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Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp is one of our favorite ways of enjoying shrimp! The shrimp are perfectly golden brown and crispy, with breading that’s just slightly sweetened with coconut flakes. It’s a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love!

Easy Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Are you also one of those people who always orders Coconut Shrimp when you see it on a restaurant menu? We simply cannot pass it up! Coconut shrimp are perfectly crispy and we just love the slightly sweet and caramelized breading. We just had to learn how to make them ourselves.

Little did we know that making coconut shrimp at home takes no time at all! As long as you set yourself up correctly, the recipe moves fast and it’s quite easy.

The key here is to make sure everything is ready to go so you can cook the shrimp all at once. You’ll clean the shrimp and then set up the breading station. Once all of the shrimp are breaded, it’s best to fry them in batches so the pan isn’t crowded. But we promise, that won’t take long, and you’ll be enjoying crunchy coconut shrimp in no time!

Looking for a slightly healthier, oil-free version of this recipe? Try out our Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp!

a plate of coconut shrimp

Why You’ll Love This Coconut Fried Shrimp

There are lots of reasons to love this homemade fried coconut shrimp recipe. Here are just a few to consider!

  • The texture is perfect. The crispy breaded exterior adds crunch to each bite, but the interior is all perfectly juicy and plump shrimp. You won’t be able to get enough of them!
  • It’s a really fun and easy appetizer to serve. You’ll definitely wow your guests when you make them this recipe. You don’t have to tell them how easy and quick it is, though!
  • The recipe takes less than a half hour. Once you’re set up, this recipe moves really quickly.
  • A different take on shrimp. We love to serve this instead of shrimp cocktail. It’s fun, crunchy, and flavorful!
ingredients to make easy coconut shrimp

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you need to make this easy coconut shrimp. Be sure to check out the recipe card below in order to find the exact quantities for each ingredient!

  • All Purpose Flour: We have found that this flour is the best one to use for deep frying the shrimp. We don’t recommend using a substitute.
  • Cornstarch: This helps create the crispy breading on the shrimp when paired with the flour.
  • Salt and Pepper: For seasoning the dry mixture for the breading.
  • Garlic Powder: You can also use granulated garlic.
  • Eggs: For the wet mixture that will help the breading stick to the shrimp.
  • Sweetened Coconut Flakes: You can use sweetened coconut or unsweetened. The sugar in sweetened coconut does add some caramelization to the breading and it is delicious. The flakes also add a little extra crunch.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are light and fluffy which makes them perfect for this recipe.
  • Shrimp: Make sure to clean the shrimp (peel and devein them). You can leave the tails on or take them off, it’s your choice.
  • Frying Oil: Use a high-heat oil like avocado oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil.
breading shrimp with flour mixture and then egg wash next to a tray with with coconut shrimp ready to be fried

How to Make Coconut Shrimp

Give yourself about a half an hour to prepare and cook coconut fried shrimp. Here are the simple steps that you need to take (note that you can find the full set of directions below, in the recipe card!):

  • First, prepare your breading station. You do this by mixing the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings in one bowl.
  • Then prepare the second bowl. Add the beaten eggs to a separate bowl. Finally, you need a third bowl for the panko breadcrumbs and the coconut flakes.
  • Next, begin to bread the shrimp. Start by dipping one shrimp in the flour mixture, then the egg wash, and lastly the panko and coconut flakes. Place the breaded shrimp to the side while you finish them all.
  • Then, fry the shrimp in a skillet. The oil should be about 375F. A key tip is that it’s best to fry the shrimp in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the skillet.
coconut fried shrimp close up
  • Lastly, drain the shrimp on a towel-lined plate. This removes any excess oil. Serve the shrimp immediately, in whatever fashion you’d like!
dipping coconut shrimp into a tangy red sauce

Tips for Success

Follow these helpful tips to ensure that your shrimp turns out perfectly.

  • Save time when you buy shrimp. You can buy already cleaned shrimp to save time later on when you make the recipe.
  • Pat the shrimp dry before breading. This will help the shrimp fry up nice and crispy.
  • Use a wet hand and a dry hand. When breading, use one hand to do all of the handling in the wet ingredients and the other hand to do the handling in the dry ingredients. This will save you from a big mess.
  • The size of the pan will determine how much oil you need. If you use a larger skillet you will need a little more oil to fry the shrimp in. You don’t need a lot of oil, but just enough to cover the bottom and come up about an inch on the sides.
  • Don’t overcrowd the frying pan. The shrimp will not cook evenly if you put too many in the frying pan.
close up of coconut fried shrimp

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for this recipe. However, it’s very important that you thaw them first. And it would be a good idea to pat them dry and remove any extra moisture before you begin the breading process.

How do I thaw frozen shrimp?

You can run your shrimp under lukewarm water if you’re in a hurry, but the best way to thaw them is to place them in the refrigerator overnight.

How do I tell if the shrimp are done cooking?

The best way to tell whether the shrimp are cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. If the internal temperature has reached 120F, you are all set. Visually, the meat should be pink and opaque rather than translucent.

dipping coconut shrimp into a tangy red sauce

What to Serve with Fried Coconut Shrimp

Here are some of our favorite ways to serve this recipe, in case you need some ideas!

  • Coconut shrimp dipping sauces: We like to dip coconut shrimp into our finger-licking good Bang Bang Sauce. Thai chili sauce is also a really good option. Or, go with some classic Homemade Tartar Sauce!
  • On top of a salad: These coconut shrimp would go great on top of your favorite salad. It’s a fun option when you want to swap out proteins.
  • Use them in tacos: You can use coconut shrimp as a protein option in any sort of taco. Here’s our Shrimp Taco recipe to try out!
a plate of coconut shrimp with a lemon wedge

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Fried shrimp are best served fresh, but you can still save them for later if you like! Here’s how to do that:

  • To Store: Keep any leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • To Reheat: If you reheat the shrimp in the air fryer at 400°F for about 2 minutes they will crisp up again!

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

close up of coconut shrimp
4.7 from 3 votes
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Yield: 2

Coconut Shrimp

These Coconut Shrimp have a crispy coconut coating made with coconut flakes that add extra sweet flavor! It's a bonus that this fried shrimp recipe is ready in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time17 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail or no tail
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the flour, corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set aside.
  • Place beaten eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Then in a third shallow bowl, combine the coconut flakes and panko bread crumbs.
  • Dredge one shrimp through the seasoned flour on all sides. Then place the floured shrimp into the egg and then coat the shrimp in the coconut flakes. Repeat until all shrimp are breaded.
  • In a medium size heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, until it reaches 375°F. (You can also check if your oil is ready by dropping in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle, your oil is ready.)
  • Fry shrimp in batches, making sure not to crowd the shrimp, for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove shrimp from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate or tray to drain. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Serve immediately, as desired!

Notes

  • To Store: Keep any leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • To Reheat: If you reheat the shrimp in the air fryer at 400°F for about 2 minutes they will crisp up again!

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 1960kcal, Carbohydrates: 117g, Protein: 73g, Fat: 133g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 103g, Trans Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 665mg, Sodium: 3795mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 19g

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