Be careful not to overcrowd the pan when frying so that your shrimp can crisp up and turn golden.
This seafood favourite is found in the Yucatán peninsula, from the shores of Campeche to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean.
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt divided
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup plain flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
900 g extra large shrimp, tails intact
Mango habanero hot sauce, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
On a large plate, combine unsweetened and sweetened coconut flakes with the corn flake crumbs and ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat them well with a whisk or fork along with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside. Pour the plain flour onto another large plate and set aside.
Add enough oil to a large frying pan or casserole to get about 2 cm height. Set over medium heat.
One by one, dredge the shrimp in the flour so they are completely covered and shake off the excess. Then, dip them completely in the beaten egg mixture. Immediately coat them with the coconut mix, but do so gently so the coconut won’t fall off: place each egg coated shrimp on the plate and with your hands, add some of the coconut mix on top, pressing lightly so they are completely covered. Don’t shake them off at this point. Set them aside on a plate or board.
Once you are done coating the shrimp, check your oil. If you have a thermometer, it should be around 180°C. You may raise the temperature to medium-high if it still isn't there. Another way to test is to dip in the tip of a shrimp - the oil should actively and happily bubble all around it.
Fry the shrimp in batches, without overcrowding the pan, until they are cooked through, crisp and golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Flip them using rubber tip tongs from the tail, so you don’t break the beautiful coconut coating. Don’t over cook them either! Place them on a drying rack or platter covered with paper towel, and serve.