A gordita is a thick tortilla, cut along the edge to form a pocket so it may be stuffed with a variety of fillings. This Mexican canapé recipe is a wonderful and interesting way to serve prawns with a special pick-me-up sauce. The “return to life” comes from the bite of the chillies, the sweet young coconut and the fresh lime juice.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (46 votes)


“Return to life” sauce

  • 1 fresh young coconut
  • 3 ripe sweet tomatoes
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to garnish
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp finely diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, seeded, finely diced
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • chopped mint, to garnish


  • 300 g prepared masa (see Note)

Prawn filling

  • 200 g cooked peeled prawns, roughly chopped, plus 6 cooked peeled prawns sliced horizontally in half
  • 1 cup finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 3 ripe sweet tomatoes
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To prepare the sauce, crack the coconut open and reserve the water. Scrape out the coconut flesh and reserve.

Place the coconut water and tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the coriander (reserving a few sprigs for garnish) and half of the coconut flesh, and blend again.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and add the garlic, olive oil, onion and jalapeño. Finish the sauce with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Chill until required.

To prepare the gorditas, form 12 equal-size balls. Flatten each to about 3 mm thickness. Heat a comal or non-stick frying pan over medium heat and gorditas lightly for 1 minute each side. While still warm, use a paring knife to slit the gordita down the side, creating a pocket for stuffing. 

Fill six shot glasses with the “return to life” sauce, then garnish with a few drops of olive oil, some chopped mint and reserved coconut flesh.

Stuff gorditas with the chopped prawns, shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes and sliced avocado. Dress with “return to life” sauce. Garnish with a prawn half, the reserved coriander sprigs and chopped mint and serve immediately with extra sauce in shot glasses.


• Masa harina is sold at speciality food stores and Mexican grocers. To prepare the dough, follow the instructions on the product.