Although it says “Hawaiian vacation” as definitively as surfboards and ukuleles, coconut shrimp is probably another invention from one of the originators of the Tiki craze, Donn Beach or “Trader” Vic Bergeron. Here is our version, served from Tokyo to Florida. Depending on the occasion, you can serve the shrimp plated with Asian slaw as a first course, or heaped on a platter with the sauce as a dip. Recipe courtesy of Flavors of Aloha: Cooking with Tommy Bahama.
Purée the chutney, mustard, and nectar in a blender. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside until serving.
Whisk the fry mix, beer, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Pour 2 inches of oil into a large, deep saucepan and heat the oil over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees F.
Spread the flour in a shallow bowl. Spread the coconut in a second bowl. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. One at a time, toss the shrimp in the flour, then in the batter, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Roll the shrimp in the coconut to coat evenly. Transfer to a platter.
In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the shrimp, turning them halfway through frying, until golden brown, about 2½ minutes. Using a wire spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the wire rack and keep warm in the oven while frying the rest.
To serve as a first course, for each serving, spoon some slaw in the center of a salad plate. Spread a scant 1 tablespoon of the sauce at the 12-o’clock position of the plate, then 1 tablespoon each at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Top each serving of sauce with a shrimp and serve. To serve informally, pour the sauce into a small serving bowl, heap the shrimp on a platter, and serve with the sauce as a dip.