Spicy Coconut Shrimp


The Happy Cookbook

Published by St Martin's Press

Spicy Coconut Shrimp
Spicy Coconut Shrimp
This image courtesy of Armelle Habib

This is a fun dish, easy to make, light and full of flavor – it’s an awesome meal for an Aussie summer barbecue. I’m not a beer drinker but I reckon these shrimp would go down a treat on a hot afternoon with a cold beer with fresh lime. From a health perspective, shrimp will give you a fantastic hit of protein and good fats, while they say that cilantro is one of Mother Nature’s best binding agents, helping to bind with heavy metals and take them from the body. Cilantro is also an excellent digestive stimulant, so your tummy will thank you for it.

Serves4 to 6



Total TimeHalf Day

EquipmentGrill, Grill Pan


Type of DishSkewer


  • 1 3/4 lbs (750 g) large or extra-large raw shrimp, peeled
  • 12 bamboo skewers
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • A few cilantro sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk (not light)
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut oil, melted
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Stems from 1/4 bunch of cilantro, bruised with the back of a knife and chopped
  • 1 red cayenne pepper, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the marinade, take a bowl and pop in your coconut milk, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, cilantro leaves and stems (there’s loads of extra flavor in the stems), chopped cayenne, lime zest, paprika and some salt and pepper and mix well. Remove 3 tablespoons of the marinade and set aside, then pop the shrimp into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them soak up those power-packed flavors for a couple of hours.

  2. When you are ready to cook them, add the lime juice to the reserved marinade. Thread the shrimp onto your bamboo skewers. Heat your barbecue (or grill pan on medium-high) and put the skewers on to grill. That extra bit of marinade comes into play now – while the shrimp are cooking, brush them with the marinade until they are lovely and pink. It should take 2–3 minutes on each side.

  3. Serve the skewers with a few fresh lime wedges, some sprigs of cilantro and a final sprinkling of the shredded coconut.


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