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Belizean Shrimp in Caribbean Young Coconut Sauce

The Chef's Story:

During this past rainy season, my friend Leo approached me with a few young coconuts. He told me he had extras. Leo knows I'm a chef so he said, “You can't use these young coconuts for a sauce; you just get a spoon and scoop the meat and eat them”. The word “cant” is always a challenge to me. I bet that I could make a fine sauce using the young coconuts.

For the following recipe, I did use those tender, sweet, young coconuts for my sauce. The flavor was good but the color is less white than a mature coconut. For my recipe, you can use young coconut meat or mature coconuts to make your own coconut milk. Bon Appetit!


Belize Coconut Shrimp Recipe



  • 2 young or 1 mature coconut, meat only
  • 1 lb. peeled shrimp
  • 1 each sliced purple onion
  • 1 each sliced plum tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch black or white pepper
  • Juice half of 1 lime


The Method:

1. Scrape out coconut meat. If using young coconuts, puree the meat in a food processor.  If using a mature coconut, grate the meat and make milk.
2. Using a 14 inch fry pan, add the coconut oil and heat until hot.
3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and turn down the heat to medium. Stir with a wood spoon until all ingredients are hot (do not brown the ingredients; just get them hot)
4. Add shrimp and stir until the shrimp is half cooked.
5. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil for about 1 minute. Then turn off the heat. The shrimp will finish cooking in the boiled coconut milk.

6. Add the sliced tomato, salt, black or white pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Stir well to combine.
7. Taste for seasoning adjustment.  Serve with coconut rice and enjoy!

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