Coconut Shrimp with Mango Pepper Sauce

So, like, we all know I went all-in on Cinco de Mayo this year. Seated, four-course dinner party and all. Well, I don’t want to beat a dead horse, as they say, but this Mango Pepper Sauce was just one of the really craveable dishes to come out of my menu this year. I made it originally for the party as a sauce to serve with some churrascao chimichangas along with a creamy avocado sauce. How good does that plate sound, I mean right? This mango sauce was so good that I happily enjoyed the leftovers with my breakfast eggs and in some tacos later that week, so I decided to retest and write up an official recipe to share with you here. Ready?

An overhead view of a spoonful of bright yellow sauce made from pureeing mango and pepper in a Vitamix blender.

Those steak chimi’s I mentioned were SOOOOO good. Did I say SOOOOOOOO good?!? BUT, they were very labor intensive. I marinated the steak for 24 hours, then seared them in cast iron, then wrapped them in flour tortillas with caramelized onions and finished by frying them in oil. Yes, you can imagine how tasty they were.

Obviously, no one wants to go through all that on a regular basis. However, this sauce is just too easy and too flavorful to leave it for special ocassions. Which is why I decided to pair it with another uber quick and easy, tropical-inspired, weeknight-friendly and family-friendly protein – Coconut Crusted Shrimp. Go ahead, raise your hands if you’re down with this mash up?!?  Coconut crusted shrimp arranged on a plate with bright orange mango-pepper sauce and micro greens.

To start, I roast one bell pepper (yellow or orange) over the flame on my gas stove until it gets blackened or charred all over. Then, I drop it in a sealable food storage bag and let it steam for about 5 minutes until it’s cooler to handle with my hands, and the skin has loosened even more. Then, I peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds, and roughly chop the flesh.

A roasted orange bell pepper.

In the container of a Vitamix or food processor, I start with about 1/4 cup of liquid (mango juice, OJ, chicken stock or even just water) along with the chopped pepper. Then, I peel and dice two mangos and add that to the container and puree until smooth. Season with some salt and pepper to taste and that’s it. Yum and done! Easy, right?

While the pepper is still roasting is the perfect time to bread the shrimp. I decided to use semolina in this recipe for a little added texture in the breading. If you don’t have semolina, regular flour will work fine, too, just don’t mix it with the coconut for the final layer.

A pan of coconut-crusted shrimps cooking in sizzling oil.

I like to finish the sauce first so it’s ready to go when the shrimp are ready. Once that that’s done, let’s fry up these little shrimpies.

Pan-frying is so simple and uses less oil than a deep fry, so I pour just about 1/4″ of oil into a large saute pan, set it over medium-high heat and let it warm. Once the oil is hot enough that it sizzles when the shrimp touches the surface, I carefully add some shrimps and cook until crisp and golden, about 6-8 minutes depending on the size. Flipping halfway through cooks both sides, then I transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels when they are done and season with salt while warm. I continue this way until all shrimp is cooked. Don’t they just look so craveable!?!

Plate of crisp and golden coconut-crusted shrimp.

These easy-to-eat shrimp actually make a great party dish, but if you want to make a meal out of it I highly recommend lentils, pearl couscous or some coconut rice to sop up more of the sauce. As for some veggies, my recipe for charred broccoli or Mexican street corn salsa would both be delicious. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! It’s not only great for busy nights, but for warm-weather summertime eating. Enjoy!

Coconut crusted shrimp arranged on a plate with bright orange mango-pepper sauce and micro greens.  Coconut crusted shrimp arranged on a plate with bright orange mango-pepper sauce and micro greens.

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Coconut crusted shrimp arranged on a plate with bright orange mango-pepper sauce and micro greens.

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Pepper Sauce

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Seasfood
  • Cuisine: Tropical

Ingredients

  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 1/4 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
  • 2/3 cup + 1/3 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (or mango juice or chicken stock)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Char the pepper over the flame of a gas-stove top or under the broiler until blacked. Rotate while cooking to char evenly. Place in a durable, re-sealable plastic bag and seal tightly for 5-8 minutes to steam the skins loose.
  2. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a wide, shallow dish and whisk well. In a second wide, shallow dish, mix together 2/3 cup semolina with paprika and garlic powder. Then, in a third wide, shallow dish, mix together 1/3 cup of semolina with shredded coconut.
  3. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then dredge in the seasoned semolina to coat evenly. I like to use the tails as a little handle, and leave these without breading. Transfer to eggs and coat, then lift and shake off excess before transferring into the bowl of coconut. Dredge again, lift and shake off excess, then set on a clean plate. Repeat until all shrimp is breaded.
  4. Peel skin from pepper, then remove stems and seeds and dice flesh. Place into a blender or Vitamix container. Add orange juice (or other preferred liquid). Peel and dice mango and add to blender, then blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour vegetable oil into a large saute pan so it’s nearly 1/4″ deep. Set over medium-high heat. To test oil, touch a shrimp to the surface. If it quickly starts to sizzle, oil is hot enough. Slowly add the shrimp and cook until golden and crisp, then flip and finish the second side, about 6-8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and season with a sprinkle of salt while warm.
  6. Transfer coconut shrimp to plates or a platter and serve with mango pepper sauce on the side.


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