Coconut prawns are a favourite in our household! Coconut and lime go so well together and coupled with prawns they taste even better. And dipped in a tropical sauce there are no words to describe the flavours other than sensational.
I came across something similar on a trip to Puerto Rico while visiting a friend a few years ago and it was everything you would want in Caribbean food: sweet, tangy, savoury and citrusy.
Why you will love this recipe
- It is very adaptable. You can use breadcrumbs instead of desiccated coconut
- Light enough for lunch or filling for amain course dinner
- It tastes luxurious and special yet is so easy to prepare
- It is very healthy. You can bake it in the oven or lightly pan fry it in your favourite healthy oil or better still, on the barbecue.
- You can eat them on their own with a dash of lime juice or any tropical dip
How to prepare
Make sure you use raw prawns as it makes them more succulent and not dried up and chewy when cooked. They are also easier to peel when raw (or just get your kids to do it like I do!).
I like to de-vein my prawns especially when cooking them for friends as, although edible, they make the prawn taste gritty. I then marinate them in coconut milk, chilli and lime for several hours to impart the flavours.
If you leave the small tail on as it makes for a really attractive plate of food and makes it easier to hold a dip into the sauce, but you can also remove this as it can actually be quicker to peel the prawns when the entire prawn is peeled.
Place all your prepared ingredients in 3 separate bowls: coconut mix, egg and flour ready for dipping.
Then take your prawn and dip it first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally in the coconut mixture. Set aside on a plate until completed and ready to be cooked.
Time to make the tropical salsa
I love the combination of mango and pineapple together as they really complement each other especially with a hint of red chilli. My teenage daughter taught me how to peel a mango to get the most flesh out of it without any waste. You first make a small slit with a knife on the skin to get the peeling started. Then place it against a tall cup with the mango inside the cup and scrape off the skin and repeat until the whole mango is peeled. It’s that easy!
Add big chunks of your mango and pineapple to the TM bowl. Add half a diced red chilli, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice to taste. You can make this sauce chunky and salsa-like but I prefer it smooth as it’s delicious for dipping.
If you are baking the Caribbean coconut prawns heat the oil on a baking tray and then add your prawns. Turn every 3 minutes in the oven until golden. If shallow frying then heat your oil for a few minutes and lightly fry the prawns for 3-4 minutes on each side. Another fun way to cook them is to barbecue them like we often do. A much healthier option, just keep an eye on them turning every few minutes.
You know they are cooked when they turn pink at the ends and white on the inside.You don’t have to use much oil to cook them. Also if you don’t want to dip the prawns in flour and egg you can still add the coconut mixture to a bowl of prawns and lightly bake them so they are lighter in texture and flavour yet still with a delicious coconut and lime flavour.
If you like this then try my recipe for Easy Healthy Fish Tacos, another summer favourite.Print
- 1 kg uncooked prawns
- 150g cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 2 limes
- 85g gluten free buckwheat flour
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 eggs
- olive or rapeseed oil for cooking
For the salsa:
- 2 thick slices of fresh pineapple
- 2 medium sized mangoes
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 1 handful fresh chopped coriander/cilantro
- Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F if baking your prawns.
- Peel and devein your prawns leaving on the tail. Set aside.
- Thinly peel the rind of the limes and place in the TM bowl. Grate 3 Sec. / Speed 8. Scrape down with a spatula.
- Add desiccated coconut, paprika and seasoning to the TM bowl. Mix 5 Sec. / Speed 4.
- In 3 small separate bowls prepare the following: in one place the flour, in the other the beaten egg and in the last one the coconut mix.
- Dip the prawns first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the coconut mixture. Place in a dish until ready to cook.
- Now make your dipping sauce: Place the coriander and red chilli into the TM bowl. Chop 3 Sec. / Speed 9. Scrape down with a spatula. Dice the mango and pineapple into large chunks and add to the TM bowl along with the lime juice . Blend 5 Sec. / Speed 6 or until smooth.
- You can either bake, grill or shallow fry in healthy oil. If baking then heat the oil in your baking tray before adding the prawns and turn every 3 minutes until cooked. These should take 15 minutes. For best results shallow fry in a healthy oil and drain on kitchen paper. By shallow frying it enables you to control how crispy you would like the prawns. Turn every 3 minutes until pink and cooked through.
- Serve with a green salad and the mango salsa.
- Now dip and enjoy!
If you don’t want to add the egg and flour you can mix your prawns just in the coconut mixture. They will be thinly coated in the coconut and less crispy but equally as delicious!
Wash your hands every few prawns as they tend to become sticky.
I usually double the prawns as there’s never enough in our house!