My crispy coconut shrimp recipe is like restaurant-style coconut shrimp — but better! This dish comes together with minimal ingredients and is so easy to make. Serve it as an appetizer or a yummy side dish! Watch the video to see how easy these are to make.
Shrimp is one of those proteins that is so versatile. It’s one of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen, and there are tons of different ways to prepare it. You may remember my recipe for Greek shrimp saganaki or this Mediterranean couscous salad with shrimp. Or, maybe my honey garlic shrimp and shrimp and pork shumai tickled your fancy!
I’ve also made quite a few Thai shrimp dishes in my day. Recipes like Thai yellow shrimp curry and Thai sweet and spicy shrimp pizza are just a few. Today, I’m adding another dish to my Thai shrimp lineup: Thai crispy coconut shrimp. It’s made with my favorite breadcrumbs ever: panko. Its texture just can’t be beat!
All you’ll need are some pantry ingredients, plus shredded sweetened coconut and jumbo shrimp. I love serving it as an appetizer when I invite friends and family over or as a side dish for a big feast. It comes together in just 30 minutes! Truth be told, I've made a batch and just them for dinner. Dunk each in my Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe and you are set!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Jumbo Fresh Shrimp - I like using fresh shrimp for this recipe as I find that the flavor is a lot better than frozen. You’ll want to peel them and devein them. A lot of seafood shops will do this for you, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- All-Purpose Flour - Like all fried foods, you’ll need to coat the shrimp in a flour mixture before dredging it in eggs and the coconut-panko mixture. It helps to ensure that the crispy coating sticks to the surface.
- Panko Breadcrumbs - The absolute best breadcrumbs for frying, in my opinion! You can find these at most supermarkets.
- Eggs - As mentioned, you’ll use eggs to coat the shrimp before frying. Like the flour, the eggs make sure that everything sticks together.
- Coconut - I like to use shredded sweetened coconut for this coconut shrimp recipe. The added sweetness works really well with the other ingredients.
- Chinese Five Spice Seasoning - One of my favorite seasoning mixes. It features cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, and star anise. Buy it in the store or make your own at home with my recipe.
- Ground White Pepper - Pair it with the five spice seasoning, flour, and salt. It’s not quite as spicy as black pepper, and you won’t see the flecks in the batter.
- Salt - To add to the flour mixture along with the other seasonings.
- Vegetable Oil - For frying. Substitute refined (not virgin) coconut oil or canola oil if you prefer.
- Sweet Chili Sauce - For dipping! I love my homemade version.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY COCONUT SHRIMP
1. Prep Your Shrimp. Wash your shrimp to ensure that they’re clean before you fry them. Be sure to remove the outer shell and legs if you haven’t already, but leave the tail on. Then, line a plate with paper towels so that the shrimp can drain after you’ve fried them.
2. Create Your Dipping Stations. Like all fried foods, you’ll have to dip your shrimp in a flour mixture, eggs, and the crispy topping before frying. In a shallow dish, add the flour, salt, Chinese five spice blend, and white pepper. In a separate dish, beat the eggs. Finally, mix together the panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut in another dish.
3. Dredge The Shrimp. Hold one shrimp by the tail and dredge it in the flour mixture — shake to remove any excess flour. Then, dip it in the beaten eggs and then in the coconut and panko. Press gently so that the layers stick to the shrimp. Repeat with each and place on a wire rack.
4. Fry Your Coconut Shrimp. Pour your oil of choice into a large skillet (cast iron is best). Heat over medium-high until the oil reaches 350 degrees F. Fry the shrimp in batches: 1-2 minutes on each side. Allow them to drain on the paper towel before serving with your sweet chili sauce!
Can You Freeze Crispy Coconut Shrimp?
Absolutely! You can feel free to make a double batch of this coconut shrimp recipe. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag. They will keep for up to 2 months!
How Do You Crisp Shrimp?
Follow the recipe instructions to get the crispiest results ever. If you are reheating from frozen, you can crisp up your coconut shrimp recipe in the oven. Preheat it to 350°F and allow to bake for 12-15 minutes.
How Do You Keep Fried Shrimp Crispy?
The key is to let it drain on a paper towel after you fry it. You can also allow it to drain on a wire rack over a baking sheet — this method works well for larger batches.
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Crispy Coconut Shrimp
- 1 lb jumbo fresh shrimp peeled and deveined with tails
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut
- vegetable oil for frying
- Line a plate with paper towels to drain cooked shrimp after frying. Wash and make sure shrimp are cleaned. Remove the outer shell and legs. Leave the tail on the shrimp.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, Chinese Five Spice and white pepper. In a separate shallow dish, beat the eggs. In another shallow dish, mix together panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut.
- Holding by the tail, dredge each shrimp in the flour mixture and shake to remove any excess. Dip into beaten eggs, then coat in coconut mixture (gently press to adhere), and place on a wire rack. Repeat with all shrimp.
- In a large (cast-iron) skillet, pour oil to a depth of one inch. Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°F.
- Working in batches, add shrimp to the oil. Fry, turning as needed, until golden brown on each side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let drain on lined plate.
- Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.