2 cups freshly grated coconut or unsweetened dried coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds snapper fillets, cut into 3- to 4-inch "fingers"
Canola or peanut oil for deep-frying
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 12 minutes. If using fresh coconut, reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees. Spread fresh coconut on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes until dry but not toasted.
Using a food processor, finely chop the toasted almonds. Combine them with grated coconut and mix well. Put flour into another bowl and season with salt and pepper Pour the coconut milk into a different bowl. Add the cayenne and hot pepper sauce and mix.
Season the snapper fingers with salt and pepper. Dip them in the coconut milk, coating completely, then dredge them in the flour. Shake off excess and submerge them again in coconut milk mixture. Toss the fingers in the dried coconut mixture, coating them fully. Set them on a large plate.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or deep-fryer to 350 degrees. In batches, gently slide in the fish fingers and fry until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve. Makes 6 servings.