispy breading. The inside is pink and tender. Delicious!