This restaurant-style Coconut Shrimp recipe is a cinch to make at home with freezer and pantry staples. My shatteringly crispy Coconut Shrimp appetizer is good on its own, and even better once dunked into the zippy Sriracha-chile sauce.
To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and Thai sweet chili sauce. Chill until serving time.
In a shallow dish, add flour and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko and coconut. Stir to combine.
Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko-coconut mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining shrimp (shrimp can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours).
Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat canola oil until shimmering. Add shrimp in batches and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (the shrimp should reach 120 degrees on an internal thermometer).
Drain shrimp well on paper towels. Repeat with remaining shrimp and serve with sauce.
Mayonnaise: I adore the rich, umami flavor of Kewpie mayo alongside the sweet chili sauce and spicy Sriracha, but Hellman's, Duke's, Kraft, Best Foods, or any brand you prefer is perfect. Just be sure to steer clear of Miracle Whip; its too sweet for this purpose.
Thai sweet chili sauce: More sweet than spicy, this glaze-like condiment is spiked with crushed red pepper flakes. Order a bottle online or look for it in your supermarket near the Sriracha.
Panko bread crumbs: In most cases, I say you can use regular bread crumbs. Here, however, I think flaky panko is essential. This light Japanese-style breadcrumb is commonly used as to coat for deep-fried foods, including these Coconut Shrimp, for the crispiest results. Buy them at the store or make your own panko crumbs.
Jumbo raw shrimp: Thawed frozen shrimp works beautifully for Coconut Shrimp. To thaw the shrimp, place the bag of seafood in a bowl and transfer it to the refrigerator the night before you plan to make this appetizer recipe. If the shrimp isn't already peeled and deveined, follow these steps for how to clean shrimp. If you like, start with fresh shrimp; peeled and deveined. Jumbos come about 16 to 20 per pound (sometimes labeled U16 to U20).
Yield: This Coconut Shrimp recipe makes six appetizer-sized servings; about 3 large shrimp each.
Storage: Transfer leftover coconut shrimp to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or an air fryer to 145 degrees.
Freezer: Place cooked and cooled Coconut Shrimp to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, label, date, and seal. Freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat from from in the oven or an air fryer to 145 degrees.