Crispy, sweet, coconut shrimp is the undisputed star of restaurant appetizers. All it takes is one bite to know that anything that tastes this good can't be healthy! Thus, creating a healthier version was no easy feat. In fact, I almost gave up when my first attempts weren't on par with the real (fried) thing. Then I had a revelation. I swapped out the customary egg white that most folks use to make the crumbs adhere to the shrimp for something stickier, creamier, and far more flavorful. Voilà! Coconut Coconut Shrimp — crispy and sweet as the "real" thing (served with a spicy Asian dipping sauce).
*Note: Popping the shrimp into the freezer for 15 minutes will help hold the crumbs in place.
Place all of the ingredients in a small measuring cup and stir. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the coconut, panko, and dry breadcrumbs. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, light mayonnaise, and coconut extract. Dip each shrimp into the milk mixture and then into the crumb mixture to coat.
Place the coated shrimp onto the baking sheet. Spray the shrimp well with cooking spray.* Bake for 15 minutes and then broil for 1 minute to lightly brown (watch carefully). Microwave the sauce on high power for 30-60 seconds until warm. Stir again. Serve with the shrimp.