Coconut shrimp are ubiquitous in restaurant chains and steakhouses, but 9 times out of 10 they are frozen, then deep-fried and served with a cloyingly sweet sauce. More people should make them at home, as they are so easy to execute, and they’re a sure crowd pleaser. We use a classic beer batter and up the sweetness with a little sugar. The secret is to mix sweet coconut with unsweetened coconut to get a nice balanced coating. Served with a spicy chili garlic sauce, they are a knockout.

Molly Quirk is executive chef and owner of Sips & Bites Catering.