Before switching over to a real food lifestyle, I used to love coconut shrimp. I figured there had to be a delicious healthy version I could make at home. Luckily, this one worked out within the first couple tries and couldn’t be easier!
So here it is… straight from what I like to call “The Mess Kitchen.” (Test Kitchen seemed too official, and mess more accurately describes it most days!)
How to Make Baked Coconut Shrimp
Although it sounds fancy, making coconut shrimp really just takes a few easy steps. First, dip the shrimp in seasoned cassava flour, then in beaten egg. Roll in a mixture of almond flour and shredded coconut. (I prefer to use unsweetened shredded coconut and then dip the finished shrimp in a sweet dipping sauce… recipe below!)
I like to use large shrimp for this recipe, but you can use whatever size you’d like. Just make sure that they are peeled, deveined, and cleaned with the tail left on (it’s the perfect handle when eating).
Late afternoon is a really busy time of day around here so I like to bread the shrimp ahead of time and refrigerate them for a few hours until I’m ready to cook. Then it’s easy to just toss them in the oven while I prepare the sides.
Note: Some people like to butterfly their shrimp prior to breading and cooking. This means that they are slit part of the way through along the back to open them up a little bit. Check out this tutorial for detailed instructions on cleaning and butterflying shrimp.
Piña Colada Dipping Sauce
Since I use unsweetened coconut to bread the shrimp, we like a little sweetness with the dipping sauce. Since tropical fruits pair really well with the coconut, we usually serve this dish with a mango chili sauce or our favorite, piña colada sauce. You can make these sauces ahead of time and use the leftovers to jazz up other meals during the week.
To make piña colada sauce, pureé fresh or canned pineapple, add the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk, and sweeten with a little honey.
To make the mango chili sauce, pureé fresh (or frozen and thawed) mango, a little homemade sriracha sauce, honey, a squeeze of lime juice, and enough olive oil to make the sauce the right consistency for dipping.
What to Serve With It
These shrimp can be served in a variety of ways. They make a great appetizer or snack for a party but are also filling enough to be served as the protein for a meal.
I often serve coconut shrimp on a bed of salad greens with sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Add a drizzle of one of the dipping sauces for a dressing or my sweet and tangy Asian ginger vinaigrette and it’s a meal!
Baked Coconut Shrimp Recipe
To make the shrimp:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the coconut oil on a baking sheet and place it in the oven to melt.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the cassava flour and spices and set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.
- In another medium size bowl, mix together the almond flour and coconut flakes.
- Dip the shrimp first into the bowl with the cassava flour and spices, then the beaten eggs, and finally the bowl with coconut and almond flour mixture, pressing gently to help it stick.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently place shrimp in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle the shrimp with olive oil and return the pan to the oven.
- Bake 10-12 minutes until the outside of the shrimp are golden and shrimp are cooked.
To make the dipping sauce:
- While the shrimp are baking, in a small bowl, whisk together the pineapple, cream, and honey.
- Serve the shrimp immediately with the pineapple dipping sauce.
- Blend the sauce with an immersion blender if you like a smoother sauce.
- OR Blend fresh mango with a splash of sriracha, lime juice, honey, and some olive oil for a mango sauce.
Ever made a healthy version of an unhealthy recipe? How’d it go? Let me know below (and share the recipe!)