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Coconut Shrimp with Watermelon and Fennel Salad

10 mins
30 mins
Janine Booth's Coconut Shrimp with Cilantro Key Lime Aioli + Watermelon Fennel Salad
Janine Booth's Coconut Shrimp with Cilantro Key Lime Aioli + Watermelon Fennel SaladNathan Congleton / TODAY
10 mins
30 mins


Coconut Shrimp
  • 1 box kataifi shredded filo dough
  • 12 Royal Red or Key West pink shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1 quart coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cilantro-Key Lime Aioli
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, picked
  • 1 handful basil leaves, picked
  • cups mayonnaise, cold
  • Citrus Dressing
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Watermelon and Fennel Salad
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced half
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly shaved
  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radish
  • Fennel fronds
  • Garnish
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • Lime slices
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Chef notes

    Coconut shrimp is a crowd favorite and this particular one of the most popular dishes on our menu at Stiltsville Fish Bar. Because the shrimp are fried in coconut oil they have a beautiful flavor and makes them a little bit healthier. The salad is the perfect refreshing summer salad and so quick to throw together!

    Technique tip: Use a candy thermometer to make sure the coconut oil to the correct temperature for frying. 

    Swap option: Swap key lime juice for lemon or regular lime. You could use mint instead of cilantro or basil. You can also use agave instead of honey in the both sauces.


    For the coconut shrimp:

    Separate the kataifi removing about 4-5 dozen strands and roll them around the shrimp like a mummy from top to bottom and back again. Place on paper towel lined tray until ready for cooking.

    In a large fry pan heat approximately 1/2-inch amount of coconut oil at approximately 350°F over high heat. Carefully add 6 shrimp and pan fry for about 1 minute until golden and flip over and pan fry for about 45 seconds until crispy. Repeat these same steps and fry the remaining 6 shrimp. Season shrimp with salt while hot.

    For the cilantro-key lime aioli:

    Using a high-powered blender add lime, honey, oil, salt, cilantro and basil. Turn blender on medium-high speed and blend until smooth. Add the cold mayonnaise and blend again until the aioli is bright green and smooth, about 45 seconds.

    For the citrus dressing:

    Place all ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar and shake vigorously until well combined.

    For the watermelon and fennel salad:

    In a large bowl, toss watermelon, orange segments, tomatoes and shaved fennel with citrus dressing. Transfer to serving bowl and top with almonds, radishes and fennel tops.

    To serve:

    Place the hot shrimp on a plate and sprinkle heavily with the toasted coconut. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime slices. Serve the key lime sauce on the side for dipping.