Easy Coconut Shrimp You Can Make In Under 30 Minutes

Coconut shrimp is a sweet, crunchy, and addictive appetizer around which you can build a whole meal. Bring a little taste of tropics into your house with our easy recipe!

You may not know this, but shrimp used to be a luxury food item. Then in the 1930s, a Japanese fisheries expert invented a method to cheaply and easily raise shrimp in shrimp farms, and made shrimp a popular ingredient that can be found pretty much anywhere in the world.

So why not coat them in a delicious, crispy batter and deep fry them? Coconut shrimp takes the Caribbean flavor of coconut and marries it with sweet, succulent shrimp for a delicious snack. The roots of this dish may be Caribbean or even Polynesian, but one thing is for sure — today, coconut shrimp can be found throughout North America, and especially in the South, where local shrimp is abundant.

We suggest you make yourself a tiki cocktail, a plateful of coconut shrimp, and have an incredible tropical meal right from the comfort of home.

Gather the ingredients for coconut shrimp

Coconut shrimp have a short shopping list, and little to no unique ingredients. So let's get organizing!

To make coconut shrimp, you'll first and foremost need some shrimp. We recommend getting raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on, to shorten the prep process. But if you cannot find peeled shrimp with the tails on, don't worry, in the next slide we'll tell you all about how to peel shrimp. Just don't buy already cooked shrimp — they won't work for this recipe.

For the coating of our coconut shrimp, you'll need regular all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Eggs are going to serve as our binder, or sticky glue to which all the yummy fried coconut is going to attach.

And finally, for our incredible coconut batter, we suggest you get an equal amount of breadcrumbs and unsweetened shredded coconut. You can use Panko breadcrumbs or even sweetened shredded coconut if that's all you have on hand. With sweetened coconut, your coconut shrimp will just taste a bit, well, sweeter.

You'll also need vegetable or canola oil for frying. Sunflower or peanut oil will also do, buy don't use olive oil as it'll burn too fast, and frankly, cost way too much for what you need here.

Prep the coconut shrimp

If you weren't fortunate enough to find raw, peeled and deveined shrimp with the tails on in your grocery store and ended up with raw shrimp with the peel on, fear not — we're here with an easy breakdown on how to peel shrimp.

First off, turn your shrimp belly up, exposing the part where all the little legs are attached. Grab onto the skeletal peel — it's the part that feels a bit plastic-y and flimsy. Begin pulling it off in the opposite direction of the tail, working towards the head. It should come off fairly easily, in a manner of seconds. Leave the last tail segment attached, as this is where you'll grab the shrimp for dipping into some sweet and spicy sauce!

If your shrimp aren't deveined, you'll also see a dark line along the belly. Make a shallow slit along the belly, exposing that "dark line" — the intestines. Lift it off with the tip of your knife and wipe on a paper towel.

And that's it, you've just peeled and deveined your shrimp.

Arrange the coconut shrimp coating components in bowls

Next, it's time to arrange our coating components in separate containers. You can use either large bowls or large plates for the flour and batter mixtures, but it's best to keep the eggs in a bowl. This will make it easier to just dip the shrimp in there, and then let the excess drip off.

In a deep bowl, combine two eggs. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk it all well to combine.

In another bowl or large plate, mix flour with baking powder, salt and pepper.

And finally, in another bowl or large plate, combine your breadcrumbs and shredded coconut. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

Coat the shrimp in coconut batter

Arrange the bowls in the following order: first, your prepped shrimp, followed by the flour mix, then the eggs, and finally, the coconut-bread crumb mixture. Grab one baking sheet or large plate on which you will place the prepped shrimp.

Starting from the left, dip the shrimp into the flour mixture, and pat a couple of times from side to side. Secondly, dip the shrimp into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off.

Finally, dredge in the coconut and breadcrumbs, pressing gently to ensure the shrimps are fully coated. Set the shrimp aside on a baking sheet or large plate while you proceed to prep the oil.

Fry the coconut shrimp

Bring the baking sheet or plate of coconut coated shrimp towards your oven, or wherever you'll be setting up your frying station. You don't want to be running around the kitchen with the hot oil going off in all directions, trust us!

Fill a large, wide-rimmed pan with 2-3 inches of oil — a Dutch Oven or a cast-iron pan are perfect here.

Set the pan to medium-high heat and wait until oil is sufficiently heated through. (You can test it by throwing a small bit of egg in there. The oil should bubble around it immediately.)

Working in batches, fry a few coconut shrimp pieces at a time, for two to three minutes on each side until the shrimp are cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain some of the oil. Finish with a gentle sprinkling of salt.

Serve coconut shrimp with dipping sauce

Congratulations, you have a pile of aromatic, sweet and succulent fried coconut shrimp for your munching pleasure!

For the prettiest presentation, we recommend sprinkling some thinly minced cilantro on the pile of fried shrimp. The pops of green look beautiful against the pink-white-and-yellow mix of the coconut shrimp.

Serve coconut shrimp with sweet chili dipping sauce, sweet and sour sauce or if you want to be creative, your own mix of sweet chili sauce and apricot preserves (trust us, it's really good!).

Leftover shrimp will keep in the fridge for about 3 days, and should be reheated in a 300F oven for ten minutes. That is, if you have any left — these coconut shrimp are addictive!

Easy Coconut Shrimp You Can Make In Under 30 Minutes
5 from 35 ratings
No need to sail off to the tropics to enjoy some island flavor. This coconut shrimp recipe can be made at home in under half an hour.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
4
servings
coconut shrimp and dipping sauce
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro, for serving
Directions
  1. Arrange the coating components in 3 large bowls: flour, baking powder, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper in one; whisked eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper in another; and bread crumbs and shredded coconut in another, with a final pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Dip the shrimp into the flour mixture; then dip into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off; finally, dredge in the coconut and bread crumbs, pressing gently to ensure the shrimps are fully coated. Set shrimp aside on a baking sheet while you prep the oil.
  3. Fill a large, wide-rimmed pan with 2-3 inches of oil. Set the pan to medium-high heat and wait until oil is sufficiently heated through.
  4. Working in batches, fry a few coconut shrimp pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side until they're cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain some of the oil.
  5. Serve coconut shrimp with sweet chili dipping sauce.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 911
Total Fat 74.5 g
Saturated Fat 17.1 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 222.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.0 g
Dietary Fiber 5.1 g
Total Sugars 3.4 g
Sodium 969.0 mg
Protein 24.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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