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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.