Coconut Shrimp Tacos with a Mango Avocado Salsa 3.08 Let the Games Begin


“Sucky day.” “But excellent tacos.” “Yeah, Hector really came through.” “What are you doing?” “We’re coming from a day with my parents. Want a taco?” “Uh, no thanks. See, I already have food here. We sell it to the other customers who don’t come quite as prepared as the two of you.” “Mm, be nice and get us some salsa.” “At least order a cup of coffee.” “Coffee and tacos?” “Sounds just gross enough to work.”


Ingredients:

For the mango avocado salsa:

  • 1 mango, peeled, cored, and diced

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

  • ⅓ cup tomato, diced

  • ¼ cup red onion, diced

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

  • ½ tsp chili powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ¼ tsp red pepper chili flakes

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

For the coconut shrimp:

  • 1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

  • Oil for frying (I used vegetable)

For the tacos:

  • 10-12 corn tortillas

  • ¾ cup red cabbage, shredded

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

  • 1-3 tsp sriracha

  • ¼ cup Oaxaca cheese, grated

  • Lime juice

Directions:

For the mango avocado salsa:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the mango, avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and garlic. Stir to combine.

  2. Add the seasonings and lime juice and stir again to combine.

  3. Set aside while you prepare the shrimp.

For the coconut shrimp:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

  2. In a separate bowl, add the beaten eggs.

  3. In a third bowl, add the coconut.

  4. Pat the shrimp dry then season with additional salt and pepper. Dip the shrimp one at a time into the flour mixture and fully coat the shrimp.

  5. Dredge the shrimp fully in the egg mixture and then into the coconut. Again, make sure to fully coat the shrimp.

  6. Keep all the coated shrimp on a plate until you are ready to fry.

  7. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and enough oil to the pan to about ¼ inch.

  8. To test to see if the oil is hot enough, drop a piece of coconut into the oil. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

  9. Work in batches by adding a few shrimp to the oil at a time. Let fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to blot dry.

Assemble the tacos:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha until fully mixed.

  2. Warm the tortillas in a skillet or the microwave.

  3. Spread a spoonful of the sriracha mayonnaise across each tortilla. Evenly distribute the red cabbage on each tortilla. Add 2-3 shrimp on top of the red cabbage for each taco.

  4. Top with a couple spoonfuls of the salsa and sprinkle with the Oaxaca cheese. Finish off with some fresh lime juice.

Adding lime juice to the salsa not only brightens the flavor, it prevents the avocado from browning.

Originally, I was going to wait to make tacos for the episode in which Rory and Paris are hungover after drinking Founders Day Punch at the opening of the diorama. I don’t have the later seasons fully planned out yet, but that’s such a memorable food scene to me. I was planning to make a salad with walnuts for this episode, but I just wasn’t inspired by that. Don’t get me wrong, I love salads, and I like walnuts in salads, but it wasn’t sparking any creativity for me. I also didn’t want to do just any taco. Some of my favorite tacos are seafood tacos, and I love making coconut shrimp. However, I had never had the thought of putting coconut shrimp into a taco before...I don’t really know why.

Keep the breading bowls close together to avoid a mess.

As far as the mango avocado salsa, that’s something I’ve been making for years. I think I was first introduced to this salsa from some fish tacos my mom made. When I was in college and had my first apartment, I loved making this salsa to eat with grilled chicken burgers that I would make on my little George Foreman grill. I went through a phase where I didn’t eat red meat (not for any particular reason...I was just picky), so I ate a lot of chicken burgers. Since they never actually say what kind of tacos they get from Hector’s, I just decided to make whatever tacos I wanted to make because I can!

Be sure to fully coat the shrimp with coconut.

Somewhat related, but on a different topic—I paired these shrimp tacos with a frozen watermelon margarita. I bought the first watermelon of the summer season, and I was hit with the desire to make margaritas. I already had everything else I needed on hand—tequila, triple sec, lime juice, so I cut up some of the watermelon into chunks, popped it into the freezer for a few hours, and after a trip through the blender, I had a delicious and cold summer drink. Over the course of quarantining during the pandemic, I enjoyed playing around with making different cocktails. And although I’m vaccinated and it’s safer to go out to bars, I really don’t have a desire to. It’s a lot of fun trying my hand at mixology, and I like being able to just enjoy a drink at home (it’s also a lot cheaper too!).

Work in batches to fry the shrimp so you don't overcrowd the pan.

There is a lot in this episode that can spark a debate, so let’s get into it! The main conflict of the episode is, of course, the Yale interview. Richard coerces Rory into visiting Yale with him and Emily and then surprises her with an interview with the Dean of Admission. Personally, I think Lorelai overreacts in that scene, but more on that later. I do think that Richard should have told Rory about the interview. Like she says, she would have taken the interview if he had just asked her, but she didn’t feel prepared. And as someone who works with students applying to college as my job, they not only want but need to be prepared. Being caught off guard for an important (really any) interview is a problem.

The shrimp will be nice and golden brown when they're ready.

We will definitely discuss this more with the next episode, but 3.08 kicks off Lorelai’s unbelievable temper tantrum over Rory applying to colleges other than Harvard. This is extremely frustrating. Not only should Rory apply to more than one college, but she really should be applying to less competitive colleges, at least as target schools, but also safety schools as well. Just because you submit an application, doesn’t obligate you to attend that school. I think it’s justifiable for Lorelai to be mad at Richard for surprising Rory with the interview, I don’t think it’s fair for her to be mad at him for simply introducing her to Yale.


Another controversial scene in this episode is Rory going to visit Dean following their breakup. I think Rory should have given Dean a little more space. I know her intention was to apologize for treating him the way she did while they were together (which I believe she absolutely needed to), but I think she should have just given him some time to process what had happened. I also don’t think she should have tried to stay friends with Dean. While exes can definitely stay friends after a breakup, I don’t think that Rory and Dean could go on to have a healthy friendship—at least not right away. We see in AYITL that they do become healthy friends, but I think that’s only after they had time and space to heal.

Feel free to be as generous as you want with the salsa.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the kiss in this episode. It’s the kiss that makes all the Team Jess fans swoon like crazy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kiss, and as Lorelai says, “it’s probably time for a Jess.” Even though I don’t like how Jess treats Rory for most of the time they date each other, I do think their relationship is important to Rory’s character development. Plus, their chemistry is just off the charts (as clearly seen in this kiss).


We have a big food episode coming up next, so let me know what you think I made down below!


Happy Cooking from the Hollow!

Serve your tacos with a little extra lime juice!

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!

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