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Coconut-crusted Shrimp With Hot-pepper-jelly Sauce And Mirliton Slaw

Coconut-crusted Shrimp With Hot-pepper-jelly Sauce And Mirliton Slaw

This appetizer is one of the Red Fish Grill’s top-selling dishes, probably because of the winning combination of flavors and textures found in succulent shrimp in a sweet and crunchy coconut coating, the spicy-sweet pepper jelly and a crispy mirliton slaw.

Category: Main Courses

Serving Size: 6

Succulent Shrimp In A Sweet And Crunchy Coconut Coating

Chef's Notes

The trick to breading the shrimp is to keep one hand dry during the breading process. The dry hand is used strictly to dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour and the coconut breading, while the other hand is used only to moisten the shrimp in the egg wash. Having two batches of the breading in separate bowls also helps keep it from getting too wet and clumpy.

This appetizer is one of the Red Fish Grill’s top-selling dishes, probably because of the winning combination of flavors and textures found in succulent shrimp in a sweet and crunchy coconut coating, the spicy-sweet pepper jelly and a crispy mirliton slaw.


  • 3 cups medium-shred, flaked, sweetened coconut, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 4½ teaspoons baking powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ cup seasoned flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 large peeled shrimp, deveined but with tails left on
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1½ cups (approximately) mirliton slaw, for serving
  • 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) hot-pepper-jelly sauce, for serving
  • 3 cups clarified butter, divided

Advanced Steps:

Prepare the recipes for:
• Creole seasoning
• Seasoned flour
• Clarified butter
• Hot-pepper-jelly sauce (up to 3 days ahead)
• Mirliton slaw (just before reheating the sauce and frying the shrimp for serving, as directed below)

Special Equipment:

Special equipment
• A heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan
• An outdoor grill
• Hickory (or your favorite) wood chips
• A broad, large and sturdy spatula
• A heat-proof platter, if grilling the fillets in batches


1. In a large shallow dish, thoroughly combine 1½ cups coconut, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2¼ teaspoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. In another large shallow dish, prepare another batch of this coconut breading, using the same amounts used in the first batch.

2. Place the seasoned flour in a third large shallow dish. In a small mixing bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and egg for the egg wash. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Place the shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the Creole seasoning over the shrimp, mixing with your hands to coat all surfaces evenly. Next, using one hand and without breading the tails, dredge a batch of the shrimp in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Then, using the other hand, moisten the floured shrimp all over with the egg wash, letting the excess drip off.

4. With the hand you used in the seasoned flour, dredge the shrimp in one of the dishes of coconut breading, shaking off the excess. Repeat to bread all the shrimp. As each shrimp is finished being breaded, place it on the prepared baking sheet. Once all the shrimp are breaded, refrigerate for one hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°F.

6. Line a second rimmed baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

7. Prepare the mirliton slaw. Chill the slaw for 15 minutes while reheating the sauce and pan-frying the shrimp.

8. Place the hot-pepper-jelly sauce in a heavy 1-quart saucepan over very low heat to gently reheat it.

9. For the shrimp, place 1½ cups clarified butter in each of 2 heavy 10-to-12-inch skillets. Heat both skillets of clarified butter over medium-high heat until hot, about four minutes. Pan-fry the shrimp in small batches (roughly 8 shrimp per batch per skillet), easing one shrimp at a time into the skillets, until golden brown and cooked through, about two minutes on each side. As the shrimp finish cooking, gently transfer them with metal tongs to drain on the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to knock off the delicate crust. Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep the finished shrimp warm while frying the remaining shrimp. Serve piping hot.

Serving Suggestion: For each serving, drizzle 2 tablespoons of hot-pepper-jelly sauce around the edge of a heated dinner plate. Arrange five shrimp on top of the sauce, and mound 2 heaping tablespoons mirliton slaw in the center of the plate.

Creole Seasoning


  • ½ cup sweet paprika
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves


For a scant 1 cup

Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and place the mixture in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to three months.

Seasoned Flour


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


For 1 cup
Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

Serving Suggestion: The seasoned flour can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator or other cool, dark place for up to three months.

Clarified Butter


  • 1  pound unsalted butter


1. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat just until melted.

2. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking about two minutes until a layer of clear golden liquid (which is the clarified butter or butterfat) has developed between the foam on top and the milk solids and milky water that have separated from the butter and sunken to the bottom of the pan.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, and skim and discard the foam on top.

4. Ladle the clarified butter into a clean pan or large glass measuring cup, being careful not to include any of the milk solids and water as you work.

5. Discard the milk solids and water.

Serving Suggestion: Use the clarified butter immediately or let it cool briefly, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use. It will last up to one month.

Hot-pepper-jelly Sauce


  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons minced red sweet peppers
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons minced yellow sweet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño peppers, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cool water


For 1 cup

1. In a heavy, 1-quart nonreactive saucepan combine the apple juice, sugar and vinegar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about two minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Add the sweet and jalapeño peppers and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming any foam that develops on the surface.

3. Once the mixture has simmered just short of 10 minutes, stir together the cornstarch and cool water to make a thin paste and use a metal whisk to whisk the paste into the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is noticeably thicker, about five minutes more, skimming if more foam develops.

Serving Suggestions: Remove the sauce from the heat and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. (The sauce will thicken more as it cools but will still be thin enough to pour.) Or, if made ahead, let the sauce cool then refrigerate in a covered container. Let it sit again at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Mirliton Slaw


  • 2 cups “shoestring” strips of peeled mirlitons
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sweet peppers
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onions
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For 2 ½ cups or 6 servings
Combine all ingredients and let chill 15 minutes, then serve as soon as possible, ideally within 15 minutes for the crispest slaw.

Cooking Measurements

1 cup = 250 ml = 16 Tablespoons

1/2 cup = 125 ml = 8 Tablespoons

1/3 cup = 83 ml = 5.3 Tablespoons

1/4 cup = 62 ml = 4 Tablespoons

1 Pinch = 1/8 Teaspoon

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