Coconut shrimp is one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant, but it’s even better when you make it fresh at home. It takes a few minutes to set up the ingredients for breading the shrimp, but once you get rollin’, you’ll have hot, crispy coconut shrimp ready to eat in no time! They only take about 5 minutes to cook through and develop that beautiful golden brown color, so you can enjoy this shrimp even on busy nights!
Lately I’ve been getting tired of the same old chicken and beef recipes, so I’ve been adding more seafood into our meals. When I’m craving something light and healthy, I go for my honey garlic shrimp. When I’m craving something with a little Mexican flair, I make these chili lime shrimp fajita bowls. But when I’m in the mood for some good, old-fashioned fried comfort food, I make this coconut shrimp!
How Do You Make Coconut Shrimp?
So, how do you get that perfect crunchy coconut coating on the outside of the shrimp? It’s a simple 3 step process:
Step 1: Dredge the shrimp (peeled and deveined with the tails on) in a seasoned flour mixture.
Step 2: Give them a dip in the beaten eggs.
Step 3: Toss them in a mixture of crispy panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut. The breaded shrimp go into a pot of oil to fry, then you’re ready to eat!
I like to use a 50/50 ratio of coconut and breadcrumbs. Even my family members who despise coconut love this recipe! When you fry the shrimp, the coconut becomes part of the breadcrumb coating and doesn’t have that raw coconut flavor and texture. So don’t let the coconut coating shy you away from this awesome-sauce shrimp recipe!
Speaking of awesome-sauce… what do you dip your coconut shrimp in? I love to use a little bit of sweet chili sauce, and my husband likes regular cocktail sauce. My kids go for straight-up ketchup (big surprise), but quite frankly if it gets them to try something new, I’m all for it.
How To Peel Shrimp
This recipe calls for raw, uncooked shrimp. I like to buy my shrimp already peeled and deveined, with the tails on. It’s less mess and saves time, so it’s worth a bit of an extra charge. However, if you have shrimp with the shells on, you’ll need to remove them yourself.
The easiest way to peel shrimp, is to start at the bottom where the legs are attached and gently pull off the shell, leaving the tail piece on. It’s best to keep the tail on for this recipe because the tail will act as a little handle for you to pick up and eat your shrimp.
To devein the shrimp, use a small paring knife to run down the back of each shrimp and remove the dark vein.
Tips For Making Coconut Shrimp
- To be precise, try using a thermometer to make sure your oil is at the correct temperature. The oil should be between 350 and 375ºF. If the oil is too hot, the coating might burn. If the oil is not hot enough, the breading will absorb too much oil and become greasy.
- I like to use medium to large shrimp for this recipe, but feel free to use jumbo shrimp.
- Sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut will work for this recipe. I like to use sweetened coconut for coconut shrimp, but feel free to use what you have on hand.
- This recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs (NOT regular breadcrumbs). Panko breadcrumbs is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store. It will yield crispier coconut shrimp.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
If you prefer, you can bake the coconut shrimp instead of frying them. They won’t turn out quite as crispy, but they’re still delicious. Arrange the breaded shrimp on a greased sheet pan and spray a bit of cooking spray over the top of the shrimp. Bake at 425ºF for 10-15 minutes or until browned.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
This coconut shrimp recipe works awesome in the air fryer! This might just be my favorite way to enjoy this recipe! Cook the shrimp in the air fryer at 400ºF for 3 minutes on each side. If your shrimp are extra large, 4 minutes on each side might be better.
Next time you’re in the mood for something different, pull out that coconut that’s been sitting in your pantry, and fry up some shrimp! It’s great as a snack or appetizer, but add a serving of pasta or rice and you have a delicious main dish too!
More Delicious Seafood Recipes You’ll Love:
If you try this coconut shrimp recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Homemade coconut shrimp that's super crispy with a wonderful coconut crunchiness. Easy & quick enough to enjoy on busy weeknights! It takes a few minutes to set up the ingredients for breading the shrimp, but once you get rollin’, you’ll have hot, crispy coconut shrimp ready to eat in no time!
- 1 pound uncooked medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded coconut (the sweetened variety)
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- Optional for dipping: sweet chili sauce, cocktail sauce, ketchup
Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough oil to fill the skillet about ½" from the bottom.
In a shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place 2 beaten eggs in a second shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut.
Dredge the shrimp in flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, then coat in the panko/coconut mixture. Press the coconut onto the shrimp to get a nice, thick coating.
Carefully drop the coated shrimp into the hot oil and fry 2-3 minutes on each side, until the shrimp is cooked through and the breading is golden brown and crispy. Transfer shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.
BAKED COCONUT SHRIMP: If you prefer, you can bake the coconut shrimp instead of frying them. They won't turn out quite as crispy, but they're still delicious. Arrange the breaded shrimp on a greased sheet pan and spray a bit of cooking spray over the top of the shrimp. Bake at 425ºF for 10-15 minutes or until browned.
AIR FRYER COCONUT SHRIMP: This coconut shrimp recipe works awesome in the air fryer! This might just be my favorite way to enjoy this recipe! Cook the shrimp in the air fryer at 400ºF for 3 minutes on each side. If your shrimp are extra large, 4 minutes on each side might be better.
Photos by Danielle from Our Salty Kitchen.