This coconut shrimp recipe is the best of the best. It tastes so much better than you’ll get from any restaurant with the perfect crunchy, golden, coconut coated shrimp. It will be the first thing to go off the plate!
This popular dish combines the flavors of succulent shrimp with the sweet nutty flavors of coconut, combined into one in a perfect mix of flavors of textures. The shrimp coating is a little sweet, and perfectly crisped by pan frying in a little oil.
The best Recipe for Coconut Shrimp
- Crunchy Texture – You’ll love the juicy and plump shrimp, surrounded by the crispy coconut shell
- Easy and Quick Preparation – Homemade coconut shrimp is surprisingly easy to make. With only a few ingredients, its a dish to impress without a lot of time in the kitchen.
- Irresistible Flavor Combo – The juicy, savory shrimp pairs so nicely with the sweet tropical flavors of the shrimp. Our coconut shrimp has a little extra sweetness with animal cracker crumbs in the coating. A definite favorite for shrimp lovers.
Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Coconut Shrimp Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- Large Shrimp – you want your shrimp to be peeled, and de-veined, but with the tails attached (makes it extra easy to prep, coat, and eat this way)
- All Purpose Flour – this helps coat the coconut to keep the coating on
- Salt and Pepper – Add some extra flavor to the shrimp
- Garlic Powder – Adds a little hint of garlic
- Eggs – This holds the coconut and panko shell on the shrimp
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These give the shrimp the crunchiest exterior
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut – This gives the shrimp that classic sweet coconut flavor
- Animal Cracker Crumbs – This adds a little vanilla flavor, and a little extra sweetness to the shrimp’s coating. You can substitute graham cracker crumbs if desired.
- Vegetable Oil – A neutral tasting oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil work well to pan fry the shrimp
How to make Coconut Shrimp
- Prepare the coating. Add the coconut, panko and animal cracker crumbs to a food processor and pulse them together. Add them to a small bowl. In another bowl add the flour, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. In another bowl add the eggs and whisk them with a fork.
- Dredge the shrimp in the flour, shake off any extra.
- Dip the shrimp into the beaten eggs, make sure the egg fully coats the flour or else the coconut won’t stick. Coat the shrimp in the coconut mixture, flipping it over and pressing the mixture onto the shrimp to fully coat.
- Fry the Shrimp – Heat a little oil in a wide pan, covering the bottom of the pan completely, heat it to 350 F. Fry the shrimp in batches until golden brown on all sides, flipping over half way through.
- Serve shrimp warm with your choice of dipping sauce. The sweet chili sauce recipe we have here is delicious, or try our pina colada dipping sauce.
Tips and Tricks:
- Pulse in the Food Processor – many recipes don’t mix the shrimp coating in the food processor, but this will make the coating stick to the shrimp in a much better way, covering it fully and without long stringy coconut bits.
- Thaw Shrimp – if you are using frozen shrimp, thaw it overnight in the fridge, and pat the shrimp dry before using. You can also thaw it quicker in a bowl of cool water (make sure to replace the water often as it starts to warm up)
This coconut shrimp is best enjoyed fresh so you will have a nice crispy coating, without overcooked shrimp – but if you do have leftovers you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
Reheat the leftover shrimp at 350 F in the oven or air fryer for a few minutes until they are warm throughout and crispy again.
Can I make Coconut Shrimp in the Air Fryer?
If you prefer not to pan fry the shrimp, cooking them in the air fryer is your second best option. After coating the shrimp in the coconut mixture, spray both sides of each pieces of shrimp with cooking spray. Place them in the air fryer, not touching so they have room to crisp on the sides, and cook at 400 F for about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping the shrimp half way through.
How to make Oven Baked Coconut Shrimp?
This will result in a less crispy shrimp than pan frying or air frying, because the breading will not crisp up as nicely. But if you want to bake the shrimp you can spray both sides of the shrimp pieces with non stick cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the shrimp for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 F, flipping the shrimp half way through baking.
What dipping sauces pair well with coconut shrimp?
What to serve with coconut shrimp?
Coconut shrimp is great served as an appetizer for a party or game day along other party favorites, or can be served with some delicious complementary side dishes to make a meal. Here are a few favorites.
- Pineapple Fried Rice – create a fusion of tropical flavors with a side of pineapple fried rice.
- Steamed or Roasted Vegetables – Add a little vegetables to your meal such as broccoli, asparagus, or carrots.
- Fruit Salad – A delicious, colorful fresh fruit salad pairs nicely with the sweet shrimp flavor.
- Pretzel Pigs in a Blanket – A tasty, salty appetizer that pairs perfectly with the crunchy shrimp
- Taco Cups – Another mix of textures, you’ll love these crunchy wonton taco cups
- Hawaiian Meatballs – another mix of tropical flavors, these meatballs are made with pineapple chunks and barbecue sauce.
- Peach Tomato Burrata Salad – A sweet and savory dish, this pairs well with anything and is perfect for a party
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings– These wings are a perfect appetizer companion to the coconut shrimp- crispy, easy, and delicious
This homemade coconut shrimp is so much better than frozen store bought shrimp, and will bring a nice lightly sweet, tropical taste to your table. It’s crispy exterior, and juicy shrimp interior is a huge crowd pleaser, perfect for an appetizer at a party, or anytime you’re craving this seafood favorite.
More Shrimp Recipes
- Shrimp Parmigiana
- Honey Shrimp
- Healthy Shrimp Tacos
- Honey Garlic Shrimp Skewers
- Shrimp Pasta Primavera Olive Garden
Connect with Like Mother, Like Daughter
Be sure to follow us on social media, so you never miss a single post!
Coconut Shrimp Recipe
For the Coconut Shrimp:
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup animal cracker crumbs
- 1 lb extra large shrimp (peeled, and deveined, with tails attached)
For the Sweet Chili Sauce:
- 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
For the Coconut Shrimp:
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and set it aside.
- Add the eggs to another bowl and beat them with a fork.
- Add the shredded coconut, panko, and animal cracker crumbs to a food processor and pulse several times until the coconut is half sized or smaller. Pour into a bowl and set it aside.
- Dip each of the shrimp into the flour, holding by the tail. You want the whole shrimp coated in flour except for the tail (its okay if it gets a little).
- Dip the shrimp into the beaten egg. Let the extra egg drip off back into the bowl. Make sure the whole shrimp (except the tail) is coated in the egg.
- Dip the shrimp into the coconut mixture and flip it over, to coat the shrimp fully in the coconut mixture, press the mixture into the shrimp as needed.
- Place the shrimp onto a baking sheet and repeat with additional shrimp. Place the shrimp in the fridge until the oil is heated.
- Fill a large heavy bottomed pot with about 1/2 inch of oil. Turn the stove top to medium and heat until the oil is 350 F.
- Add a few shrimp at a time into the oil, do not crowd them in the pan.
- Let the shrimp cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping half way through until both sides of the shrimp are golden brown.
- Transfer the shrimp to a stack of paper towels to remove the extra oil.
- Let the oil return to temperature between batches, and cook additional shrimp.
- Serve with optional dipping sauce.
For the Sweet Chili Sauce:
- Add the sweet chili sauce and orange marmalade to a small bowl and stir them together until combined. Serve with shrimp.