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. I AGREE–the BEST coconut shrimp this Florida girl has EVER had!! WOW!!

    Following your suggestion, I fried these in coconut oil–good call for just a little bit more coconut flavor. As I must remain gluten free, I used gluten free Panko, which is excellent, and a gluten free flour blend, which worked perfectly.

    I did have to refresh my Panko/coconut bowl, but other than that, the recipe was perfect. SO, easy; SO delicious. Tonight’s feast was for me only, but I will certainly cook it for company, low stress and very impressive and scrumptious.

    Thank you!

    1. Louis Piche says:

      Thank you for taking time out to add this recipe for all to enjoy

  2. Lauren Pace says:

    Do you think these would work well in an air fryer?

    1. Should work just fine, yes! I haven’t tried it yet since I don’t have one, but I don’t see any issue. Let me know how you like them!

  3. Debra Snowden says:

    Tried this recipe in my Ninja Foodi on the Air Crisp cycle. No frying and delicious!

    1. Wonderful receipe! Cooked in coconut oil but reheated leftovers in the air fryer. As good as freshly made.

  4. Hi – we are thinking of making this recipe for a party. Could we make them the day before and just refrigerate to reheat the day of the party or would you recommend the freezing then reheat? How many did 1 lb of shrimp serve?

    1. Hi Kerri! Either way works. I would just refrigerate then reheat on the stove.

  5. Turned out good, did use coconut oil. Fried in batches and kept cooked ones in oven 200 degree on paper towel. Jelly with chili paste as sauce. Big hit , will make again.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them, Steve!

  6. Janice Hennessy says:

    Going to make coconut shrimp. I’m going to try my air fryer. I read one of the comments and they said it worked out fine. I’ll let you know.

  7. Terri Dimartino says:

    I plan on making these shrimp for Christmas Eve. Do you think I can coat them with the flour, egg, & panko coconut mixture the day before, refrigerate and then fry the following day?

    1. Yes, absolutely. I do that all the time.

  8. We are making shrimp for Christmas Eve and I am so excited you have a recipe! I’m leaving 5 stars in advance because EVERY single recipe I’ve made of yours has been outstanding.
    Merry Christmas

  9. I enjoyed these very much right after they were made. I really pushed a lot of the coconut/panko into each shrimp on both sides to A) get a lot of the yummy coating on each shrimp and B) to not waste any of the mixture. They were very yummy the night we made them. We tried to reheat the leftovers on a special setting on the convection oven but as with many fried foods, they were not nearly as crispy a couple days later. I will make them again, but only enough for the meal we are going to eat them.

    1. Reheating in an air fryer works amazing for this great receipe. Stays nice and crispy.

  10. Rose DeRocher says:

    Sally in the last week I have made your sweet chili chicken and your coconut shrimp. Both turned out so good! Thanks for the recipes. In the photo what is the sauce with the shrim? It almost looks like your Sweet Chili sauce! 🙂

    1. It’s store-bought spicy orange/chile sauce. But the sauce from my sweet chili chicken would be excellent!

  11. I can’t get the coconut to stick/stay well on the shrimp. I don’t know if the flakes are too heavy or what. I am using bakers delight sweetened coconut If that matters. Any suggestions?

    1. We prefer using half sweet coconut and half unsweetened coconut. Works perfectly.

  12. My whole family loved this recipe! Even my dad who is a picky eater! It wasnt too sweet or plain just the perfect mix!

  13. What would you think of using coconut milk instead of eggs?

  14. Loved it.

  15. I am mostly lost in the kitchen, but thought I’d give this a shot for a Friday Lenten lunch. The recipe looked easy enough. What came out of the skillet might be the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten. I had a little egg left over, so I also fried up a mini coconut omelet. That too was so tasty!

  16. Sooooo good. Baked not fried but a definite win. Will make again.

  17. Stephanie Caldart says:

    Made it 2day with a little orange marmalade sauce for dipping…recipe is perfect and my hubby was in heaven! Thanks Sally!

  18. Can I bake them and if I can what temperature and how long?
    Thank you
    Kim

  19. Really easy (next time I’ll get the fishmonger to shell the shrimp for me) – I used jumbo shrimp. Had to return them to the pan when I tested for taste and doneness (these were big boys!). I used canola oil as I didn’t have coconut oil, also my shredded coconut was unsweetened but no complaints; I used both shredded and some coconut flakes to make texture more interesting. It was delish! I thought we would have leftovers (1.5 lbs of jumbo shrimp) but husband and son kept returning for more. Served with a side of hot/sweet chili duck sauce, pan roasted sweet potato “fries” and salad greens with a light lemon dressing. Thanks for keeping it simple!

  20. Can you please tell me if its frozen coconut or the dry kind?

  21. Great recipe! Enjoyed every bite:) For the dip I used a roasted pineapple and habanero glaze sauce. I’ve used this sauce for cooking recipes. Figured it would be good right out of the bottle for dipping. It was!:)

  22. Today, I made this recipe following all of Sally‘s instructions. I even made the spicy Thai sweet chili sauce and orange marmalade for the dipping sauce. All was outstanding! Everything I make from Sally’s website turns out to perfection! Sally, thank you so much for All your detail and love.
    For dessert we had Sally‘s big bakery style peanut butter chunk cookies! They also turn out to perfection every time I make them.

  23. Oh my goodness. I LOVE coconut shrimp but usually find it’s lacking in that delicious coconut flavor. These shrimp are off the charts good!! I have never eaten such great shrimp. So easy to do…..and is divine to eat. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Steven Smith says:

    I made these using a deep fryer at 350 degrees with 21-24 count shrimp and they were absolutely amazing. Will make again. Feel that the 21-24 count were about the right size — they got done right as the coating was a nice golden brown, and the coating was at the right proportion to the shrimp.

  25. This recipe was amazing and so easy. I made it on a whim so I had to use the ingredient’s I had in the Pantry. I used gluten free flour and it worked perfect I also used regular bread crumbs because they didn’t have panko the panko probably would have been a lot crispier but it did come out amazing thank you!!

  26. Very good and just what I was craving!

  27. Delicious & easy. Used reg flour and GF panko crumbs as that’s what I had. Only had unsweetened coconut and wanted to make sure it had a tinge of sweet so added a little powdered sugar to the coconut/panko mix. Prawns turned out perfect. They were super crunchy and we enjoyed them with the thai chilli/orange marmalade sauce. Sally, thank you so much for sharing your culinary delights. There are so many more recipes I want to make!

  28. Great recipe. First time ever making coconut shrimp. Family loved it. Used coconut oil which definitely adds more flavor. Delicious and delightful. Thank you!

  29. Tammy Dumont says:

    I bought already cooked shrimp is that not gonna be as good?

  30. I’m a very pregnant mom with a MAJOR craving for coconut shrimp but no way to go out for them due to stupid COVID, so I have to make them myself. I want to try this because I’ve used your recipes in the past and I love your work, but I want to try and convert this to keto. If I swapped coconut flour for the white flour, and crushed pork rinds for the panko, do you know if that would work just as well or are the pork rinds going to not crisp up as well? Would tossing the shrimp in baking powder help everything crisp better, like with chicken wings?
    Thank you!

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