In traditional versions of this recipe, shrimp is coated with sweetened coconut flakes and panko breadcrumbs, (which are not gluten-free), then deep fried. This healthier, lighter version is gluten free and baked, rather than fried. This version also calls for unsweetened coconut flakes, which allows the other seasonings to take center stage. Here, a tangy avocado-lime dip rounds out the flavors. However, a sugar-free orange marmalade would be a wonderful addition, as well.
In this case, large 10/15 count shrimp were used. However, medium-sized shrimp work better for larger gatherings. If using smaller shrimp, reduce cooking time by a few minutes to prevent overcooking.
Tip: For crispier results, reduce baking time to 10 minutes, then place the shrimp under the broiler for 1-2 minutes per side.
Baked Coconut Shrimp with Avocado-Lime Dip
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
2. Combine almond flour, smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder in a pie pan or shallow bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside.
3. In a second pie pan or shallow bowl, gently whisk the eggs and water until frothy. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired, and set aside.
4. Add shredded coconut to a third bowl and set aside.
5. Working one at a time, dredge each shrimp in the seasoned almond flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Allow excess egg to drip off before transferring shrimp to the bowl of shredded coconut. Turn to coat shrimp thoroughly before transferring to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
6. Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake until golden-brown and crispy, around 12-15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
7. Meanwhile, add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and cumin to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon or two of water, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Transfer to a small serving bowl and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Set aside.
8. Remove shrimp from oven and serve immediately with avocado-lime dip on the side. Enjoy!