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. Everyone raved about these! I made two batches and had to change the coconut oil out about half way through because it got burnt. Not sure coconut oil is the best frying oil, but it adds great taste. Served with a red lobster copy cat piña colada sauce made with sour cream, cream of coconut, and pineapple. So easy and to dye for!

  2. I did this recipe with a home made pineapple salsa in a tortilla bowl with chips. it was absolute gas

  3. Can you prep the shrimp ahead of time and refrigerate until ready?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely! Make sure the shrimp are covered when in the refrigerator. Enjoy, Denise!

  4. Cynthia Henrickson says:

    I’ve made this recipe several times, but I skip the frying step and instead spray both sides of each shrimp with coconut oil and then air fry for a couple minutes each side. We like the sauce a little sweeter, so I use one part sweet Thai chili sauce to 3 parts orange marmalade. My husband says it’s better than any restaurant coconut shrimp he’s ever had. It’s definitely a favorite!

    1. I’m going to try that! At 400 degrees. What temperature did you use?

  5. One of the worst recipes I’ve tried. The coating blackened and the shrimp was raw.

    1. Sounds like your pan was WAY too hot.

    2. Use cooked shrimp Kjones

      1. Don’t use cooked shrimp. You could always butterfly the raw shrimp, if necessary. I agree, your pan was too hot. A decent cook doesn’t blame the process. Learn from your mistakes and try again!

  6. I’m going to try to make this recipe tomorrow. I hope it turns out great. It looks so yummy and seems easy enough to make. We shall see

  7. This recipe is so delicious! My husband has been asking for shrimp tacos, so I made this coconut shrimp and paired it with a mango salsa and the combination was great in the tacos. Thanks for another winning recipe!

  8. Can I use an air fryer instead?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, definitely! I’m unsure of the exact time, but keep an eye on them and remove when they are golden brown and crispy.

  9. any ideas for different side options besides salad?? i’m blanking!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah! Rolls, rice, homemade bread and roasted vegetables would all make great sides!

  10. Made it last night and it was perfect. I used an electric skillet at 375 and the shrimp were golden, crispy and delicious. I’m going to try this coating on chicken planks next!

  11. Monty Elsom says:

    I’ve had them with blackened catfish and Dirty Rice for a Cajun meal.

  12. mrs Lin Langlois says:

    this recipe was so good. i did fresh mushrooms with this recipe.
    it turn out very good . my husband did a great job. i am going to
    try fish with this recipe. the shrimp turnout great.

    1. mrs Lin Langlois says:

      This recipe is so delicious! My husband has been asking for shrimp tacos, so I made this coconut shrimp and paired it with a mango salsa and the combination was great in the tacos. Thanks for another winning recipe!

  13. Made this recipe as directed. Not only was it super easy but it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing! Served along side roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts. Divine! Big hit in my household.

  14. Great recipe. Have made this several times now.

    1. Easy to follow first time I tried a recipe like this it came out perfect made 2 pounds of shrimp and beef and chicken

  15. I’ve only had coconut shrimp when we have visited Florida. This recipe was simple and delicious…just as good if not better then any I’ve tasted.

  16. My family LOVED this. I used GF rice flour and GF Panko. My husband asked me to make it once a week. I used extra Large shrimp and made Jasmin Rice and Broccoli on the side with salad as an additional option. My husband, 3 adult sons and daughter in-law devoured it. Thank you! I’m vegetarian so didn’t try it. I wish i had this recipe 7 years ago. lol

  17. Can this be baked instead of fried?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharon! We’ve never baked the coconut shrimp before, but some readers have left positive reviews after doing so.

      1. Hi. The recipe looks great and I’m definitely adding to my weekly meal planning. Question-are you able to quickly post/modify with the baking instructions as an option.

        Thanks

      2. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Lisa, We’ve never baked the coconut shrimp before, but some readers have left positive reviews after doing so.

  18. Would this recipe work if I left the skin on the shrimp? I tend to like the texture/flavour of the skin, but not sure if it would work with the added coated layers.. Hopefully get a response as I plan to make it tomorrow!!

  19. Michelle Gleaso says:

    sorry, i forgot to ask in my last question – if this recipe could be made with unsweetened shredded coconut? or will it be bland/have no flavour?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michelle, you can, just expect a less sweet coating. Many readers have reported using unsweetened coconut with no issues. Let us know if you give it a try!

      1. I tried with both unsweetened and sweetened – both were good, but I preferred the sweetened. I also tried it leaving the skin on and that was god also. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Definitely a keeper.

  20. I made these last night and they turned out perfect.

  21. Can you use frozen shrimp? (You can delete my other comment)

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cassie! Yes, you can use frozen shrimp. Defrost by the package’s directions before following this recipe. Enjoy!

  22. Mimi salmon says:

    We gobbled these up. I added extra sambal to the sauce to kick the heat up a bit and served it with fried rice. Delicious!

  23. Lynn DeRamus says:

    So quick easy and delicious. Will make again and again.

  24. I made these tonight for an appetizer for us and they turned out PERFECTLY! Thank you so much for such a great recipe. I cannot wait until we have guests to make these for them. I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes (coconut macaroons are next!). The variety on your website is fantastic. It could be my go-to.

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