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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coconut Shrimp with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

I’ve been dealing with an itchy flaking scalp for the last six months and tag teaming the problem with my hairstylist and my family doctor. Two shampoos and a new prescription later both suggested I add more Omega 3’s to my diet. Translation: eat more fish.

I settled in on shrimp because it is most of the affordable (AKA frozen) type of fish I can get in land locked Columbus that is environmentally OK.  That and I really like to eat shrimp. Cooking shrimp is a slightly different story because it’s easy to overcook. I’m not a fan of stir fried rubbery shrimp bits. I did some poking around the internet and found a recipe for coconut shrimp. Husband is a big fan of all things coconut. However I’m not a fan of the mess involved with hand breading things.

So I cheated. I bought SeaPak Coconut Shrimp.  I wanted to do something a little different and took a recipe suggestion off of the SeaPak site to serve it with Thai peanut dipping sauce instead of using the marmalade dipping sauce that came with the shrimp. I put the marmalade sauce aside and will get clever with that later.

To prove that I’m not completely useless in the kitchen I made a Thai peanut dipping sauce  with natural peanut butter instead of buying a premade sauce. I served the coconut shrimp with brown rice and steamed broccoli. The rice was the most difficult part of the meal because it has the longest cooking time, which really isn’t saying much because it only took 30 minutes. The shrimp took about 12 minutes to bake – let’s hear it for quick food!.

Pardon my plating. I don't know how food bloggers do it. I really just wanted to hurry up and eat dinner, not style photos.

The taste? Pretty darn good. Husband said, "It was light. It was crispy. It was yummy, even better with your dipping sauce."

Pros

  • Mighty tasty and not soggy like our control - Kroger brand coconut shrimp (purchased with my own money), and this comes from someone who routinely and weirdly prefers the taste of generic food over the name brands. 
  • The SeaPak coconut shrimp were butterflied unlike the Kroger brand coconut shrimp they were tiny and sad looking.
  • Not too bad on the packaging. The only thing I threw away is the small plastic bag holding the marmalade dipping sauce. I shredded and composted the paper box. I rinsed and reused the small plastic bag holding the shrimp for Blitzkrieg doggie duty.
Cons

  • The marmalade dipping sauce has high fructose corn syrup in it. That was easily avoided by making my own Thai peanut dipping sauce or just going without the dipping sauce. 
  • The Kroger brand coconut shrimp had 5 more shrimp in the box for the same price as the SeaPak coconut shrimp. Although there was a definite difference in the taste – the SeaPak tasted much better.

This is definitely a you get what you pay for situation. The Kroger brand shrimp was slightly less money per shrimp but failed the taste test in comparison to the SeaPak Shrimp. The SeaPak shrimp are a better tasting product.


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Disclosure: SeaPak provided me with a free sample to facilitate this review because I probably wouldn't have considered this product otherwise and now I'm glad they did. They did not compensate me in any way and all opinions are my own. SeaPak didn’t ask me to compare their product to a store brand. I did that on my own which I purchased with my own money if you were reading this post carefully.