Crispy Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Sometimes our house favorites collide.  
crispy coconut shrimp tacosThis time it happened with coconut shrimp, mango salsa, and avocado.  If you like all of these things, and you like tacos (of course you like tacos), then you should make them.  They taste like vacation food.  Have a margarita, play some reggae.  The idea of coconut shrimp has great potential, but at restaurants it can be a huge let-down.  The shrimp are often overly sweet or greasy or rubbery.  You won’t have any of those problems at home.  First, you have to start with good shrimp.  crispyshrimpsAnd by good shrimp I mean wild American shrimp.  They’re better for you, for the environment, and for your local fishermen.  Not to mention they have better taste and texture, too.   I used these beautiful Key West Pinks.  They look like they’re meant to be rolled in coconut, don’t you think?keywestpinksIt couldn’t be easier to get a light coconutty coating on these babies.  The secret is a combination of unsweetened shredded coconut and panko.  Panko is magic.  Unlike breadcrumbs, those airy flakes don’t soak up a lot of oil.  Once you shallow-fry the shrimp in coconut oil until they’re golden, they’ll stay crispy.  breadingshrimpThey make a great appetizer, but I think you should go all-out with tacos.  Serve them with Matt’s Mango Salsa and homemade corn tortillas.   Make a batch of key lime margaritas and it’s a fiesta.
crispyshrimptacosBy the time I sit down to write the recipes for this blog, I’ve usually had my fill of them. That’s not the case here. I wish I was having these for dinner again tonight.coconuttyshrimp

Crispy Coconut Shrimp Tacos
  1. 1 pound wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  4. 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  5. pinch of cayenne
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 cup panko
  9. 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  10. pinch of salt
  11. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  12. 8 corn tortillas
  13. 8 lettuce leaves
  14. 1-2 avocados, thinly sliced
  15. Matt's mango salsa
  16. lime wedges
  1. Combine the flour, cornstarch, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish or pie plate.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs in another shallow dish or pie plate
  3. Combine the coconut and panko, along with a pinch of salt, in a third shallow dish or pie plate.
  4. Place a rack over a baking sheet.
  5. Working with a few shrimp at a time, dip them first in the flour, turning to coat. Using tongs, dip them in the egg and allow the excess to drip off. Next dredge them in the coconut/panko mixture, coating them thoroughly. Place them on the rack. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  6. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  7. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp to the pan in one layer (work in batches if necessary). Turn the shrimp after they're golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Coconut burns very easily so keep a close eye on them and adjust the heat as necessary.
  8. Serve the shrimp with tortillas, lettuce, avocado, mango salsa, and lime wedges.
Suwannee Rose
Crispy Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa from Suwannee Rose

9 Comments Crispy Coconut Shrimp Tacos

  1. Lynne randall October 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Looks like a potential entry to Mango mania!

    1. suwanneerose October 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I have big plans for Mango Mania 2016, Lynne!

  2. Mary shambach October 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    MMMM. I will try them with addition of some hot sauce for sweet heat!

    1. mshambach October 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      do you have a recommendation for a GF crispy breading that behaves like Panko?

      1. suwanneerose October 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        I do! Here are several options to substitute for the regular panko in this recipe:
        1. Glutino and Ian’s brand gluten-free panko. Crunchy but not quite as light as panko.
        2. Crushed rice crackers or Rice Chex. Very light and crispy.
        3. Or just use all unsweetened shredded coconut.
        And one more note: King Arthur is my favorite gluten-free flour.
        Please let me know if you try any of them!

        1. Mary shambach October 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

          Thank You!

    2. suwanneerose October 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Good idea! I’ll have to try them with some Kecap Manis, the sweet-hot Indonesian sauce we love.

  3. Coley October 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Considering I’m going through major vacation withdrawal, this is just what the doctor ordered. Not to mention I loooooveeee coconut shrimp! And tacos, but that goes without saying. Truth be told though, I’ve never made them myself (the shrimp, that is). Now I have the perfect excuse to! Reggae and margaritas for everyone!

    1. suwanneerose October 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Two weeks in Tuscany will do that to a person. Your tastebuds may never recover!

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