I’m a creature of habit. Whenever I travel to the USA if there’s a Bubba Gump restaurant nearby there’s a very strong chance I’ll end up in it at some point. I’m sure that many people would argue that it’s little more than a gimmicky chain restaurant (themed around the film Forrest Gump, if you don’t know it) but I have to say I’ve never had a bad meal in one and really enjoy the experience. Like most places with oversized menus I tend to work my way through different combinations each time I go, but whatever I choose will inevitably include Coconut Shrimp.
There’s a lot of joy to be found in a steaming hot plate of sweet prawns wrapped in a crispy coconut coating, but sadly it’s not the sort of thing that’s easy to recreate at home if you (a) are trying to eat healthily, and (b) don’t like frying things in excessive amounts of oil as it makes for a lot of mess and waste.
The good news is that you don’t need a fryer to get a very tasty (if slightly different) version of Coconut Prawns – you just need a good baking sheet, a hot oven and plenty of hungry people nearby…
- 200 g King Prawns if you can get tail on then all the better
- 1 Large Egg beaten
- 50 g Plain Flour
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 75 g Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut
- 50 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- Cooking Spray / Spray Oil
Prepare the prawns (if needed) by removing the shells and deveining them, but leave the tails on if possible. Prawns like this can be hard to find in the UK, so I tend to buy raw King Prawns where all the hard work has already been done.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick parchment.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together and put onto a shallow plate. Put the beaten egg into a separate plate alongside. Lastly, mix the coconut and panko together and put onto a third plate.
Dip each prawn into the flour mixture, making sure they’re well coated, before tapping off any excess. Then dip into the egg, again coating well, before allowing any excess to drop off. Finally, coat in the coconut breadcrumb mixture, pressing the mix on to make sure it covers each prawn.
Lay the prawns out onto the baking sheet and mist with the oil (or cooking spray). Put into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until the coating is golden brown and the prawns are cooked through.
Serve immediately with the dip of your choice.