Prawns in Coconut Shells

"This recipe comes from New Caledonia of the Pacific Islands. The prawns, or shrimp, are chopped, combined with coconut cream (made from the coconuts) and pawpaw, then baked under a banana leaf and served in the coconut shells. If you cannot find pawpaw you may try papaya, sweet plantains, or mango in place of it."
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Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • Boil the prawns or shrimp in 1 cup salted water for 5 minutes; remove shrimp, but reserve cooking liquid.
  • Cut off the heads from the shrimp and remove the shell; chop flesh.
  • Grate the coconut and reserve shells.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the grated coconut with the shrimp's cooking liquid; slowly bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Strain liquid through cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible (this is coconut cream!).
  • NOTE: Shredded coconut can be dried and/or toasted for another use.
  • Thoroughly wash the pawpaw to remove any sap; remove seeds and grate or finely chop the flesh.
  • Put the pawpaw into the coconut shells with the chopped prawn and coconut cream; season with salt.
  • Cover with banana leaves (they impart flavor), or aluminum foil, and bake in a slow oven for 1 hour.
  • Serve in the shells.

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