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2 large fresh unripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, cut in cubes, for salsa
1 to 2 large organic tomatoes, washed, cut in cubes, for salsa
1 large red onion, diced, for salsa
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, for salsa
1 fresh lime, for salsa
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided, use 1 teaspoon for salsa, rest for shrimp coating
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided use 1 teaspoon for salsa, rest for shrimps
12 pieces large fresh tiger shrimps (uncooked), peeled, deveined, remove heads, tails intact
¾ cup all purpose flour, to coat shrimps
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large egg
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup Panko (Japanese) bread crumbs or use regular bread crumbs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 fresh lemons, sliced, to sprinkle on cooked shrimp
12 pieces long cocktail picks or bamboo skewer (pre-soak skewers for 20 minutes)
Toss salsa ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the coconut shrimp.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Combine flour, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in a shallow dish. Beat egg in a separate small bowl. In a third dish, combine coconut and Panko bread crumbs.
Dredge shrimp first in flour mixture, and then dip in egg. Roll the shrimps in coconut mixture, gently shaking off excess.
Place shrimps coated with mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, covered loosely with wax or parchment paper.
After shrimp have chilled, preheat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil reaches 350 ° (if using a thermometer), in about 2 to 3 minutes, gently drop coated shrimps into skillet and pan fry about 6 to 8 minutes, or until cooked and outer coating is golden. Turn shrimps around for even browning. Drain shrimps on a paper towel or parchment paper. Serve crisp and warm, with mango salsa on the side. Serve with slices of lemon and sprinkle on shrimps at table side.
To serve: thread the cooked shrimps in long cocktail picks or pre-soaked bamboo skewers for guests to easily pick up.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.
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