Not long ago, the culinary skills of chefs from all around the world were only limited to deep-frying and making curry out of plain shrimp using all the basic ingredients in a kitchen. However, over the years, the art of cooking has substantially evolved and people are always seen experimenting with different ingredients to create a completely new appetizing dish every once in a while!
One of the most mouthwatering experimental dishes comprise of the combination of coconut with shrimp. Even though most people were not a great fan of the ‘coconut shrimp’ earlier, it has become quite popular among other delicacies nowadays and people just can’t seem to be getting enough of it!
Shrimp, among other crustaceans like lobsters and crabs, is lavishly rich in terms of flavors and contains a variety of nutrients like iodine which isn’t generally available in other common source of foods. However, when combined with coconut, this crowd-pleaser achieves a slightly sweet taste and creamy-soft texture.
Usually served as starters during events, most people struggle a lot while deciding on a side dish to pair it up with. They end up taking quite a lot of time brainstorming and hence we have taken the time to help you figure it all out so that you can be as innovative as possible with the dish. Read ahead to find out more!
Before we begin, you should be aware that it isn’t necessary that you ‘have’ to pair up your coconut shrimp with a side dish. You can also try easier side options like making different flavored dips or just by normally serving it with a tropical drink. You can also just serve it as finger food with or without any side dishes because of its sweet and crunchy taste on the outside. However, since you have quite a few options to choose from, we have listed a few of them below for you.
Coconut Shrimp With A Dip
This one is probably the best arena for you to get as inventive as possible because you have an endless series of ingredients that you can choose from to make your special sauce. Be it salty, sour or sweet, you can try dipping your coconut shrimp into any flavor you want in a matter of minutes. To help you get started, we have mentioned a few recipes below. Feel free to have a look!
The Orange-Chili Dipping:
- 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (Thai)
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (Up to taste & Optional)
- A pinch of salt (Up to taste & Optional)
- ½ cup orange marmalade
Making the sauce is very easy since you only need to combine the ingredients and mix until you achieve the perfect texture of your sauce. Start by pouring the marmalade to a container large enough to fit in all the ingredients. Then add the other ingredients one by one into the container. You can alter the ratios of the ingredients according to your taste.
The Pineapple-Cilantro Dipping:
- Chili Garlic Sauce (1 teaspoon)
- Chunked Pineapples (8 ounces)
- Cilantro leaves (1/4 cup)
For this sauce, you’ll need to squash down the chunked pineapples until you see a smooth texture. Use a food processor to carry out this action and add the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to mix it well enough so that there are no lumps of spices.
However, the sauce is not limited to only these two flavors. You can also find a good mango sauce, tartar sauce, apricot sauce, red curry sauce or any other sauce that you can think of!
Coconut Shrimp with Drinks
In need of a few colorful drinks to serve alongside your crispy shrimps? Grab a couple of paper cocktail umbrellas from the store for décor and use any of the tropical drinks that pairs nicely with the coconut shrimp. For adults, these may comprise of mojitos, daiquiris and Pina colada. However, you can serve the children with non-alcoholic ones like ice teas, flavored juices, skewer orange slices and fruit smoothies.
Now that you have a basic idea of the easier sides that you can pair up with your coconut shrimp, let’s have a look at the rest of the side dishes which taste absolutely divine once served with the shrimps and require actual cooking rather than just mixing or shaking.
When it comes to side dishes, you should always remember to pair up the coconut shrimp with a lighter combination so that the mouthwatering taste of the coconut and shrimp is not lost. Here are a few of the side dishes that you may choose while cooking.
Who doesn’t love a platter of good crunchy French fries along with coconut shrimps? Fries are the easiest to make and goes well with almost anything and everything. Remember, you can also mix more stuff along with the fries to make the platter more exciting and full of taste.
These may include ingredients like green onions, sour cream, bacon, chicken slices, cheddar cheese, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, onion or basil. All you need to do is give the fries a good toss to make sure all the spices have mixed out evenly.
To add variety to the options, mashed potatoes may also be a very good side dish for your coconut shrimp. Not to mention, hash browns with creamy mushroom soup, freshly grilled salad and cheesy potatoes are also on the list too!
If you’re looking for a whole meal to serve, you can definitely go for the pasta as a side to your shrimps. You can try making your regular pasta that you usually make at home for friends or family. However, if you’re still looking for ideas, mac and cheese can make a very good option alongside the coconut shrimps. You can also add spring onions or bacon to bring in a new flavor to it.
Moreover, pasta made with chicken soup, garlic, onion, mushrooms can also make a very good pair for the dish. Try adding cream sauce, macaroni, celery, mayo and pimento to make your pasta even more delectable.
Since you’ll either be deep frying or baking the coconut shrimps with oil or butter, fresh vegetables may be a healthier option to put together with it. If you happen to be a fan of coleslaw, you’ll be happy to know that it goes very well with the shrimps.
On the other hand, freshly chopped cold or hot veggies may also taste as delicious as your other alternatives. You can also try grilling them to get a different taste. Veggies like sweet onion, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots can never go wrong and may taste even better with your favorable salad dressing on it.
Like pasta, rice can also be served as the main course of your meal. Also, there are endless ways of making the rice more tempting and flavorful not only to the eyes but to your taste as well. The basic fried rice can couple up just fine with your crispy and soft coconut shrimps.
You can, of course, alter the taste by using different spices, ingredients or sauces to take on an innovative flavor! These may include ingredients which are rich in flavor like mushrooms, nuts, beans, shallots, sliced chicken, etc. Not to mention, you can also add herbs for an even better and unique sense of taste. If you’re looking for a creamy alternative, go for a risotto!
The side dishes listed above will surely pair up well with your coconut shrimps if served hot because the shrimps taste the best when it’s served sizzling hot. However, if you’re still confused about making the sides mentioned above, you can always be a bit innovative and go on board with whatever you feel may taste good with those crispy coconut shrimps.