Baked Coconut-Crusted Shrimp with Fig Dipping Sauce

baked coconut crusted shrimpI don’t know about you, but this winter felt like the longest winter EVER. We had so much snow, ice, and sleet that I definitely got my money’s worth from my snow boot purchase. Since our escape to a warm climate for vacation is months away, I knew I had to do something drastic. I know what you’re thinking…coconut shrimp is traditionally slathered in butter and fried in oil, and there’s a reason we only eat it when we’re on vacation. You’ll be happy to know that this lighter version requires no butter and no frying (because baking is totally the ‘new’ frying!) and the end result is insanely sweet and tropical-tasting shrimp that could stand up against any coconut shrimp served in the Caribbean. Clocking in under 300 calories per serving, this dish is light, delicious, and super quick to make — 25 minutes and you’re good to go…perfect for a busy weeknight.

Pair the coconut-crusted shrimp with a fruity dipping sauce and you have a winning combination that the entire family will love! I had a bottle of fig preserves in the fridge just waiting to be finished, so I whipped up a fig dipping sauce but any flavor of jam would work with this recipe.  My apricot-mustard glaze would also be delicious as a sauce. The hubby couldn’t get enough of this dish and if he has any say in our menu planning, this one will be on rotation in our house…until we order the real deal in the Caribbean!

Baked Coconut-Crusted Shrimp with Fig dipping sauce
Serves 4|Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Calories: 261|Carbs: 33g|Fat: 8g|Protein: 15g|Sodium: 569g|Sugar: 14g
Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined (thawed if frozen)
2 egg whites (I used liquid egg whites)
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 and 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch (or all-purpose flour)
1 Tbsp black pepper
Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup Fig preserves (I used an organic fig fruit spread; see original recipe for pineapple dipping sauce)
1 tsp water
Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil).
Place egg whites, cornstarch, and coconut into three separate, shallow dishes.
Dip both sides of each shrimp in cornstarch, then egg whites, then coconut flakes until well-coated and place onto lined cookie sheet.
Continue until all shrimp are coated in the cornstarch/egg white/coconut mixture and placed in a single layer on cookie sheet.
Lightly dust the shrimp with black pepper.
Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven, flip shrimp with a spatula, and place cookie sheet back in oven for another 8 minutes until both sides of shrimp are golden-brown and shrimp is cooked through.
While shrimp is baking, mix fig preserves, pepper, and water, adding more water if needed to create a dip consistency.

Recipe adapted from Tablespoon
Photo: Lighten Up Recipes

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