An easy recipe for crispy Coconut Shrimp. Battered in panko and lots of shredded coconut, these shrimp are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

Coconut shrimp are easy enough to make, but even easier to mess up.

The breading can easily be too sweet or too soggy or overwhelm the shrimp entirely. Or, the shrimp can be too small, too rubbery, or even fishy-tasting.

By using excellent shrimp and my easy breading recipe, you’ll be able to navigate your way to succulent, mouth-watering Coconut Shrimp every time.

Coconut shrimp being dipped into sauce.

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How do you buy frozen shrimp?

First, select the best possible shrimp you can find. I recommend wild-caught Argentinian shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined). I love the 16/20 count size (which means 16 to 20 shrimp per pound, around 1 ounce per shrimp).

I like to start with raw shrimp because they cook quickly without getting overly tough and rubbery. But, I will take the shortcut and buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined.

A bag of wild caught shrimp.

How do you make coconut shrimp?

Once you’ve thawed your shrimp, make a 3-bowl breading station.

  • Bowl 1: Flour, salt, and pepper
  • Bowl 2: Lightly beaten egg
  • Bowl 3: Shredded coconut and panko

I like to use a combination of shredded coconut and panko because it ensures a crunchier topping and evens out the sweetness of the coconut.

Once you’ve breaded your shrimp, simply drop in a deep fryer for about 4 minutes total. The shrimp cook quickly and you just want everything browned and crunchy.

Coconut shrimp on a white plate.

Dipping sauce for coconut shrimp

I tried several dipping sauces for coconut shrimp. The grossest one by far was chili sauce and mayonnaise… luckily I the spicy apricot sauce you see in the pictures. The recipe is below.

Coconut shrimp on a white plate.

An easy recipe for crispy Coconut Shrimp. Battered in panko and lots of shredded coconut, these shrimp are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

Coconut Shrimp

An easy recipe for crispy Coconut Shrimp. Battered in panko and lots of shredded coconut, these shrimp are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Calories 275

Ingredients 

For the Coconut Shrimp:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound jumbo raw shrimp peeled and deveined

For the Apricot Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • lime juice from ½ lime

Instructions 

For the Coconut Shrimp

  • If using frozen shrimp, thaw according to package directions. Start with 3 medium bowls. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in one bowl. Beat the eggs in the second bowl. Combine Panko and coconut in the third bowl.
  • 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 coasted shrimp aside on a plate as you coat the remaining shrimp.
  • Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the coconut shrimp in batches - do not overcrowd 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.
  • Place the finished coconut shrimp on a plate lined with a paper towel as you fry the rest. Serve with the Apricot dipping sauce. 

For the Chili Apricot Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine the apricot preserves, crushed red chili flakes, pepper, and lime. Season to taste.

Notes

Leftover coconut shrimp keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Fried coconut shrimp freezes well, up to 2 months. Reheat for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven  - or until thawed and warm, and reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. 

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 20gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 245mgSodium: 905mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 3mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. I had questions about the oil used to fry the shrimp…

    What kind did you use? I was going to try canola. How deep should the oil be in the pan? Just enough to coat the bottom or deeper? Thanks!

  2. Such a delicious recipe, Meggan, and your pictures are mouthwateringly beautiful! Shrimp is my very favorite food on the planet and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy it. I just love Marina Del Rey seafood products!5 stars

  3. I’m in love with Marina Del Rey shrimp — it’s the only one shrimp that I buy now. I’m definitely making this very soon — that sauce sounds amazing!5 stars

  4. I’m CRAZY for this dish, and that Marina del Rey shrimp takes it over the top! I I love the little kick of heat in the sweet sauce, too.5 stars

  5. Oooh – my son’s favorite shrimp dish! You really make these sound easy and look restaurant quality delicious! Great post made with our favorite Marina del Rey shrimp :)5 stars

    1. MDR has the best shrimp! I want something peeled but still raw, and obviously GIANT. Especially for coconut shrimp where you want to bite in and actually find gorgeous shrimp on the inside. :)

  6. This looks sooo yummy!! I love a good fried shrimp dish and that chili apricot sauce sounds divine!! Can’t wait to try it!5 stars

    1. Thank you Mahy! Yes, I actually tried a baked version first but my heart wasn’t in it. They just need to be fried – period. I literally could not stop eating them!

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer! I made this recipe a few times now and it’s always such a hit. :D