RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Crispy Thai coconut prawns

RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Crispy Thai coconut prawns

Coconut and panko crumbed prawns with a sweet-tangy-spicy dipping sauce.

Everything tastes better when it's fried!

Truer words were never spoken when it comes to prawns. Pan-fried? Tossed on the barbie? Twirled through pasta? Meh! None of them come close to rivalling a plump juicy prawn enclosed by a deep golden brown crunchy coating. (A coconut-flavoured one at that!)

Throw in a sweet-tangy-spicy dipping sauce and boom! You've got a winner of a party starter, right there. Guaranteed to be the first to go at any gathering. And it's totally worthy of your backyard Christmas barbie.

Crispy Thai coconut prawns.
Crispy Thai coconut prawns. Photo: RecipeTin Eats

Bonus: These coconut prawns reheat brilliantly. Cook the prawns per the recipe, then let them cool completely before placing them in the fridge in an airtight container. When you're ready to serve, pop them on a rack on a tray and bake for 5-7 minutes in a 220C oven (200C fan-forced) until the outside is crispy and the inside is just warmed through. This is a life-saver make-ahead technique for parties – nobody wants to be that host who's stuck inside deep-frying while everyone else is having fun!

Crispy Thai coconut prawns with sweet chilli and lime dipping sauce

This is an outright copycat of the crunchy coconut prawns often found on Thai restaurant menus. Those prawns you had on the beaches of Phuket, washed down with ice-cold fruit cocktails as you squidged your toes in the sand and watched the sun go down.

INGREDIENTS

  • 35g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 35g (⅓ cup) panko breadcrumbs
  • 60g (¾ cup) desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400g uncooked prawns*, peeled and deveined (1kg whole prawns, medium to large)
  • 750ml–1 litre vegetable oil (or canola, peanut or other neutral flavoured oil)
  • lime wedges, finely sliced red chilli and coriander leaves, to serve (optional)

Sweet chilli and lime dipping sauce

  • 5 tbsp store-bought sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
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METHOD

  1. To make the dipping sauce, place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl. Lightly whisk the eggs in another bowl. Mix panko, coconut and salt in a third bowl. 
  3. Coat a prawn in flour, and shake off excess. Then dip in egg, let excess drip off, then coat in panko. Repeat with remaining prawns.
  4. Heat 2cm of oil in a heavy-based skillet or pot (or 700ml of oil in a wok) over medium-high heat. Toss in a bit of panko to test if it's ready – it should sizzle straight away.
  5. Carefully place 5 or 6 prawns in the oil and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes or until deep golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining prawns.
  6. To serve, pile prawns on a platter with the dipping sauce and lime wedges, if using, on the side. Sprinkle with chilli and coriander, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8 as a starter

*Fresh is best though nowadays you can get very good quality frozen Australian prawns. Thaw completely, drain well then pat dry before use. 

Recipe from Nagi Maehashi of RecipeTin Eats