Crispy Coconut Shrimp


This crispy Coconut Shrimp recipe is both delicious & easy!

Tender bites of shrimp are coated in a sweet crispy coconut crust. It’s cooked until golden and served with a simple 3 ingredient dip.

They’re perfect as an appetizer or make a great meal over salad

Coconut Shrimp with dip

Easy-to-Make Coconut Shrimp

This Coconut Shrimp recipe is sure to disappear from the appetizer table.

  • Skip the deep fry: This coconut shrimp recipe is oven-baked (or air fried) for a nice crispy coating.
  • Make ahead: Prep ahead and refrigerate or freeze. Bake just before serving for a quick and easy appetizer.
  • Just dip, coat, and bake – it’s that simple!
  • Making your own coconut shrimp costs less than pre-packaged, and tastes way better!

Labeled image of all ingredients required to make coconut shrimp

Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp – Medium or large, fresh or frozen, peeled and deveined. Butterflying the shrimp open can create a more dramatic presentation, and leaving the tails on can make them easy to pick up and dip.

Egg/Cornstarch – Dip the shrimp in a whisked egg mixture and cornstarch to help the coating stick.

Coconut Coating – Pulse sweetened shredded coconut in a food processor to break it up and then add panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. You can unsweetened coconut, but sweetened is recommended for a better flavor.

Seasonings – Feel free to mix up the seasonings to your liking. Try adding some homemade Cajun seasoning or DIY lemon pepper seasoning for a unique twist.

Coconut shrimp being breaded

How to Make Coconut Shrimp

  1. Coat the shrimp: Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch and egg, and then roll in a mixture of coconut and panko crumbs (per the recipe below).
  2. Bake: Bake in the oven, air fryer, or deep fryer until golden brown.
  3. Serve: With your favorite dipping sauce or sweet chili sauce.

An optional step to prevent curling while cooking is to skewer each shrimp lengthwise with a small skewer. Be sure to remove it before serving!

breaded coconut shrimp prepared to be baked on a parchment lined baking tray

Tips for Crunchy Coconut Shrimp

  • Shake off any excess cornstarch – you just want a light dusting.
  • If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use all-purpose flour instead.
  • Spray the coconut coating with cooking spray before cooking to get a crispy exterior.
  • Coconut shrimp cook quickly and appliances can vary, so be sure to check them early to ensure they don’t overcook.

How to Prepare Ahead of Time

To prepare shrimp ahead of time, and once breaded, place the shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet.

  • Refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking.
  • Freeze on the baking sheet and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or air-tight container. Store up to 2 months before baking.
  • Cook frozen prepared shrimp from frozen, adding 2 minutes to the cooking time.

Leftover shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container or zippered bag.

a plate of coconut shrimp with sweet chili sauce

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Coconut Shrimp

Sweet Coconut Shrimp are battered and coated in coconut, then baked until golden brown!

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 30 minutes minutes

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg until well beaten.

  • In a food processor or blender, pulse the coconut or chop it with a knife to break it up. You don’t want it too fine, just broken up a little bit.

  • Combine the chopped coconut with the bread crumbs.

  • Dip each shrimp in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess. Dip into the beaten egg, then coat with the coconut and breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

  • Place the shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

  • Bake for 8 minutes, flip the shrimp over and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until cooked and crispy. Broil for 1 minute if desired.

  • Serve warm with sweet chili dip (recipe below).

Homemade Dipping Sauce: Melt 1/2 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade in a small pan. Whisk in 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha. Air Fry: Cook at 400°F for 7-9 minutes, flipping over after 4 minutes. Deep fry: Preheat oil to 375°F. Fry shrimp in small batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and season to taste.

  • Cooking time is for large shrimp, adjust cooking time for other sizes.
  • Spray the shrimp very well with cooking spray for a crispy exterior.
  • Be sure to shake off any excess cornstarch, you just want a light dusting. Cornstarch can be replaced with all-purpose flour.
  • You can use sweetener or unsweetened coconut flakes, we prefer sweetened.
  • Coconut shrimp cook fast; check them early to ensure they don’t overcook.

Calories: 329 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 225mg | Sodium: 1136mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Seafood Cuisine American

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