While Nathan was in Mexico, I was super intrigued to hear what people in Mexico did to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. In my mind, it was going to be some HUGE party. I mean, if we in America celebrate this Mexican holiday, surely people actually in Mexico really party it up, right? Well, wrong. I was informed that the vast majority of Mexicans don’t do a thing for Cinco de Mayo. I thought it was the country’s independence day – turns out it isn’t. From what I’ve since gathered, the “holiday” is more about Americans drinking tequila and eating a bunch of Tex-Mex. A day to celebrate tacos? That is something I could definitely get behind 🙂
So, naturally I decided to give you some tacos today, the eve of Cinco de Mayo. Are these Baked Coconut Shrimp Tacos authentic? Nope. Do they even have a slight Hawaiian flare to them? Yeah, probably. Am I ashamed about either of these things? Not in the slightest.
A few really great things about these tacos:
- They are easy. Apart from breading the shrimp and cutting the pineapple, everything else for the prep here is really basic and can be done while the shrimp and pineapple bake for 10 minutes. No frying required = a MAJOR win!
- These shrimp make for an amazing freezer meal. My mom made a bunch of these for us to have in our freezer when I had my baby, and this was honestly the best gift she could have given me.
- I feel like this should be a given, but these tacos really are tasty. So many different textures and flavors going on all at once. Definitely worth your time.
Make these to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or Taco Tuesday, or the day Hawaii became a state (no clue what that date even is). The lines are a little blurry here, but I don’t think your taste buds will mind one bit.
Baked Coconut Shrimp Tacos
For the shrimp
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
For the pineapple salsa
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh pineapple
- 2 tablespoons red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- Salt, to taste
To serve the tacos
- toasted corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, queso fresco, lime crema (juice from 1/2 a lime + 2 tablespoons sour cream)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the shrimp under cool water, then get your breading station set up with the flour in one shallow dish, the egg (beaten lightly) in a second shallow dish, and the coconut, panko, salt, and spices in a third shallow dish. For each shrimp, coat lightly in flour, dredge in the egg, and press into the coconut mixture until well coated on both sides. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, making sure to leave half the sheet pan empty. Repeat with all the shrimp.
On the empty half of the sheet pan, lay out the thinly sliced pineapple slices. They can overlap slightly so they all fit on the pan. Bake the shrimp and pineapple for 10 minutes or until the shrimp is pink, opaque, and cooked through.
While the shrimp and pineapple bake, prepare the salsa by combining the red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Once the pineapple comes out of the oven, add this to the mixture and season with salt to taste (it's ok to add the shrimp when it's still warm).
Assemble the tacos by layering on the cabbage, shrimp, pineapple salsa, lime crema, and a nice dusting of crumbled queso fresco. You'll want to eat the shrimp right away, as they aren't nearly as good (or crispy!) once they sit for too long. Enjoy!
To freeze the shrimp: bread each shrimp as the recipe states and place on a baking sheet. Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer. Once the shrimp are frozen, they can be stored together in a plastic bag. To cook, they can be taken directly from the freezer and baked as the recipe states, though they may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer.