Mucho Gusto

A Coconut Shrimp Creation

Some people simply have a unique dexterity for design—an aptitude for artistry that extends to each modality of their lives. My mother, Lisa, and her friend, Helen, embody such distinct nature. While their professional lives reflect a gift for fabricating magnificent spaces with exquisite interior design, their talent refuses to switch to idle in other dimensions of their days. Their creative minds constantly remain simmering, awaiting new opportunities to cultivate taste, beauty, and movement. 

Their lives are their labs, every action an experiment. This recipe recounts their most recent undertaking: a test kitchen for sweet and savory coconut shrimp. This dish presents the perfect summer appetizer with the ease of skillet. Typically, coconut shrimp is fried, but this recipe works to revise its traditional preparation to create an appetezier that is fit to anyone’s cooking ability, without the fuss of frying. With simple ingredients and a few steps, this dish is easy to make but guarantees to portray anyone behind the stove as a widely-experienced creator of cuisine. 

The credit for this recipe can be served to Helen and Lisa, who delivered the perfect balance of savory and sweet in this dish to bring us a new twist on coconut shrimp — just in time to reacquaint ourselves wish seafood for the season. 

Sweet and Savory Coconut Shrimp


2 pounds colossal shrimp uncooked, frozen (approximately 30 pieces)

½ cup liquid coconut oil 

¼ cup rice wine vinegar 

1-2 tablespoons hot honey

2 tablespoons lemon marmalade 

¼ teaspoon smoked sea salt 

3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

2 cups coconut flakes, sweetened 

½ cup salted butter, melted

¼ cup chive blossoms for garnish 


First, defrost the shrimp by running them under cool water in a strainer or leave them out at room temperature until thawed. If not already done, rinse the shrimp and remove the shells.

To prepare the marinade, combine the coconut oil, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, lemon marmalade, hot honey, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Taste the marinade to make sure there is a balance of sweetness, heat, and salt.

Place the shrimp and marinade in a sealed gallon plastic bag to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Always remember that fish doesn’t need to marinate as long as meat.

Once sufficiently marinated, heat your grill or grill pan on high. Lightly oil the surface. Using a pair of tongs, remove the shrimp and place them on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until pink and the edges begin to caramelize. Remove the shrimp and place them in a bowl while you complete the other steps.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, toast the coconut, constantly stirring until the coconut begins to brown. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the microwave. When the coconut is toasted, remove it from the burner, and add the melted butter and hot shrimp to the pan. Toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, place the shrimp on an oblong platter. Once in place with the slotted spoon, place more coconut on top. Garnish with the beautiful edible chive purple poms. Serve with toothpicks at room temperature, and enjoy!

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