Kelaguen Uhang (Citrus-Marinated Shrimp with Coconut)

By: The Local Palate

From the island of Guam, Diaz writes: Kelaguen is as much a technique as it is a dish. It combines proteins—particularly seafood and beef, but also venison and chicken—with lime, onions, and chiles. As a process, to kelaguen is to lightly pickle proteins in a spicy, citrusy marinade, with added fresh coconut and cilantro. This dish often starts with raw meat, but this version uses blanched fresh shrimp and can be served with steamed rice alongside a green salad or on a tostada for a quick snack.

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Serves 4 to 6

  • 1½ pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups finely grated unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 3 red bird’s eye chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • Steamed white rice, tortillas, or tostadas for serving
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot or kettle. Meanwhile, finely chop shrimp into small pieces. Once water is boiling, transfer shrimp to a fine-mesh sieve, then pour boiling water over them, shaking sieve to ensure shrimp are evenly heated. Shake a few times and let drain.
  2. In a large nonreactive mixing bowl, combine coconut, green onions, lemon juice, chiles (if using), and salt. Add shrimp and toss well. Cover and transfer to refrigerator. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Toss again and add more salt or lemon juice as needed. Serve with steamed rice, tortillas, or on a tostada. Kelaguen uhang will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
  • Recipe By
    Von Diaz

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