- 24 jumbo or colossal shrimp (about 2 lb), peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup panko (dried breadcrumbs)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 qt canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
- 1/2 Tbsp dried red chile flakes
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp water, divided
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Season shrimp with salt and set aside. In a large bowl, combine coconut and panko. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut milk. In another bowl, add flour.
Add shrimp to bowl with flour and toss to coat evenly. Transfer shrimp to egg-coconut milk mixture. In batches, transfer shrimp to coconut-panko mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer shrimp to a plate, wiping batter and crumbs off of their tails as you go. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add chile flakes, fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water and stir until sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 Tbsp water and cornstarch. Whisk it into sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in fish sauce. Set aside.
In a large wok or Dutch oven over high heat, add oil and heat to 375°. Lower shrimp into oil, one at a time, and fry, moving constantly with a metal spider until deep golden brown and crisp on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer shrimp to a bowl lined with paper towels, season with salt, and toss to coat. Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.