Note: Shrimp can be stored in the freezer after frying. Let them cool to room temperature, transfer to a large plate, then place in the freezer until frozen. Transfer to a zipper-lock bag and store for up to three months. To reheat, bake frozen shrimp on a pre-heated 400°F oven on a rimmed baking sheet until crisp, about 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking. Alternatively, fry directly from freezer in 375°F oil until crisp and heated through, about 3 minutes.
- For the Shrimp:
- Twenty-Four 12/15 count jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup panko-style bread crumbs
- 2 whole eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
- For the Sweet Chili Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
- 1 tablespoon dried red chili flakes, or 2-3 thai bird chilis, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- To Finish:
- 2 quarts canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
Season shrimp with salt and set aside. Mix coconut and panko in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Mix eggs and 2 tablespoons flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk until homogenous. Place remaining flour in a large mixing bowl.
Add shrimp to bowl with flour and toss to coat evenly. Transfer shrimp to egg mixture, shaking off excess flour. Toss to coat thoroughly. Hold the bowl with the coconut mixture in your let hand, and tossing constantly, pick up shrimp one at a time with your right hand, allow excess batter to drip off, and toss in the coconut mixture. The shrimp should end up evenly coated without sticking to each other.
transfer the shrimp to a plate, wiping batter and crumbs off of their tails as you go. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the garlic, chili flakes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix together remaining water and corn starch in a small bowl to create a smooth slurry. Whisk it into the sauce and bring to a boil over medium high heat to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in fish sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 375°F as measured on an instant read thermometer. Lower shrimp into oil one at a time and fry, agitating constantly with a metal spider until deep golden brown and crisp on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer shrimp to a bowl lined with paper towels, season with kosher salt, and toss to coat. Serve immediately, with dipping sauce on the side.