Coconut “Shrimp” Cauliflower Tacos

I used to love coconut shrimp. Something about the crispy, fried, coconut outside dipping it in a sauce. So I knew I had to make a vegan version and let me tell you this didn’t disappoint. Also, this recipe is not hard but it is quite involved so I would advise checking out the video if you need any help.


I decided to use cauliflower for this recipe to keep it soy free but also because I felt it would make a great substitute for shrimp. There is something about the texture that reminds me of shrimp.

If you want to make this gluten free just simply use gluten free breadcrumbs and gluten free flour or cornstarch. You can also use corn tortillas instead of flour. To make it nut free just use whatever plant milk you like. I used unsweetened original almond milk but I also think coconut milk would be great for this.

I used sweetened coconut shreds for this recipe. I tried it with unsweetened and I would suggest using sweetened. The unsweetened lacked the flavor I was looking for. If you can only find unsweetened then I would add about 1-2 tbsp of sugar to your coconut breadcrumb mixture.



1 cup plant milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp seasoning salt

Chili Lime Cream
1/3 cup vegan cream cheese
1 tbsp plant milk
1/2 lime for juice
1/2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Mango Salsa
1 small mango, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup plant milk

1 small head cauliflower
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
Tortillas of choice


  1. Wash and cut your cauliflower. I found it best to slice the head into quarters and then chop it into smaller pieces. You can use the florets as well but you want it to be small bite sized pieces. Think around the size of small shrimp
  2. Prepare the marinade by adding all the ingredients into a bowl and whisking well to combine. Put the cut up pieces of cauliflower into a container and add the marinade on top. Cover the container and shake well to get the cauliflower coated. Let this sit in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes. The longer it sits in the marinade the better so you can do this overnight if you like.
  3. Next prepare the chili lime cream by adding all ingredients into a bowl and mixing well to combine. Set aside until you are ready to eat. If you would like add it into a squeeze bottle or ziploc bag with corner cut off to make it easy to drizzle.
  4. Prepare the mango salsa by chopping up all the ingredients very small and then adding them into a bowl. Mix together and set aside until ready to eat.
  5. Prepare breading by adding all ingredients to a dish or bowl.
  6. Once the cauliflower is ready to be used, drain out the marinade from the cauliflower into a bowl. Add in 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup of plant milk. Mix well to combine.
  7. Now you are ready to bread your cauliflower. Take one piece of the cauliflower dip it into the batter, then dip it in the breadcrumbs and coat well, back into the batter and then back into the breadcrumbs. The set aside on a dish. I find double dipping helped to make a crispier coating. If the breadcrumb mixture starts to have little wet clumps form, you can add in a bit of extra coconut or breadcrumbs.
  8. After they are all coated. FREEZE THESE FOR 30 MINUTES TO 1 HOUR. This is very important. Freezing helps to ensure that everything is solidified and produces a better result when deep frying.
  9. Heat up vegetable oil on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. I like to use a smaller pot. To test if it is hot you can take a wooden spoon and small bubbles should form around it. Don’t be intimidated by deep frying if you have never done it be sure to check out the video. IT IS NOT HARD at all. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon or spatula pick up a piece of the cauliflower, drain it and then place on a dish lined with a paper towel. This will allow excess oil to drip off. I think these would also be great in air fryer or you can try baking them if you like.
  10. Finally, we can now assemble our tacos. Add some lettuce, a few pieces of the coconut “shrimp”, mango salsa and a drizzle of chili lime cream. You an also top with additional jalapeno slices and cilantro or parsley if you like.

Will make 25 pieces of coconut “shrimp” and about 4 big tacos.

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5 thoughts on “Coconut “Shrimp” Cauliflower Tacos

    1. Depending on how your oven runs I would either say 350F to 400F. If you find stuff tends to cook very quickly go for the lower temp. I would also probably flip them after a little while so both sides can get crispy! Let me know what you think and how baking them goes 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the tips! We opted for 350° for a total of about 17 minutes. Ten+ and then flipped for a final 5ish. Came out crispy but still tender. I’m sure they’re better fried (because what isn’t) but we’re enjoying them!!

        Liked by 1 person

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