Left-Brain / Right-Brain Cookery

A double-take in the kitchen

Almond Shrimp Nibbles

Almond shrimp nibbles

Almond shrimp nibbles


These delicious crispy shrimp are incredibly popular cocktail party fare! The effort in frying them after your guests arrive is well worth it as myriad compliments are sent your way. I sometimes toss a baby-greens salad with lemon vinaigrette and top it off with two almond shrimp to serve as a starter course at a sit-down dinner.

Makes 21-25 shrimp, enough for 6 to 8 people as nibbles

1 lb (450g) large tail-on raw shrimp, size 21-25
1/3 cup (43g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (86g) cornstarch, divided
1/2 tsp (4g) salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup (75-125 mL) light or regular unsweetened coconut milk (see tip)
1 1/2 cups (130g) sliced almonds
2 cups (500 mL) peanut or other frying oil

  1. Peel shrimp, if needed, leaving tails attached – dry with paper towels.
  2. To make batter, stir flour with 1/3 cup (43g) cornstarch and salt. Stir in coconut milk until smooth, adding more if needed to have a thick-but-pourable batter. Place remaining cornstarch into a small bowl and almonds into another. Cover a baking pan or large platter with waxed paper.
  3. Holding shrimp tail (and leaving it uncoated), dip shrimp into cornstarch, tapping off any that does not adhere. Dip into batter to coat all but the tail; then into sliced almonds, pressing lightly so nuts adhere. Place on waxed paper; coat all shrimp. Shrimp can be lightly covered and refrigerated for several hours.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 175F (80C); place a baking sheet lined with several paper towels in the oven.
  5. Heat a couple of inches (10-cm) of oil in a chicken fryer or other deep, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot at 350F (180 C). Then fry several coated shrimp at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, turning often, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels; keep warm in oven while frying more. Serve as soon as possible. [Shrimp can’t be fried ahead without a huge loss of quality.]

TIP: Unsweetened coconut milk comes in varying thicknesses for different uses. Coconut milk may be labeled “light”, but not always. Just check the nutritional information as 50-60g fat per half-cup (125 mL) means it is a “light” coconut milk and slightly easier to use. Do not confuse coconut milk with “coconut crème” which is sweet and used for drinks!

Joanna’s comments:
Shrimp coated with a flaky crust of almonds makes for a delicious supper teamed with rolls and a fresh salad of greens and avocados. With our husbands, Marilyn and I tested this recipe recently, and it was a sinfully delicious dinner. I think that almond shrimp would be a fabulous appetizer as well, especially with a group of “foodies” who will not need to be asked twice to come to the table.


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