Whenever I travel I have two rules when it comes to eating: One, find restaurants that can’t be found at home. Two, if the parking lot is packed, STOP! The locals know where the best food is and if that parking lot is full you just found one of their hidden gems. Definitely, stop!
That is what I did on a trip to Georgia. This restaurant was nestled against a marsh on a long quiet road several blocks away from the more prevalent downtown. The building, from the outside, looked more like a fish cannery. It was a little rusted, a bit weathered and had the parking lot not been packed I would have driven past it without a second glance.
Thankfully, I stopped. The inside was beautiful, done in warm woods with a glass wall looking out over the marsh. And the food, well the food was absolutely delicious! I ordered shrimp tacos that came out fresh and hot. They were served on a bed of coleslaw that had a hint of heat but not so spicy to overwhelm the delicate shrimp.
That was the inspiration behind this dish. Golden fried shrimp on a bed of wasabi coleslaw wrapped in a taco. Simple and delicious!
Start by making a wasabi coleslaw. Pour a bag of ready-made coleslaw into a bowl. In a separate mixing bowl stir together rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, red chile powder, fresh ginger, sesame oil, and wasabi paste. Stir in the wasabi paste a little at a time. Wasabi paste can go from spicy to downright painful very quickly. You want a hint of spice for interest, not an overly spicy slaw. So, go slow.
I cannot stress enough that spice and herb measurements are only suggestions. Always add them based on personal taste, not recipe instructions.
Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss. Set aside until ready to use allowing the flavors to marry.
Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet, or pan, over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 375°F. In three shallow bowls spread flour in one, panko bread crumbs in another, and in the last bowl mix an egg with a tablespoon of milk. Add Salt and pepper to the flour or egg mixture to add more seasoning if preferred.
Coat the shrimp in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and then in the panko, coating completely. Fry until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Grill, or heat, some flour tortillas. Assemble the tacos by spreading coleslaw down the center of each tortilla. Top with 4-5 shrimp. Serve immediately. – Ella
• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
• 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1 10-ounce bag ready-made coleslaw
• 12 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
• Vegetable oil, for frying
• 8 flour tortillas
- Make the Coleslaw:
- In a large bowl, whisk the first 7 ingredients together. Add the coleslaw and toss. Set aside until ready to use. Make the shrimp:
- Pour about an inch of oil into a large skillet or pan. Heat over medium heat until the oil heats to 375°F.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg lightly with the milk. Place the panko in a third bowl. Coat the shrimp in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and then into the panko, coating completely. Place the shrimp in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about a minute on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Make the tacos:
- Prepare the tacos following the package directions. Assemble the tacos:
- Spread coleslaw down the center of each tortilla. Top with 3 – 4 shrimps. Serve immediately.