Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Grilled Ribeye and Coconut Fried Shrimp with Blood Orange - Habanero Dipping Sauce

I went out and bought a new kamado grill at Christmas.

I know, another kamado is probably the last thing I needed but this was a splurge courtesy of a check that I wasn't expecting.  We bought a Big Green Egg Mini-Max from Mannix Pools in Winter Haven, FL and B.J. Mannix drove it up to Tennessee personally!  

Mannix Pools, kamado grill, kamado smoker, portable kamado

To be fair, B.J. was already coming to visit the Smoky Mountains anyway but it was still great customer service to make room for my Mini-Max during his trip.  Mannix Pools carries Big Green Egg, Napoleon grills, Delta grills, and anything you could ever need for your pool and deliver exceptional service.  If you're in the Orlando/Winter Haven area, check them out. 

The main reason I bought one is portability.  I got to use my sister's Mini-Max last October during a camping trip and knew I had to have one.

Mannix Pools, kamado grill, kamado smoker, portable kamado
Mini-Max next to one of our Large eggs.  It is has the same cooking capacity as a Small BGE cut it's cut down to be the same height as a Mini BGE.  

Mannix Pools, kamado grill, kamado smoker, portable kamado
In order to shorten the base, the firebox has to be more shallow than the proportions on other Eggs.  This cuts back on the amount of coal it an hold and puts the heat very close to the grate.

Mannix Pools, kamado grill, kamado smoker, portable kamado
The carrying nest is unique to the Mini-Max and makes it more readily portable.  It's much lighter than bigger kamados but it is still a bit heavy.  
Mannix Pools, kamado grill, kamado smoker, portable kamado
But you can put a plate setter in and go indirect to roast and smoke on this dynamo.  A pork butt, brisket flat, rack of ribs halved, or a 5-6 pound prime rib would fit on here.

Here's a dinner we made last weekend.  I didn't fry the shrimp on a kamado grill.  You can, Big Green Craig showed that at Eggtoberfest 2015 when they deep fried smoked pork belly and took First Place.  I'm just not a huge fan of having a wok full of hot oil over flame on my wooden deck :)

coconut fried shrimp recipe, ribeye steak compound butter, grilled steak recipe

You can prepare the shrimp up to 4 hours prior to shopping, just keep them as cold as possible the whole time.  The steak was great as always, the shrimp crispilicious, and the sauce was spot on.  I'd use the sauce on other things like grilled chicken, maybe.

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Blood Orange-Habanero Dipping Sauce

Published 02/22/2016


  • 1 pound shrimp, 16-20 count
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
For the Blood Orange Habanero Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup blood orange marmalade
  • 3 ounces soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-4 habanero chile, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon for us


  1. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend ingredients with an immersion blender (or allow to cool slightly and do in a regular blender or Magic Bullet type appliance) and strain through a sieve.  You can make this a day ahead of time and refrigerated, but serve slightly warmed.
  2. Peel, and clean the shrimp, except leave the last shell segment and tail on.  
  3. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting almost all of the way through where you would normally de-vein them.  Put this on a flat surface and press slightly down to open them up (see pictures). 
  4. Prepare a standard 3 tray breading station.  Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic on a plate or tray.  Whisk together the eggs and cold water in a bowl.  Mix together the bread crumbs and coconut on a plate or tray.
  5. Hold a shrimp by the tail and dip into the flour, coating on all sides, including in the butterflied part.  Then dip it into the egg wash and then finally into the coconut mixture.  Place flat side down on a tray and repeat with the remaining shrimp.  Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.
  6. Preheat a deep fryer to 350°f.  Deep fry the shrimp in small batches (so you don't cool the oil by putting too much cold product in at once) until golden brown, about 90 seconds.  As soon as the shrimp comes out of the fryer, sprinkle with a little fine salt.
  7. Serve immediately with the warm dipping sauce.
Yield: 2 dinner servings, 3-4 appetizer or combo servings

To cook this and have everything ready, here is how we  timed everything.

Make ahead

  • blood orange habanero sauce
  • steak seasoning
  • compound butter
Four hours before
  • prep shrimp and put in fridge
Hour before
  • remove steaks and compound butter from fridge and sit at room temp
  • Preheat grill and deep fryer
  • warm the sauce over low heat
  • Cook the steaks
  • Immediately after the steaks come off, put them on a resting rack, top with the compound butter, and start deep frying the shrimp.  Two batches of shrimp will cook in the 5 minutes.

Prime ribeye, grilled steak, CAB prime steak, Food City
We got a pair of CAB prime ribeyes from a local area grocery store.
coconut fried shrimp recipe, ribeye steak compound butter, grilled steak recipe
I also made a compound butter for the steaks.  It was just a half stick of butter at room temp, a minced garlic clove, some parsley, and a pinch of salt.  You can just roll it into a log and chill but I like using a small scoop to shape them into rounds like this.
how to butterfly shrimp, seafood, shrimp recipe ideas
I think pressing the butterflied shrimp down like this helps them hold their shape better.  I also set them down like this into the flour, it gets that bottom coated easier than just flipping it on two sides.

Standard three station breading set up.  

steak dry rub, shallot dry rub, dried shallot
I used our Shallot Steak Seasoning for the steaks. We have to order the dried shallots (upper left) but they are so much more flavorful than dried onions (upper right) that it is worth it. 

how to season steak, grilled steak recipe, delicious steak recipe, seasoned ribeye, how to grill ribeye, thermoworks timestick
I say this all of the time, but either season your steaks right before they go on OR season them an hour ahead of time.  The hour gives enough time for the salt to draw out the moisture and then have the seasoned moisture drawn back into the steak.

Big Green Egg,
Notice how close the grates are to the coal.  This causes a bit of a learning curve compared to larger kamado grills because the closer you are to your heat source, the less even the heat will be.  That means being sure to give adequate preheating time and lighting the coals in multiple locations (instead of just a starter cube in one spot).  My sister recommended that I buy a Woo rig for it which raises the cooking grate another inch, which would help too.

BGE Mini-max steak, steak recipe for kamado grill, cast iron grate
Steaks were 4 minutes a side at 500°f.  

BGE Mini-max steak, steak recipe for kamado grill, cast iron grate
The small size and proximity to the coals makes the Mini-Max ideal for searing steaks, burgers, and chops.  But you can also smoke or roast on them.

BGE Mini-max steak, steak recipe for kamado grill, cast iron grate
Notice the cast iron grate upgrade.  I like cast iron grates because they give good sear marks and I believe they act as a heat sink, helping to maintain even cooking temps.  Some folks feel like they are unnecessary and are a pain to maintain.  I find that the best maintenance for cast iron grates is frequent use.  I can't remember the last time I had to deal with rust or re-season one. 

coconut fried shrimp recipe, ribeye steak compound butter, grilled steak recipe
We devoured these.  Crispy, crunchy, and delicious!  

I'd describe the sauce as a spicy citrus teriyaki.  Surprisingly, it is just at the mild level with 1-2 habanero chiles and goes up from there.

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  I received no compensation for this post and paid a fair price for my Mini-Max.  By fair, I mean I got a slight discount off of retail but it was the same discount offered to others in a group to which I belong.


  1. What a feast! Love your little mini grill - looks like it's got a lot going for it.

  2. Great looking meal Chris, as always

  3. Big sister's rides shotgun with a seat belt on. By the way, have you seen her custom made BGE handle? Beautiful!

  4. ok, now you're talking! I'd love to have one of those mini eggs. I like you're shrimp method. I'll do that next time I butterfly. Great looking meal. The shrimp look mouthwatering and the sauce delicious. And then there's that potato. :)

  5. What a gourmet mouth watering meal... Seriously drool worthy my friend! Loving the marbling on the rib eyes. Great tip on the shrimp placement, too.