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two hard shell coconut shrimp tacos with avocado, chili coconut sauce.
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5 from 12 votes

Coconut Shrimp Tacos (Without Breading)

Spice up your taco night with coconut shrimp tacos - juicy, marinated shrimp grilled or baked to perfection and drizzled with a spicy coconut lime chili sauce. Add creamy avocado and crunchy slaw for a symphony of flavors and textures.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican-Asian
Servings (change as needed): 8 tacos
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 hard taco shells (or soft shells)
  • 3 cups coleslaw, preferably with vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced (sprinkle with lime juice to avoid browning)
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro or parsley, and fresh lime juice for garnish (optional)


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (or other hot sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (to be added later)


  • PREPARE GRILL: Oil and preheat grill to medium high, heat (about 425F/218C.) If using wooden skewers, soak them for 20 minutes.
  • MARINATE SHRIMP: Rinse defrosted shrimp in cool water then pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Add all marinade ingredients to a ziploc bag. Massage to combine well. Add the shrimp to the bag of marinade. Massage to distribute sauce evenly. Marinate 15-20 minutes (but not more than 30 or lime juice will affect texture).
  • GRILL SHRIMP: Thread shrimp on skewers. Place remaining marinade in small saucepan. Lightly salt shrimp, then spray with oil to prevent sticking. Grill shrimp a total of 3-4 minutes (depending on size), turning half way through. Do not overcook. Remove shrimp from skewers to a plate. Note 2 to bake or pan-fry.
  • MAKE SAUCE: Heat remaining marinade in saucepan to medium heat. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened. Add 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce. Taste and add more to taste and to level of heat/spiciness desired. Transfer to small bowl.
  • ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Set out coleslaw, taco shells, shrimp, avocado and sauce. Assemble tacos or let eaters assemble their own. In each shell, add some coleslaw, 3-4 shrimp, some diced avocado and a bit more coleslaw. Drizzle on some sauce. Top with chopped cilantro or parsley and a squeeze of lime juice if using.


  1. Variations: 
    • Instead of shrimp, try halibut, cod or mahi-mahi fish.
    • Use guacamole instead of diced avocado. 
    • Try chopped ripe mango or mango salsa as a topping.
    • Add a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce to the marinade for more depth.
    • Make a vegetarian version with tofu, grilled zucchini, or mushrooms instead of shrimp. Marinate and grill the same way
  2. Baking method: Bake marinated shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet at 425F/218C for 5-7 minutes (depending on size). You can also pan-fry the shrimp on medium-high heat for a few minutes in a little bit of vegetable or coconut oil. 
  3. Make Ahead: 
    • All the components of the coconut shrimp tacos can be prepared ahead (shrimp, coleslaw, avocado, sauce/marinade).
    • The marinade/sauce will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
    • The shrimp can be served at room temperature or warmed for 20-30 seconds in the microwave (be careful not to overcook or they will turn rubbery).
Nutrition value estimates are for one shrimp taco with fillings and sauce. 
Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 961mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 3mg