Coconut Shrimp

June 25, 2021

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Flawlessly delicious Coconut Shrimp! It’s crisp and coconut-y fried shrimp that’s perfect for entertaining or an island style dinner. Pair it with the suggested mango sauce for the best finish.

Photo: Many coconut shrimp spread out on a white oval platter with mango sauce in the center in a wooden cup. Vibrant pink flowers are dotted throughout for decoration and platter is resting on a blue cloth over a marble surface.

Island Style Coconut Shrimp!

This classic coconut shrimp tastes equally as good as the coconut shrimp you’ll get in Hawaii! We found ourselves going back to the same restaurant 3 times to order it so I had to figure out how to make it at home.

The shrimp itself calls for a few basic dredging ingredients then of course a generous amount of shredded coconut, and some panko for crunch.

And it’s taken up a notch with a sweet, salty and tangy mango dipping sauce. It really is the ultimate sauce to serve with this shrimp!

When you pair the two together people will love them so much they’ll quickly disappear before your eyes.

No one can resist the tempting flavor and the perfect layering of textures. You get tender shrimp surrounded by a crispy light crunch, and it’s finished with a seriously smooth sauce for dipping.

Though it boasts of a cheery summertime vibe this is easily something you’ll crave year round!

Wondering what to serve with coconut shrimp to complete the dinner? Here are some ideas:

Photo: Coconut Shrimp shown close up from a side angle on a platter.

Photo: Ingredients used to make coconut shrimp. Includes shrimp, flour, shredded coconut, panko, eggs, honey, mango, sriracha, lime, coconut extract, salt and pepper.

Coconut Shrimp Recipe Ingredients

  • Extra large shrimp: This is 21/25 count shrimp. It’s the preferred size to use here. Not too big, not too small.
  • All-purpose flour: Flour is used to help the eggs stick to the shrimp. You could try with whole wheat flour.
  • Eggs: Don’t skip these, they are critical in getting the coconut to adhere to the shrimp.
  • Finely shredded coconut: I prefer to use unsweetened though sweetened should work just as well. I recommend the fine shred over medium shreds, it browns more evenly and coats better. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Panko bread crumbs: Don’t substitute standard bread crumbs, they don’t offer near the same texture.
  • Vegetable oil: This is used for deep frying. Peanut oil is another good option.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mango Sauce Ingredients

  • Mango: Fresh is best but frozen and thawed will work too.
  • Lime juice: Only use fresh lime juice, bottled has an off flavor.
  • Honey: You’ll love that mango, honey and lime pairing. You could try brown sugar if you’re out of honey.
  • Sriracha: This is spicy! You can adjust to desired heat level.
  • Coconut extract: I have made this sauce with and without this. Both are great, but if you are looking for that extra bit of coconut flavor then add it.
  • Garlic: A little will go a long way since it’s added raw, don’t overdo it.

See below for full recipe with amounts.

 

Photo: Collage of four images showing steps to dredging coconut shrimp before frying.

How to Make Coconut Shrimp (and Deep Fry)

Tip: Make the mango sauce first so it’s ready to go and the shrimp can be served warm. Simply blend all the sauce ingredients in a food processor then thin with a little water or coconut water as desired.

  1. Peel and devein shrimp before beginning, leave tales on.
  2. Heat oil in pan: Pour vegetable oil into a 12-inch (and deep) saute pan or a pot and heat to 350 degrees over medium heat. While oil is coming up to heat coat the shrimp.
  3. Prepare dredging ingredients in separate dishes: Pour flour into one shallow and season it with salt and pepper. In a second dish, whisk eggs. In a third dish, toss together panko and coconut.
  4. Dredge shrimp in flour: Working with one shrimp at a time and holding it by the tail end, dredge shrimp in flour coating on all sides but the tail. Tap or gently shake excess flour off.
  5. Dip shrimp in eggs: Transfer shrimp to egg and coat on all sides but the tail end, lift and let excess egg run off.
  6. Coat shrimp in coconut mixture: Transfer shrimp to shredded coconut mixture, scoop some of the mixture over the shrimp then press to get the mixture to stick well on both sides.
  7. Set each on baking sheet while preparing the remaining: Align prepared shrimp on an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet, repeating process until all of the shrimp are coated.
  8. Deep fry shrimp until browned: Fry 9 shrimp at a time in 350 degree oil about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  9. Drain shrimp: Use a spider or tongs to remove shrimp and transfer cooked shrimp to paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  10. Repeat process: Repeat process with remaining shrimp. Serve with mango sauce.

How to Keep Warm

Shrimp can be kept warm in oven on an unlined baking sheet at 200 degrees for up to 10 minutes.

Photo: Collage of four images showing prepared shrimp before frying, then how to fry, then draining on paper towels.

How to Bake Coconut Shrimp

If you’d prefer to bake the shrimp rather than fry,  follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the shrimp and coat as directed in the flour, eggs and coconut mixture.
  2. Align on a  baking sheet.
  3. Spray the shrimp with a fair amount of olive oil cooking spray, turn and spray opposite side.
  4. Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through.

Can You Freeze Them?

Yes, coconut shrimp can be frozen. Let it cool completely then store in an airtight container in the freezer up to 2 months.

How to Reheat

  • Reheat shrimp in preheated 350 degree oven on a baking sheet until fully warmed through.
  • This will take about 6 to 12 minutes depending on how the cold the shrimp are to begin with (from fridge or freezer).

Photo: Collage of two images showing mango sauce mixture before and after mixing in a food processor.

Helpful Tips

  • Begin with damp shrimp before you start dredging (if it’s dry, toss with a few tablespoons of water), this will ensure a fair amount of the flour sticks.
  • Use a deep fry thermometer to ensure oil reaches and stays at the proper temperature. If it’s too hot the oil will give of a bad taste and it will brown the coconut coating on the shrimp too quickly (before the center of the shrimp has cooked through).
  • Cook the shrimp in smaller batches so they aren’t overcrowded and so it doesn’t drop the temperature of the oil too.
  • Careful not to over-cook or the shrimp can be rubbery.
  • It’s a little tricky to tell when it’s done (since it’s covered in breading) but you’ll notice they’ll curl and firm up. You can test center with a food thermometer to 120 degrees or you can cut into the center of one to test for doneness by color (it should be opaque).

Overhead photo of coconut shrimp shown spread out and draining on paper towels.

Variations

  • You can also try with other dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce or a pineapple/coconut sauce.
  • If you are having a hard time tracking down the fine coconut you can use the regular cut or even flake cut coconut but you’ll need to chop it in a food processor until fine.
  • Looking for a more seasoned shrimp? You can try adding spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder etc. I just like to leave as is so the coconut flavor has a chance to shine more since it’s a somewhat mild flavor.
  • For extra flavor in the mango sauce you can add a teaspoon of minced ginger and/or a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

Photo: Coconut shrimp in a wooden bowl over coconut rice. It is served with a side of pineapple and bright pink flowers to the side.

More Delicious Shrimp Recipes to Try

Photo: Many coconut shrimp spread out on a white oval platter with mango sauce in the center in a wooden cup. Vibrant pink flowers are dotted throughout for decoration and platter is resting on a blue cloth over a marble surface.
5 from 3 votes

Coconut Shrimp {with Spicy Mango Sauce}

Flawlessly delicious Coconut Shrimp! It's crisp and coconut-y deep fried shrimp that's perfect for entertaining or an island style dinner. Pair it with the suggested mango sauce for the best finish.
Servings: 6
Prep25 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs extra large shrimp (about 36 shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, such as Bob's Red Mill
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

Spicy Mango Sauce

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped mango (6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (adjust to desired heat level)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced garlic

Instructions

  • For the mango sauce: Add the mango, lime juice, honey, sriracha, coconut extract and garlic to a food processor.
  • Season with a pinch or two of salt and process until blended into a puree. Cover sauce and set aside.
  • Peel and devein shrimp before beginning. Leave tails on. Note that shrimp should be lightly damp before beginning, if it is dry toss with 1 - 2 Tbsp water (this ensures that the flour will stick later on).
  • Pour vegetable oil into a 12-inch (and deep) saute pan or a pot and heat to 350 degrees over medium heat. While oil is coming up to heat prepare the shrimp (monitor temperature of oil while doing so).
  • Pour flour into one shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper (I use 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper), whisk.
  • In a second shallow dish, whisk eggs until yolk and white are well blended.
  • In a third dish, toss together coconut and panko.
  • Working with one shrimp at a time and holding it by the tail end, dredge shrimp in flour coating on all sides but the tail. Tap or gently shake excess flour off.
  • Then transfer to egg and coat on all sides but the tail, lift and let excess egg run off.
  • Transfer shrimp to shredded coconut mixture, scoop some of the mixture over the shrimp then press to get the mixture to stick well on both sides.
  • Align prepared shrimp on an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet, repeating process until all of the shrimp are coated.
  • Fry 9 to 10 shrimp at a time in 350 degree oil about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
  • Use a spider or tongs to remove shrimp and transfer cooked shrimp to paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Repeat process with remaining shrimp. Note that shrimp can be kept warm in oven on (unlined) baking sheet at 200 degrees for up to 10 minutes.
  • Serve warm with mango sauce (I serve mango sauce in small individual dipping bowls).

Notes

Nutrition estimate based on 1/3 cup oil being absorbed, 2 oz flour remaining, 2 Tbsp egg remaining and 1/4 cup coconut mixture remaining (these are the amounts I had left upon finishing).
Nutrition Facts
Coconut Shrimp {with Spicy Mango Sauce}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 172mg57%
Sodium 444mg19%
Potassium 244mg7%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 380IU8%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 187mg19%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.