Crispy fried prawns coated in shredded coconut make great finger food for a party. Prep them in the afternoon and keep them in the fridge, then deep fry them to golden crunchiness when you’re ready to serve up. If you can get a fresh coconut, you can grate your own, or use desiccated coconut from the supermarket.
1 cup flour
20 prawns (shrimp) shelled with tails intact, deveined
2 cups shredded coconut (fresh or dried)
vegetable oil for deep frying
Thai cucumber relish (Ajat):
½ cup white sugar
½ cup white vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp diced cucumber
2 small Asian red shallots, sliced
2 long red chillies, sliced
To make the cucumber relish, heat the sugar, vinegar and salt in a saucepan over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Then transfer to a bowl. Stir through the cucumber, shallots and chillies.
Make a batter by mixing the flour with 1½ cups water. Dip each prawn into the batter and then coat in the coconut. Set aside on a tray until ready to cook.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is hot (325°F or 165°C or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles) cook the prawns for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Flip them a couple of times as they cook to ensure an even colour. Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with the Thai cucumber relish.