Easy Coconut Shrimp

coconut shrimp on a white serving plate

I know what you’re thinking. Who am I and what have I done with Sally? Shrimp on a baking blog. Have I lost my mind? The answer is yes. I’ve been all over the place this week! Popsicles, cheesecake, quiche, and shrimp. You can attribute my randomness to what my life is like at the moment. Packing, moving, wedding planning, friends visiting, bridal shower, cookbook signings, and 100 mile goals. Someone pass me a glass of wine. Or perhaps a coffee IV?

The only thing keeping me same at the moment is leftover chocolate chip zucchini bread.

coconut shrimp on a white serving plate

While quite the random recipe, I must say that this coconut shrimp recipe is heaven sent. Yes yes, it really is. Golden, sweet, crispy, coconut encrusted shrimp.

I played around in the kitchen last week to test recipes for a 4th of July shindig. And after one taste of this homemade take-out favorite, I am sold. It is, by far, the best coconut shrimp I’ve ever had. And I’ve had my fair share!

My coconut shrimp recipe is unlike any others that I’ve tried before. The shrimp are sweet and juicy, while the coconut crust is crispy – without being greasy. Serve this coconut shrimp to guests this summer and I guarantee they will be the first thing to go.

coconut shrimp on a blue plate

For those of you who have never had it before, coconut shrimp is basically shrimp rolled in coconut and fried to a delicious crisp. You will be shocked at how easy it is to make! My homemade version trumps take-out and restaurant, trust me.

It’s a quick 3 step process: the shrimp take a dunk into flour, then a dunk in beaten egg, and a heavy heavy heavy dunk into coconut/Panko. I like to use a little more coconut and a little less Panko for the coating – the more sweet coconut crust, the better.

Flour allows the egg to stick, egg allows the coconut and Panko to stick, coconut gives the shrimp their flavor, and Panko ensures a crunchy texture.

Here is why Panko is better than regular breadcrumbs in my coconut shrimp recipe: Panko is made from crustless bread and is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes. Panko stays crispier longer than regular breadcrumbs because they do not absorb as much grease and liquid in the frying process.

coconut shrimp in a white bowl of dipping sauce

I’ve never had a hankering for shrimp in the morning, but looking at the photo above makes me want to reach through the screen and eat one with my breakfast.

Weird? Yes.

Anyway. I like to serve coconut shrimp with a variety of sauces. They’re incredible with spicy orange sauce, which is 1 part Thai sweet chili sauce to 2 parts orange marmalade. If awesomesauce was a real word, it would describe my spicy orange dipping sauce.

Pictured with my coconut shrimp is just a simple spicy peach chili sauce I found at the store. Truly anything sweet ‘n spicy will compliment the shrimp wonderfully. For those wondering, I bought the Thai sweet chili sauce in the international food section of my regular grocery store. I’ve tried this dipping sauce and it’s very tasty as well.

coconut shrimp on a white plate

Coconut shrimp makes a fabulous finger food for a party, but can be prepared as a quick dinner too. We had it with a simple green salad topped with sesame ginger dressing, a few crushed peanuts, and edamame. And wine. Always wine. ENJOY! 🙂

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coconut shrimp on a white plate

Easy Coconut Shrimp

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is the best coconut shrimp recipe I’ve tried and you won’t believe how easy it is!


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
  • vegetable oil or coconut oil*

Instructions

  1. Start with 3 medium bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one. Beat the eggs in the second bowl.  Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.
  2. Dip the shrimp into the flour, then the eggs, and then dredge the shrimp into the coconut mixing, pressing gently to adhere. You want a lot of coconut on each shrimp. Set the coated shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.
  3. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches – do not crowd them in the pan. I fried about 6-7 at a time. Flip after 2 minutes and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. I like mine a little darker, so I fried each side for about 3 minutes.
  4. Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Serve with your favorite sweet chili sauce or an orange chili sauce (which is 1 part Thai sweet chili sauce to 2 parts orange marmalade). I’ve tried this dipping sauce and it’s very tasty as well.
  5. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro (optional) and serve. Leftover coconut shrimp keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Fried coconut shrimp freezes well, up to 2 months. Reheat for 10 minutes in a 350°F (177°C) oven– or until thawed and warm.
  2. Coconut Oil: I prefer frying the coconut shrimp in coconut oil for the best taste!

Keywords: coconut shrimp

350 Comments

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    I have never eaten coconut shrimp – isn’t that crazy!? I always see it on the menu and debate trying it, but then something else tickles my fancy.
    How-ev-er, how can shrimp, coated in coconut and then deep fried be bad?
    answer: it can’t. Must try it at home now! Pinned 🙂

    1. Yes, you have to try it Taylor. And once you do, you won’t stop finding excuses to make it. I have big plans for these shrimp for any get togethers we have this summer.

  2. Another savoury recipe, yay! Coconut shrimp, along with basically any other shrimp recipe is my favourite restaurant appetizer. I’m looking forward to lightening up the recipe slightly by not deep frying them in who knows how much oil! 😉

  3. Also just wanted to say, it’s 4 in the morning over here, and looking at these pictures are making me REALLY hungry. I’ve got all the ingredients to make this so shrimp for breakfast? Like you said, weird…. Or maybe not 😀

    1. You are either up super late or really early – earlier than me! This shrimp for breakfast.. I’m not judging, trust me!

  4. Laura @ Raise Your Garden says:

    Sally, these looks scrumptious.

    Just love the potential crispiness of the outside of your coconut shrimp. Kind of like picking the crusty Parm cheese off the side of a casserole, delightful!

    And I had no idea why Panko would be better than breadcrumbs so I’m glad you explained! No need to google that now.

    1. Hahaha Laura I do the same thing with parm cheese and casseroles lol. You have to try these!

  5. Melanie @ Carmel Moments says:

    I don’t even care who Sally is just wanna try this shrimp! Just kidding. Love you and your blog.
    Pinning for later.
    Have a great Thursday!

    1. Let me know if/when you try it Melanie!

  6. Chloe @ foodlikecake says:

    This looks amazing!

  7. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    This looks like the most perfectly crispy, coconut shrimp. Definitely rivals a restaurant! Pinned!

  8. Caitlin @ teaspoon says:

    As a dessert lover following your blog, I’m totally fine with savory recipes too- especially when they look so tasty! And coconut shrimp is the perfect sweet and savory combo. I want to make this!

    1. Thanks Caitlin! I agree – the perfect sweet/savory/salty combo. Coconut shrimp deserves a spot on my blog. I love this stuff!

  9. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks says:

    These look super delicious! Coconut makes everything better

  10. I love your savory recipes, Sally! It’s nice to have a good mix, even on a baking blog. That’s why they’re broken down into categories, right?? Those sweet tooth people can easily bypass the savory stuff… But they would surely be missing out! Sounds super delicious!

    1. Exactly. And thanks Lynn!

  11. Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission says:

    I really do not love coconut at all, but for some reason, I absolutely love coconut shrimp! I could so eat these for breakfast today – yum! Looks delicious, Sally. 🙂

    1. That’s too funny Chelsea. I know a few people like you – they will only eat coconut as coconut shrimp, no other way!

  12. I do not eat shellfish as we only eat kosher food but the coconut crust looks yummy. What would you substitute for the shrimp? Chicken breast or fish fillets maybe?

    1. Chicken or another type of fish would be great like salmon or cod.

  13. Medha @ Whisk & Shout says:

    Your savory recipes are amazing! I have yet to buy panko… I never use it for some reason. But you’ve definitely given me some solid reasons to give in 🙂

  14. YUM! I am pretty sure we use panko > traditional bread crumbs all the time in my house. I’m not sure if we even have the original breadcrumbs in our cabinet. They definitely hold their crunch more than others! LOVE this recipe. And you’re right… this would go well with any sweet + spicy dipping sauce… Maybe even something with pineapple to go the pina colada route? ;o)

    1. We don’t have plain breadcrumbs either – they do not compare to Panko when it comes to breading!

    2. And a pineapple dip of sorts sounds incredible!

  15. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says:

    This looks so crispy! I have to try this method. YUM!

  16. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    These shrimp are insane Sally! So golden brown and flaky! I can’t stand it!

  17. Beth @ bethcakes says:

    I realize that I’m weird and I don’t like shrimp and seafood, but having said that, these shrimp look really, really good! Plus I like the idea of coconut crusted things. I’ve never actually tried coconut shrimp, but I really like the idea of it. I would totally try some of these if I saw them at a party. 🙂

    1. You aren’t weird at all, Beth – my best friend doesn’t like seafood either. I’m sure you could easily do this with chicken!

  18. Yum, this looks absolutely to die for, Sally! I too have never had a hankering for shrimp so early in the morning but I definitely do now! 😀

  19. Oh, this looks so good! I have shrimp planned for tonight’s dinner, so I just might have to do this. It looks so crispy and I love all that coconut. 🙂

  20. i love coconut shrimp, but have never tried making it myself! What a perfect party appetizer!

    1. It’s so easy Mercedes! Definitely give it a go.

  21. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Sally they look awesome! I love what an easy recipe it is and the coconut factor must take these over the edge! Perfect party food! pinned 🙂

    1. I should try them next with your mango salsa recipe!

  22. Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods says:

    These look amazing! I like Panko and how it makes a nice, crisp crust!

  23. This looks just awesome! Thank you so much. Now if you could create a copycat for the Red Lobster Pina Colada sauce they serve with their Coconut Shrimp I’d be thrilled.

    And the Chinese buffets around here make a coconut shrimp dish that is one of my two favorites, Their shrimp is battered and deep fried and then they put this thick creamy coconut sauce on the shrimp and toss to coat them. OMG SOOOOOOO good. Any chance you have anything like that or want another challenge? I’d tried and cannot come up with the right sauce. My entire family would be thrilled if I could make it at home.

    1. No wonder it’s a favorite! Not sure if I will recreate it. Sounds delicious though!

  24. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    Looks awesome- my kind of dinner!

    1. Thanks Lori! They’re so easy, too.

  25. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    I always look forward to your savory recipes Sally! This shrimp looks mouth watering delicious.

  26. Alexis @ Upside Down Pear says:

    These coconut shrimp look incredibly delicious! I can’t totally picture eating the whole batch by myself with a side of mango salsa. I wish you all the best with everything that’s going on in your life right now!! We’re getting ready to move at the end of next month and just that in itself is stressful enough. It always comes down to…if I pack it now will I need to unpack it before I move?? I hope everything goes smoothly!

    1. Thanks for all the kind words Alexis… and I wish you a smooth, stress free move as well! I’m in the same boat. Trying not to pack too much because I know I’ll need to use it the in the next week or two. Anyway, these would be so good with mango salsa!

  27. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    This is one of my favorite things to order in restaurants! Love how easy this s! Pinned!

  28. Crystal | Apples & Sparkle says:

    These do indeed look delicious! I love coconut shrimp. : )

  29. These look yummy … Are the green specs dried cilantro or oregano? Or what?

    1. Cilantro – it’s mentioned in the recipe. Enjoy!

      1. Oops there it is big as day at the end! Sorry!

  30. Ashley | Our Full Table says:

    YUM! Crispy coconut shrimp are my fave! I bet these are the jam!

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