After a horrible takeout experience which saw us wait almost 3 hours for Thai food that never arrived, Katie and I decided to spend last Saturday making the ultimate Thai feast ourselves. The plan was to make our favourites – Pad Thai and Red Curry Chicken. While I was shopping for the ingredients at Kowloon Market, I decided that I would also make an appetizer.
A few years back my Mom bought be a Thai cooking class at the Urban Element on Parkdale. It was an incredible experience that taught me so much about the flavours, ingredients and cooking techniques that make Thai food so unique and wonderful. We made everything from Tom Yum Soup to Curried Chicken Pot Pies to Lemongrass Poached Halibut. Perhaps my favourite dish was the coconut shrimp, which were battered, deep fried and served with with an incredible ginger aioli. I had never deep fried anything before. The thought of deep frying something myself was intimidating. I quickly realized that it was actually quite easy and a lot of fun. Oh, and absolutely delicious.
- 20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 2 large kaffir lime leaves, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten with 2 tbsp water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying (Peanut or Canola)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp sambal chilli paste
- 1 tbsp chives, minced
- 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
It’s best to start by making your aioli. It can be made up to two days in advance and kept in the fridge.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the yolks, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and ginger together.
- Pour in the oil very slowly in a thin and continuous stream, whisking constantly as you do so. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, seasoning it to taste.
Set the aioli aside or refrigerate if not using right away. Now it’s time to make your beautiful shrimp.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the Panko, shredded coconut, kaffir lime leaves, salt and pepper. In a second bowl, beat the eggs with the water.
- One at a time, toss the shrimp in the egg mixture, and then roll them through the Panko and coconut mixture until they are well-coated. Set them aside on a sheet of parchment paper until they are all ready.
- Heat oil in a large, deep sauce pan until it reaches 350F. You’ll want to fill the sauce pan with about 2-3 inches of oil. Drop a small pinch of the batter in the oil to test if it is hot enough. The batter should sizzle and brown upon contact with the oil.
- Carefully place 3-4 shrimp in the oil at a time. Allow them to fry for about 2 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove and set aside on paper towel, and continue until all of your shrimp are fried.
Serve these golden beauties immediately with the ginger aioli and enjoy!