Best Coconut Shrimp Recipe – How To Make Coconut Shrimp

Best Coconut Shrimp Recipe - How To Make Coconut Shrimp

Caitlin Bensel

Coconut shrimp will transport you through this fun . to the tropics finger food! It starts with a classic breading of flour, eggs and milk and panko bread crumbs, but gets a twist with the addition of unsweetened shredded coconut. While you can only fry these in vegetable oil, the addition of a scoop of coconut oil adds extra coconut flavor. It’s the perfect crunchy, salty, spicy starter for any Christmas dinner menu!

What are coconut shrimp made of?

Start with tail-on, jumbo shrimp so your guests have something to hold on to when they take their first crunchy bite. This shrimp recipe follows a standard three-step breading process: first dredge the shrimp in flour, then dip in an egg and milk mixture, before breading them with mostly coconut chips and a little bit of panko breadcrumbs. Shallow fry the prawns in batches in a mix of coconut and vegetable oil and serve with a dipping sauce of orange marmalade, Thai sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. It’s like your favorite shrimp cocktail, only better!

How long does it take to cook shrimp?

Shrimp cooks quickly and this recipe is no exception. Heat the oil to 350° and use a thermometer to make sure the oil isn’t too hot (which will burn the breadcrumbs and dry out the prawns!) At this temperature, it will take 30 to 60 seconds per side for the prawns to turn golden brown to the touch the outside, but juicy on the inside. You’ll know the shrimp are cooked when they firm up and curl into a loose “C” shape. If they’ve gone past the letter “C” and look like a small, sleek letter “O,” it’s definitely time to pull them! They may be a little overcooked.

How do you get rid of shrimp?

Buy the shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined (but look for shrimp with the tail still attached!) or peel the shell off first. Then cut a small slit along the back curve of the shrimp. Rinse the dark, gritty vein with cool water or wipe clean with a paper towel. When rinsing the shrimp, make sure to pat the shrimp dry before breading so that only a thin, light layer of flour sticks to them.

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4 – 8


Preparation time:





Total time:





For the shrimp:

1 1/2 pounds.

jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 counts)


grated unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp.

ground black pepper

1/4 tsp.

red chili flakes

Vegetable oil, for frying

Lime wedges, for serving, optional

For the dipping sauce:

1/4 c.

orange or peach marmalade

1/4 c.

Thai sweet chili sauce

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  1. For the shrimp: Peel the shrimp, leaving the tail on. Cut a shallow slit along the back, curved edge of the shrimp. Sweep or flush out the vein. Place on a plate lined with kitchen paper and pat very dry. Refrigerate until use.
  2. Meanwhile, place the flour on a plate. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a wide shallow bowl. In another wide, shallow bowl, combine the coconut, panko, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Working 3 to 4 pieces of shrimp at a time, dredge in flour to coat completely, dip in egg mixture, then coat with coconut mixture. Set aside in a single layer on a leaf plate.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet filled with the coconut oil and vegetable oil to about 1/4-inch over medium to very hot (about 350 degrees). Arrange half the shrimp in a single layer and cook until golden brown on one side, 30 to 60 seconds. Flip and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds, until the shrimp bends into a C shape. Remove from oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  4. For the sauce: Whisk together marmalade, chili sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  5. Serve the shrimp warm with the dipping sauce and lime wedges if desired.

This serves 4 people as an appetizer, or up to 8 people as an appetizer.

Erin Merhar
Erin Merhar is a professionally trained chef, seasoned food stylist and recipe developer.

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