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Perfectly Crispy Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that will make your mouth water. This recipe combines the sweetness of coconut with the savory flavor of shrimp for a dish sure to please everyone at the dinner table.

Crispy coconut shrimp garnished with green onions served in a bowl

Crispy coconut shrimp is one of those dishes that looks fancy, but is actually quite easy to make. It’s also a crowd-pleaser and can be served as an appetizer or even as part of a main course. If you’re looking for something different than the usual fried shrimp, this recipe is for you!

Coconut shrimp Recipe

Coconut shrimp is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed by anyone. The sweet and savory flavors blend together to create a taste that is hard to beat. The coconut helps keep the shrimp tender, while the breading adds a nice crunchy texture.

This recipe for coconut shrimp is perfect for those who crave something sweet, savory, and crunchy all in one bite. Plus, it’s an excellent way to mix up your dinner routine with something new.

While you can use any kind of fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe, we recommend buying wild-caught if possible (it tastes better!). We also recommend using large ones. They’re easier to work with and taste better than small ones.

This recipe produces a delicate, yet crispy crust on every side of each piece of shrimp. The ingredients are simple: shrimp, coconut flakes, flour, bread crumbs, egga, and seasoning. The preparation is even simpler: just dredge and fry!

The recipe is simple and easy to follow. It’s a great dish to make for a dinner party or special occasion. The shrimp are crispy, but not greasy; the coconut flakes add a nice crunchy texture and flavor that complements the shrimp well.

Coconut shrimp makes an excellent appetizer or side dish—or even an entree if you’re feeling bold!

Crispy Coconut shrimp served in  bowl with the dipping sauce

Why You’ll Love This Coconut Shrimp Recipe?

One of the best things about this recipe is its simplicity. You don’t need any fancy ingredients or complicated techniques to make it. You can serve it as an appetizer at parties or as a main course for dinner.

It pairs well with a variety of sides, from rice pilaf to roasted vegetables. Feeling adventurous? Try using the coconut shrimp in tacos or on top of a salad for a fresh twist.

Coconut shrimp

Coconut Shrimp Ingredients

  • Shrimp: I used fresh jumbo shrimp that I peeled and deveined. You can use any type of shrimp you like, but the jumbo ones are extra plump and juicy.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as the binder for the coating and breading processes.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour
  • Seasoning: We don’t joke with seasoning here. I used onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Plus, a little cayenne pepper for an extra kick!
  • Bread Crumbs: For this, I chose to use panko bread crumbs.
  • Coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut gives it that oh-so-good tropical sweetness.
  • Vegetable oil: for deep frying the shrimp

How to Make Coconut Shrimp?

  • Prepare Coating Layers: Prepare 3 bowls. In the first bowl, add the flour seasoning. Mix until combined. In the second bowl, beat 2 eggs. In the third bowl, combine the shredded coconut and panko.
  • Coating Process: Grab a piece of shrimp and dredge it with flour on both sides, then dip it in the eggs, letting the excess drip off. Cover it with the bread crumbs and shredded coconut mixture, then gently press. Make sure it is well coated. Place the shrimp on a plate and repeat until all pieces are coated.
  • Frying: Pour the oil into a large saucepan and heat the oil over a medium to medium-high flame. Once the oil is hot enough, fry a couple of the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are deep golden brown on all sides. Make sure to adjust the flame if it is too high. Transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all of them are cooked.
  • Plate & Serve: Be sure to serve with the coconut shrimp dipping sauce you made earlier and many other sides.

Cooking Tips and Variations

  • Fry in small batches so the oil stays hot, which helps keep your coconut shrimp crispy and delicious!
  • Drain excess oil by placing fried shrimp on paper towels before serving.
  • Mix it up to fit your taste and diet; you can use gluten-free panko bread crumbs and flour or use unsweetened coconut flakes. Another fun way to switch it up is to pair it with different dipping sauces such as pineapple salsa, shrimp cocktail sauce, or even chutney.

What to serve with coconut shrimp?

Serve with a dipping sauce: Coconut shrimp is delicious with a variety of dipping sauces including soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, teriyaki sauce or even ketchup and much more!
Serve with rice: If you prefer to serve your meal as an entrée instead of an appetizer, try pairing this dish with some white or brown rice for a complete meal that’s sure to be crowd-pleasing!
Serve with a fresh salad: You can also make it into an even more filling meal by serving it over greens or vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes–or both!

I love serving it with rice pilaf or grilled veggies, potatoes, bell peppers, and onions.

Crispy Coconut shrimp served in bowl with the dipping sauce


Can I Bake or Air-Fry Coconut Shrimp?

Yes, you can!

  • To air-fry: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for five minutes. Arrange the coated shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray them with cooking spray. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • To bake: Preheat your oven to 475°F. Place your shrimp on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! Simply swap out regular all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative like Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour Blend or King Arthur Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour Blend.

What about making it dairy free?

Since there are no dairy products involved here (and therefore no lactose), there’s no need to worry about any potential issues.

What Kind of Shrimp is Best?

When making coconut shrimp, it’s important to use large shrimp. This will ensure that the shrimp are large enough to hold the coating and keep it in place while baking or frying.

Should I use sweetened shredded coconut?

It’s important to use unsweetened shredded coconut. Sweetened coconut has added sugar and will not give you the same crunchy texture that you get from unsweetened coconut.

Do I have to use Panko breadcrumbs?

Panko breadcrumbs are the best option for making coconut shrimp because they are light and airy, which allows for maximum crunch. If you don’t have Panko, you can use regular breadcrumbs, but the texture won’t be as crispy. 

Try out our other seafood recipes for inspiration:

Crispy coconut shrimp garnished with green onions served in a bowl

Perfectly Crispy Coconut Shrimp

Crispy coconut shrimp is one of those dishes that looks fancy, but is actually quite easy to make. It's also a crowd-pleaser and can be served as an appetizer or even as part of a main course.
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Course: Appetizer
Keyword: Coconut, Shrimp
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 274.7kcal


  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled, deveined, and tails removed (approximately 20-25 shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, for a spicier kick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying
  • Sweet chili sauce or mango chutney for dipping (optional)


  • Prepare the shrimp: Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Set up the breading station: In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with water until well combined. In a third shallow dish, mix together the shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.
  • Bread the shrimp: Hold a shrimp by the tail, then dredge it in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Next, dip the shrimp into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, press the shrimp into the coconut-panko mixture, ensuring it is well coated on both sides. Place the breaded shrimp on a plate or tray and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  • Heat the oil: In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (use a thermometer to monitor the temperature). If you don't have a thermometer, test the oil by dropping a small pinch of the coconut-panko mixture into the oil – it should sizzle upon contact.
  • Fry the shrimp: Working in batches, carefully place the breaded shrimp into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until the shrimp are golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  • Serve: Serve with sweet chili sauce or mango chutney for dipping, if desired.


Calories: 274.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.4g | Protein: 5.1g | Fat: 21.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 54.6mg | Sodium: 275.8mg | Potassium: 137.3mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 1.7g | Vitamin A: 155.4IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 28.8mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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