Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Ginger Marmalade

Mary Anne here. While we normally don’t pay much attention to the “suggested” recipes sent our way – we have to eat what we make, after all – Sam’s Club recently passed along a shrimpy serving suggestion that struck my fancy. Unlike the pay-for-play Panera and Nutella craze that you’ve seen splashed about the internet, we did not accept any compensation for kitchen-testing this dish; I made it because it looked delicious (PS, this isn’t a condemnation of sponsorship, we’re Americans, we love cash) .

On my first attempt however, I tried to make it gluten-free. I have a neighbor who just brought home twin boys, and I wanted to tide them over with a meal or two. The new dad has Celiac, so gluten is not in his diet…unless he wants to make like a colicky newborn. No problem, I thought! I’ll just swap out the wheat flour for rice flour. Right.

As I was patting myself on the back for being so savvy, I poured the beer into the batter…not exactly an Oprah-worthy “a-ha moment” as it dawned on me that beer is WHEAT-based. Oh well. My heart was in the right place and my youngest son was thrilled to have all the leftovers.

Needless to say, I’m writing this recipe with the original wheat flour and pasta. If you can figure out how to make a beer batter without the suds, please let me know! I’d love to prepare this again and actually share it with my neighbors. And BTW, the rice flour actually produces a lighter result, so you might want to use it if you happen to have some in your pantry.

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Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Ginger Marmalade
Serves 8 as an Entree or Makes Approximately 60 Hors d’oeuvres
Adapted from Sam’s Club

Note: This can be prepared up to the day before except for the actual frying. And the sauce actually gets even tastier after a day or two in the fridge!

To “fracture” pasta, break up the strands into short pieces and enclose in a plastic zippered bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the broken pasta into tiny bits about the size of a grain of rice.

For the Marmalade Dip:
1 cup rough cut orange marmalade $3.49
5 Teaspoons minced, fresh ginger – $0.59
1 Tablespoon minced garlic – stock
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice – stock
¼ Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – stock
½ – ¾ Teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Batter:
1- 12 oz. bottle warm/room-temp beer – $1.19
1½ cups flour – stock
3 Tablespoons melted butter – stock
4 eggs, separated – stock
¼ Teaspoon ground black pepper – stock
½ Teaspoon salt – stock
¼ Teaspoon paprika – stock

For the Shrimp:
2 lbs. Sam’s Club’s colossal shrimp, defrosted – $13.98
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese – stock
¾ cup chopped, blanched almonds – $3.38
¾ cup chopped unsweetened, coconut – $1.24
¾ cup dry angel hair pasta, “fractured” (about ¼ lb.) – $0.99
3 cups canola oil – stock
Grand Total Assuming a “Well-Stocked” Pantry: $24.86
Total Per 8 Entree Servings: $3.11

1. Prepare the Marmalade Dip: In a medium bowl, combine the marmalade, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, red and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours to allow flavors to blend.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the beer batter. In a large bowl, whisk the beer, flour, melted butter, egg yolks, salt, pepper and paprika into a smooth batter. Reserve the egg whites. (You’ll be whipping these later.) Allow the batter to rest for one hour at room temperature.

3. In a large bowl, toss to mix the Parmesan cheese, chopped almonds, unsweetened coconut, and “fractured” pasta.

4. In a medium-size bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and dry. Fold the stiff egg whites into the beer batter, until evenly incorporated.

5. Holding the shrimp by the tail dip into the beer batter, coating thoroughly.

6. Transfer the battered shrimp to the plate of coconut mix and gently press the shrimp into the mixture, covering both sides. Transfer coconut-battered shrimp to a large cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap or foil. Cover and refrigerate.

7. Preheat oven to 250 degrees (this will keep shrimp warm after frying).  How to cook the shrimp: Using a wok or 2-3 quart saucepan, heat the Canola oil until it registers 375° on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop in a spoonful of the batter mix to test the oil temperature. The batter should drop and then quickly bob back to the surface, turning golden in about 1 or 2 minutes.

8. Using a slotted spoon, slide the shrimp into the hot oil. Be careful not to overload your pan with too many shrimp at one time. You need to have enough room to roll the shrimp around in the hot oil with the slotted spoon, without disturbing their battered “coats”. (In my 2.5-quart pot, I cooked 4 at a time.) Fry until golden all over, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cookie rack lined with paper towels. As you cook each batch, transfer to a warmed oven after draining on paper towels. Serve warm with the Marmalade dipping sauce.


  1. Jane George says

    There are quite a few gluten free beers available, a few dollars more than wheat based beers, but everything gluten free is pricey. Redbridge and Bards Beer are two we have tried.

  2. says

    You had me at beer (he he), fortunately, I do not have a gluten problem although several of my family members do. Maybe you could try substituting Ginger Beer, look on the label for one that uses the authentic GBP (Ginger Beer Plant) and not yeast. The ginger flavor in the batter would pair nicely with the marmalade dip.

    • feastonthecheap says

      Thanks, Rhonda. And I could maybe add some rum(?) and call them “Dark and Stormy” Shrimp. Such a good idea using ginger beer or really any carbonated soda, right? Happy weekend! M&M

    • feastonthecheap says

      That’s funny, Karen! Sometimes I feel the same way…like around 6 pm and there’s no dinner in site as I masochistically cruise other food blogs!! Especially the ones that offer tons of baked goodies.

  3. says

    I want these! As for gluten free, you could always try Woodchuck Cider out of VT. (Or some other ciders, too.)Woodchuck has a Granny Smith cider that would be great with these. I’ve actually made beer batter with it to fry some fish.

    • feastonthecheap says

      Yum! Love Granny Smith apples. The cider must be amazing. Thanks for the tip. We’re getting some really good advice on the beer problem! Happy Holidays!

  4. Kate says

    This looks divine, but the crushed raw pasta coating is weirding me out a bit. It’s just for crunch right? So you could sub in panko or crushed corn flakes?

    • feastonthecheap says

      Hi, Kate. Yes, the pasta adds some definite crunch, but it does get slightly softer with the frying. Try the corn flakes — I think they’d be great! I’d run them over lightly with a rolling pin. Alternatively, toss in some Panko. I’m a convert to those crumbs and often use them in my crab cakes. So light but crunchy. Let us know how they turn out! Happy Holidays!

    • feastonthecheap says

      That’s funny, Mandy. If Mariel and I lived under the same roof, we’d be tipping the scales of obesity, to be sure. Luckily, we live apart and so we get to use our spouses, immediate family, and friends as guinea pigs! They enforce our personal portion control! Happy weekend. :-)

  5. says

    Just delicious! Looks like you got some good suggestions for gluten free beers. I have a friend that’s a celiac as well and it amazes me how you can do pretty much everything gluten free these days. I really wish I could eat a meal at your house. Everything you cook looks positively mouthwatering!

  6. says

    This sounds and looks fantastic! And pretty easy too. You wouldn’t have to pay me to make this dish, but it would be nice! LOL Bookmarked!

  7. says

    I love coconut shrimp. Well to be honest I love shrimp :)

    The orange ginger marmalade is a nice change to the usually overly sweet dips they serve with coconut shrimp. Yum!

  8. Missy says

    Seems I ‘stumbled’ on this a weeeee bit too late because I’m also a gluten free woman and have made many many MANY beer batters in my lone 4-5yrs of being so. There are some wonderful gluten free beers out there and my biggest suggestion is to simply check out your local BIO shop. They tend to get all the wonderful stuff that is gluten free that is a bit harder to find such as GF beer.

    I’m gonna make this recipe next month I think.. perhaps in July… depends when my shrimp supplier (I get an advantage of fresh daily shrimp out here in Belgium from fresh fish shops!) comes down in price on them… usually mid spring to early summer but I LOVE coconut shrimp! Thanks for the posting!

  9. nebin kwe says

    Try using ginger ale! According to a friend the now defunct ‘H Salt Fish & Chips’ used to use ginger ale for their beer batter as it was lighter and gave bigger bubbles to the batter!!

  10. Tiffany says

    My boyfriend has celiac and he drinks a gluten free beer made with sorghum. There is a brand called Green’s Gluten Free Beers. They make a variety of different beers..

  11. Becca says

    Actually most beers, while not gluten-free, are made from barley, not wheat. American lagers are mostly made with barley and adjuncts of rice and corn.

    • feastonthecheap says

      Thanks so much for the info. We’re learning a ton about beer and it really is fun. Cheers! M & M


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