Crunchy Coconut Shrimp is always a crowd-pleasing appetizer! You’re gonna love these juicy shrimp with a savory-sweet coconut crust & just a hint of heat!
Summer is the season for seafood, and this Florida girl is ready for all of it – especially the Coconut Shrimp! You don’t have to go on vacation (or even out to dinner!) to enjoy these tasty bites since they’re so quick and easy to make at home. Whip up a batch for your next shindig, slip on a pair of sunglasses, and pretend you’re on some beach somewhere without leaving the comfort of your backyard! I couple my coconut shrimp recipe with my favorite Spicy Garlic Shrimp and I hit it out of the park every time!
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Hi friends! Erica here, bringing you one of my very favorite appetizer recipes.
Shrimp is a polarizing food. You either love it or despise it. I’m a huge fan, and I wasn’t even really brought up on it since my Nana didn’t care for it. As I got older and grew into my palate, I started to adore things like Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos and my Instant Pot Shrimp & Grits (a recipe straight out of my cookbook!)
Fried shrimp is a common menu item in my home state, and it’s a go-to appetizer when eating out. Coconut fried shrimp is just about equally ubiquitous, but I didn’t love it until I started making it at home.
There are so many different ways to prepare it. I like to keep it simple with the three-bowl dredging method. Just like with fried chicken, it’s a little messy, but it produces consistently tasty results.
It can also be baked and air-fried with equally tasty results and less fat and calories. I must say I’m pretty partial to this pan-fried version. It’s such a decadent treat to enjoy on a hot summer day, add a tasty coconut shrimp dipping sauce and amp it up with a cold drink in your hand… I think you’re gonna love them!
Where does Coconut Shrimp come from?
The origin of Coconut shrimp is unknown, but it’s a natural pairing of sea life and the coconuts found along the coast of the Caribbean or Polynesia islands.
It is a popular appetizer and main course option at many restaurants in South Florida and the Caribbean.
In case you’ve never had it before, coconut shrimp is simple is prep and flavor – juicy shrimp, rolled in a coconut-breadcrumb topping and fried to a delicious crisp.
How To Make Fried Coconut Shrimp
- First, grab three smallish-sized shallow bowls. In one bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and peppers. In a second bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Stir Panko and coconut together well in the third bowl.
- Add 1/2-inch of cooking oil (about 1-2 cups) to a Dutch oven or large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Dredge the shrimp one at a time through the flour, then the egg, and finally the coconut-breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining shrimp.
- When the oil reaches 350 degrees F, fry the shrimp in batches of 5 to 6 at a time for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer the fried shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; repeat with remaining shrimp.
What to serve with Coconut Shrimp
Dipping sauces! Provide 2 to 3 different sauces for different palates to enjoy. You cannot go wrong with one of these fabulous coconut shrimp dipping sauces.
- Cilantro Lime Aioli (recipe below)
- Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Yum Yum Sauce
- Garlic Plum Dipping Sauce
Once you have the dipping sauces down, think about adding a classic bite to go with the shrimp and sauces like Hush Puppies! These amazing bites of fried cornbread are a crowd favorite and the perfect thing to serve up with seafood!
Check out some amazing Seafood options for summertime fun!
Tools used to make Coconut Shrimp
Dredging Bowls: These trays are the best when I’m coating meat for dinner. They interlock so there’s no drip between trays and everything is easy to manage!
Large Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. It’s large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
Skimmer Spatula: This is my favorite kitchen tool for frying or blanching. This strainer makes it SO easy to get everything out of the pot in a just a couple swipes.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 pounds raw jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined, tails attached
- 2 cups cooking oil coconut, vegetable, canola
Cilantro Lime Aioli:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime zested & juiced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and peppers. In a second bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Stir bread crumbs and coconut together in a third bowl.
- Add 1/2-inch oil to a Dutch oven or large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Dredge shrimp in flour, then egg, and finally the coconut-breadcrumb mixture. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining shrimp.
- When the oil reaches 350 degrees F, fry shrimp in batches of 5-6 at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
- Transfer fried shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; repeat process with remaining shrimp. Garnish finished shrimp with chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve with dipping sauce.
Cilantro Lime Aioli:
- Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and mix until well combined.