Coconut Crusted Shrimp Tacos

Recipe by: Nécole King

This recipe offers a superbly tasty, healthy way to serve up our gorgeous shrimp - be they Spot Prawns, or Sidestripe shrimp. The salsa recipe can be adapted to your tastes, as well as to what fruit is seasonally available.  (Think mango, pineapple, fresh tomatoes, kiwi…) Or keep things truly simple by using store bought mango (or other) salsa. Or perhaps try an Indian twist, using mango chutney and cucumber raita, and replace corn tortillas with papadums or chapati. The world is your oyster…or your prawn, as the case may be. 

This recipe serves 4 people, generously, and could easily serve 6-8 as a light meal or appetizer. The gluten free flour can easily be replaced with all purpose flour, if gluten is not a problem for you and your loved ones. Lime coconut rice is a wonderful accompaniment. Enjoy playing around with this adaptable, and super fresh tasting meal.

Ingredients

For the coconut crusted shrimp:
  • Two - 8oz packs Whidbey Seafood sidestripe shrimp, or spot prawns, defrosted overnight, then   peeled and deveined
  • ¾ cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • ½ rice flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • Zest  of 1 lime
  • 2 eggs
  • Neutral tasting oil, or coconut oil

Watermelon Salsa:
  • Watermelon - roughly 1 cup cubed
  • Yellow tomatoes - roughly ½ cup chopped
  • Cilantro - a good sized handful, coarsely chopped
  • Fresh ginger - an inch, grated 
  • Red onion - ¼ cup, diced
  • Jalapeno, or any small fresh chili - to taste, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime

Begin by preparing the coconut coating for the shrimp, mixing all ingredients, except shrimp, oil, and eggs, in a wide, shallow bowl. Beat eggs in a similarly sized bowl. 

Two options for cooking the shrimp: The virtuous, baked route, or pan-fried. (No judgment on your virtue. You clearly have good taste.) If you’re opting to bake the shrimp, pat yourself on the back, and preheat your oven to 400 deg F.

Prepare the salsa, by combining all ingredients, and adding sea salt to taste.

To coat the shrimp, first dip in the beaten eggs, then, using two forks, toss each shrimp in the coconut/flour mixture. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet, not touching, while you coat the remaining shrimp.

If you are baking, I recommend a light spray of cooking oil (I used a coconut oil spray, going with the theme), to get the coating a golden color and crispy texture. Bake in a preheated oven for 4 minutes, flip, and bake 4 minutes longer, until the shrimp just begin to curl. You will be able to see the flesh turn from translucent to opaque, signaling they’re ready.

If you are pan frying, coat the bottom of a cast iron pan with a very thin layer of oil, and heat until it’s shimmering. If you carefully flick a drop of water into the pan, it should sizzle. Without overcrowding the pan (it may take a couple of batches, depending upon pan size), cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side. See baking directions for cues on done-ness, above.

Serve on corn tortillas, with your salsa, perhaps some sour cream or cashew cream (for dairy  free folks), with a side of lime coconut rice.  

Enjoy this taste of never-ending summer, preferably with a margarita!

About the author: Nécole has lived on South Whidbey for the past ten years, somewhat settled after years traveling and living around the globe. She spent those years soaking up the culture, the spirit, and the food in idylls she was fortunate to call home: Southern Portugal, the UK, and New Zealand, among them. Ultimately, Nécole was drawn back to her native Pacific Northwest, where she delights in reframing tasty, yet deceptively simple recipes learned overseas, making the most of the bounty of our PNW produce and seafood.

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