Last week, I expressed my enthusiasm for Jaden from Steamy Kitchen and her new cookbook. Since then, I've actually gotten my hands on a copy of the book, and I obviously couldn't tear it open and start cooking from it fast enough.
I agonized for about 2 minutes over which recipe to try first, until Jaden kindly made the decision for me! Each recipe has an approachable and often giggle-out-loud funny little intro blurb. As I was reading through these blurbs at an absurdly late hour the night I got the book, I read that if Jaden had to pick one recipe to start with, this Coconut Shrimp would be it. Problem solved!
I don't make shrimp too often, but I think now I just might have to start. Loved this. I served it with another dish from the book, a sauteed snow pea and bok choy recipe that I'll share with you soon. For more on just how special this book is, take a look at this heartfelt writeup by Jaden's friends Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple.
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
Serves 2 as a main course
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted really dry
2 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths (Amy's note: I sliced them very thinly)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons cognac (or brandy or rum)
Generous pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar (omit if you are using sweetened coconut)
1. In a wok or frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut and toast until golden brown. This should take 3-4 minutes. Take care not to burn the coconut! Once the coconut is toasted, immediately remove to a plate to cool.
2. Wipe the wok or pan dry and set over high heat. When a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates upon contact, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the shrimp to the wok, keeping them in a single layer. Fry for 1 minute, flip and fry an additional minute until almost cooked through. Remove from the wok, keeping as much oil in the wok as possible.
3. Turn the heat to medium, add the butter, and once it starts bubbling, add the green onion and garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cognac and add the salt and sugar. Stir and return the shrimp to the wok. Let the whole thing bubble and thicken just a bit- the sauce should lightly coat the shrimp. Remove from the heat, sprinkle in the toasted coconut and toss well.