Looking for a simple dish to serve as an appetizer or part of a main course? Wait until you try this easy coconut shrimp recipe.

Coconut shrimp is a delightful dish that combines the sweetness of coconut with the succulence of shrimp.

Whether you’re planning a tropical-themed party or simply craving a taste of the islands, making coconut shrimp at home from scratch is easier than you might think.

In today’s post, I’ll guide you through a step-by-step process to create crispy and delicious coconut shrimp that will impress your family and friends.

Wait until you see how easy and delicious this recipe is to make!

(Posts on stacyling.com may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.)

What is Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp offers a delightful combination of the succulent shrimp’s taste and texture with the tropical sweetness and crunch of coconut. It is a popular dish in many coastal and tropical regions, bringing a taste of the beach to your plate.

Whether enjoyed as an appetizer, main course, or part of a seafood feast, coconut shrimp is loved for its flavorsome appeal and ability to transport you to a tropical paradise with every bite.

This coconut shrimp recipe is one of my family’s favorite dishes that we enjoy all summer long. We make it as a main course, but LOVE to use them in this super simple coconut shrimp taco recipe.

How to Make Easy Coconut Shrimp Recipe

To prepare coconut shrimp, the shrimp are typically peeled and deveined with the tail on.

They are then coated in a seasoned flour mixture, dipped in beaten eggs, and finally rolled in shredded coconut. This coating adheres to the shrimp and creates a crispy, golden-brown exterior when cooked.

Coconut shrimp is traditionally deep-fried to achieve its characteristic crunchiness. The deep frying process results in a crisp texture and enhances the flavors of the coconut and shrimp.

Since most of us don’t have a deep fryer, the stovetop or air fryer work almost equally as well.

The finished coconut shrimp is usually served with dipping sauces, such as sweet chili sauce, pineapple salsa, or a tangy citrus-infused mayonnaise, which complement the dish’s sweetness and add an extra layer of flavor.

dipping coconut shrimp into orange marmalade dipping sauce

Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp

While this recipe for coconut shrimp is easy to make, you’ll need a few items on hand to whip it up. Here’s what you need.

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Dipping sauce or fruity salsa like mango or pineapple
close up of raw shrimp in a bag before makingseafood stew
Prepping the shrimp

Directions

While you can bake this coconut shrimp recipe in the oven, it is much crisper and tastes better when fried on the stove top or air fried.

Here’s how to make this mouthwatering recipe for coconut shrimp.

Step 1: Prepare the Shrimp

Start by patting the shrimp dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will help the coating stick better. Then, in a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well to create a seasoned flour mixture.

Step 2: Coat the Shrimp

Dip each shrimp into the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring it’s fully coated. Shake off any excess flour before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Create the Coconut Coating

In another bowl, beat the eggs until well combined.

In a separate bowl or plate, mix the shredded coconut with panko breadcrumbs. Taking one flour-coated shrimp at a time, dip it into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off, and then roll it in the shredded coconut, ensuring it’s evenly coated.

Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all of the shrimp are coated.

close up of coconut shrimp on platter with orange marmelade dipping sauce and lemons

Step 4: Fry the Coconut Shrimp

In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat vegetable oil to around 350°F (175°C). The oil should be deep enough to fully submerge the shrimp.

Carefully place a few coated shrimp into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy.

Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the shrimp from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Do not stack them to maintain crispness.

Repeat the frying process until all the shrimp are cooked.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Arrange the freshly fried coconut shrimp on a serving platter and garnish with chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, for an added touch of freshness.

Serve them alongside your favorite dipping sauce, like sweet chili sauce or pineapple salsa.

The contrasting flavors of the crunchy coconut and succulent shrimp will create a taste sensation that’s hard to resist!

Homemade Coconut Shrimp Recipe FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about homemade coconut shrimp.

What Type of Shrimp is Best to Use for Coconut Shrimp?

When it comes to making coconut shrimp, it’s important to choose the right type of shrimp to achieve the best results.

Ultimately, the choice of shrimp may depend on personal preference and availability. Larger shrimp with a clean, fresh taste work well for coconut shrimp as they can hold up to the coating and offer a juicy texture when cooked.

Remember to consider the quality, size, and sourcing of the shrimp to ensure a delicious and responsible culinary experience.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting the best shrimp to make this recipe.

  • Large or Jumbo Shrimp: Opt for larger shrimp for coconut shrimp, as they provide a substantial bite and offer a good shrimp-to-coating ratio. Look for shrimp labeled as “large” or “jumbo”.
  • Peeled and Deveined Shrimp: To save time and effort, choose shrimp that are already peeled and deveined so it’s less work for you. This will ensure that the shrimp are ready to be coated and cooked without the need for additional preparation.
  • Tail-On or Tail-Off: Consider whether you prefer to serve coconut shrimp with the tails left on or removed. Leaving the tails on can create an appealing presentation and provide a convenient handle for guests to hold while dipping. However, removing the tails makes it easier for guests to enjoy the shrimp without having to deal with leftover tails.
  • Fresh or Frozen Shrimp: Fresh shrimp are ideal if you have access to high-quality, fresh seafood. However, if fresh shrimp is not readily available, frozen shrimp can be a convenient and equally delicious option. Simply thaw frozen shrimp according to package instructions before using them in the recipe.
  • Wild-Caught or Responsibly Farmed: Consider choosing wild-caught or responsibly-farmed shrimp to support sustainable fishing practices.

Is It Better to Use Sweetened Or Unsweetened Coconut for Coconut Shrimp?

When making coconut shrimp, it is generally recommended to use unsweetened shredded coconut. Here’s why:

  • Balancing Flavors: Unsweetened shredded coconut allows you to have more control over the sweetness of the dish. Since coconut shrimp already contains a natural sweetness from the shrimp and the coconut combination, using sweetened shredded coconut can result in an overly sweet final product.
  • Texture: Sweetened shredded coconut is typically softer and moister due to the added sugar content. This can affect the texture of the coating, making it less crispy when cooked. Unsweetened shredded coconut tends to have a drier texture, which helps achieve a crispier coating on the shrimp. The crisper it is, the better this dish tastes.
  • Control: By using unsweetened shredded coconut, you have the flexibility to adjust the sweetness of the dish to your preference.

In most traditional recipes and for the best balance of flavors and textures, unsweetened shredded coconut is the preferred choice for making coconut shrimp.

That being said, the choice between sweetened and unsweetened shredded coconut ultimately depends on personal preference and the flavor profile you want.

If you prefer a sweeter coconut shrimp or enjoy the added sweetness from sweetened shredded coconut, feel free to try it both ways and see which is best for you.

dipping raw shrimp into flour mixture to make coconut shrimp recipe easy

Can You Bake Coconut Shrimp in the Oven?

Coconut shrimp is traditionally deep-fried to achieve its signature crispy texture. I don’t recommend baking them because they will not achieve the crispness it needs for the flavor.

If you prefer healthier cooking methods or don’t have a deep fryer on hand, you can still make delicious coconut shrimp on the stovetop or using an air fryer.

While these alternatives may not yield the exact same level of crispiness as deep frying, they can still result in a satisfying and flavorful dish.

Stovetop Method

To make coconut shrimp on the stovetop, you’ll need a large skillet or frying pan and some oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable or canola oil. Follow these steps:

  • Coat the shrimp: Coat the shrimp in the seasoned flour mixture and then dip them in beaten eggs. Finally, roll them in the shredded coconut mixture, ensuring an even coating.
  • Heat the oil: Add enough oil to the skillet to create a thin layer at the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches around 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the shrimp: Carefully place a few coated shrimp into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook them for approximately 2-3 minutes per side until they turn golden brown. Flip them using tongs or a spatula to ensure even cooking. Remove the cooked shrimp from the skillet and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate. Do not stack them.
  • Repeat the process: Continue frying the remaining shrimp in batches until they are all cooked. Remember to monitor the oil temperature and adjust the heat as needed between batches.
  • Serve immediately: Once the coconut shrimp are cooked to a golden brown color and have a crispy exterior, transfer them to a plate and serve them immediately. Pair them with your favorite dipping sauce for a delightful experience.
dipping flour coated shrimp in egg to make coconut shrimp recipe

Air Fryer Method

An air fryer is a popular appliance for achieving a crispy texture while using significantly less oil than traditional deep frying. Here’s how you can make coconut shrimp using an air fryer:

  • Preheat the air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to around 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes. This helps to ensure even cooking and crispiness.
  • Coat the shrimp: Follow the same coating process mentioned above, including the seasoned flour mixture, beaten eggs, and shredded coconut.
  • Air fry the shrimp: Place the coated shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching or overlapping. Cook them for approximately 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. The exact cooking time may vary depending on your specific air fryer model, so it’s best to keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking.
  • Serve immediately: When the coconut shrimp are golden brown in color with a crispy exterior, transfer them to a plate and serve immediately. Pair with your favorite dipping sauce.

While these alternative methods may not achieve the level of crispiness that deep frying provides, they still yield an amazingly flavorful and satisfying coconut shrimp dish.

Choose the method that best suits your preferences and equipment availability, and enjoy your homemade coconut shrimp!

dipping shrimp into coconut and panko breadcrumb mixture to make recipe for coconut shrimp

How Long Will Coconut Shrimp Last?

The shelf life of coconut shrimp depends on how it is stored and whether it has been cooked or uncooked. Here are some guidelines for the storage and shelf life of coconut shrimp:

  • Cooked Coconut Shrimp: If you have leftover cooked coconut shrimp leftover, it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Allow the shrimp to cool completely before storing them in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that the longer the cooked shrimp is stored, the more the texture and crispiness may diminish.
  • Uncooked Coconut Shrimp: If you have uncooked coconut shrimp that you plan to cook later, it is best to store them in the freezer rather than the refrigerator.
  • Reheating: To reheat cooked coconut shrimp, preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Place the shrimp on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. This will help restore some of the crispness. Avoid microwaving the shrimp, as it may make them soggy. If you have an air fryer, reheat them at 360 degrees for 5-10 minutes.

It’s important to note that the quality and taste of coconut shrimp can decline over time, especially in terms of texture. Therefore, it’s generally recommended to consume coconut shrimp as soon as possible for the best taste and experience.

As an aside, always use your judgment and check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, unusual discoloration, or sliminess, before consuming any leftover shrimp. If in doubt, throw it out.

How Long Will Coconut Shrimp Last in the Freezer?

When properly stored, coconut shrimp can be kept in the freezer. However, for the best quality and taste, it’s generally recommended to consume them within 2-3 months of freezing.

Freezing helps to preserve the shrimp and prevent the growth of bacteria or spoilage. To store coconut shrimp in the freezer:

  • Place the uncooked coconut shrimp on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they are not touching each other.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the shrimp to freeze until solid, which typically takes a few hours.
  • Once the shrimp are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the packaging to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container or bag with the date of freezing for reference.

Proper packaging and removing air from the packaging help to maintain the quality and prevent freezer burn. It’s also a good practice to use airtight containers or bags specifically designed for freezing to minimize the risk of freezer odors affecting the shrimp.

Remember to thaw frozen coconut shrimp in the refrigerator overnight before reheating or cooking them. This ensures even thawing and helps maintain the texture and taste.

Always use your discretion and check for any signs of freezer burn, such as ice crystals, changes in texture, or off odors, before consuming.

If the shrimp show signs of spoilage or you are questioning it, discard them to ensure food safety.

close up of coconut shrimp on platter with orange marmelade dipping sauce and lemons

What is the Best Way to Serve Coconut Shrimp at a Cocktail Party?

Coconut shrimp is a fantastic appetizer to serve at a cocktail party, as it brings a taste of the tropics and offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

Here are some ideas on how to serve coconut shrimp at your next cocktail party.

  • Skewers: Thread the cooked coconut shrimp onto skewers or toothpicks to create convenient and easy-to-eat appetizers. This presentation not only looks elegant but also allows guests to grab shrimp and dip it into their preferred sauce without the need for utensils.
  • Mini Bites: For a bite-sized option, you can make smaller coconut shrimp by using smaller shrimp or cutting larger ones into bite-sized pieces. Serve them on small plates or platters for guests to pick up and enjoy.
  • Coconut Shrimp Sliders: Elevate your coconut shrimp by turning them into sliders. Toast small slider buns and assemble them with one shrimp, a drizzle of sauce, and perhaps some fresh lettuce or slaw for added crunch. Serve these adorable and flavorful sliders on a platter, allowing guests to help themselves.
  • Coconut Shrimp Tacos: Offer a tropical twist to traditional tacos by filling them with coconut shrimp. Provide warmed tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, and any other desired taco toppings. Allow guests to assemble their own tacos, adding coconut shrimp as the star ingredient. And I’ve got a super easy recipe for it here.
  • Dipping Sauces: Alongside your coconut shrimp, offer a variety of dipping sauces to enhance the flavors and provide guests with different options.
  • Garnishes and Presentation: Add a touch of visual appeal to your coconut shrimp by garnishing them with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley. Arrange the shrimp on a large platter, garnish them attractively, and surround them with colorful fruits or tropical leaves to create a visually stunning presentation.
  • Pairing: Consider serving coconut shrimp alongside refreshing tropical cocktails or mocktails like Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Malibu Sunset, or Mojitos.

Remember to provide napkins or small plates alongside your coconut shrimp to ensure easy handling and minimal mess.

close up of coconut shrimp recipe with cilantro garnish
close up of coconut shrimp recipe with cilantro garnish

Easy Homemade Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Stacy Ling
Looking for a simple dish to serve as an appetizer or part of a main course? Wait until you try this easy coconut shrimp recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 345 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Start by patting the shrimp dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well to create a seasoned flour mixture.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs until well combined.
    beating the egg to make coconut shrimp
  • In a separate bowl or plate, mix the shredded coconut with panko breadcrumbs.
    mixing the panko and coconut flakes to make coconut shrimp recipe
  • Dip each shrimp into the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring it's fully coated. Shake off any excess flour before moving on to the next step.
    dipping raw shrimp into flour mixture to make coconut shrimp recipe easy
  • Taking one flour-coated shrimp at a time, dip it into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off, and then roll it in the shredded coconut, ensuring it's evenly coated.
    dipping shrimp into coconut and panko breadcrumb mixture to make recipe for coconut shrimp
  • Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all of the shrimp are coated.
    prepared uncooked coconut shrimp before frying on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat vegetable oil to around 350°F (175°C).
  • Carefully place a few coated shrimp into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
    frying coconut shrimp on the stovetop
  • Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the shrimp from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  • Repeat the frying process until all the shrimp are cooked.
  • To make a dipping sauce, mix orange preservatives and with sweet thai chili sauce.
  • Garnish, serve and enjoy.
    close up of coconut shrimp recipe with cilantro garnish

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 22gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 883mgPotassium: 381mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Coconut Shrimp Recipe, Recipe for Coconut Shrimp
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More About Coconut Shrimp

Do you have a favorite way to use coconut shrimp? Have you ever made it from scratch before? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

farmhouse kitchen with white painted cabinets and granite counter top

More Shrimp Recipes You May Enjoy

I am a huge fan of shrimp recipes and make one at least once a week. Here are some of my favorites:

Click here to shop my vintage farmhouse with close up of the front porch with flowers

Sign Me Up!

Sign up for my free newsletter to get blog posts, seasonal tips, recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Plus, get free VIP access to my Resource Library where you’ll find insider freebies not readily available to the public.

Pin This Post to Save It for Later

coconut shrimp close up

My Latest Posts

Bricks 'n Blooms at the NJ home and garden show booth

Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 172

Hi there! I hope you had a great week! Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms What a week it was! It was all about the New Jersey Home and Garden Show this week. Not gonna lie, this was a lot to pull together but we pulled off an amazing booth and…
Read More Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 172
chinese evergreen and white amaryllis flower with a clock

Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 171

Hi there! I hope you had a great week! Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms Where do I even start about the week? My Garden Damage We had some snow earlier in the week and when our plowing service came (who is also our landscaper) they drove 15 feet through my…
Read More Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly 171

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me?

I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as finding ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes.

Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

If you like this post, please follow me @bricksnblooms on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Or join my Facebook Group.

Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. I’ve always been nervous to try making these from scratch but you make it sound easy! Pinned and looking forward to trying them!

  2. This is one of my favorite recipes of yours. It’s delicious and a crowd pleaser. I am going to share it with my readers so they can enjoy it too.