Coconut Shrimp with an irresistible, guaranteed crunch in every bite. Super crispy on the outside, succulent shrimp on the inside — it doesn’t get any better!
Coconut shrimp is always a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t like crumbed, fried shrimp? Especially shrimp dipped in batter and rolled in an aromatic blend of shredded coconut and Panko breadcrumbs. A crispy, fried appetizer that is so easy and incredibly delicious.
We’re taking you step by step with this shrimp recipe!
COCONUT SHRIMP RECIPE
Just in time for your New Years Eve plans! Whether you serve coconut shrimp as an appetizer or an exotic dinner, there’s no doubt everyone will love this salty, sweet and crunchy shrimp. The best part? They take less than 30 minutes to prepare, dredge and dip before frying.
If you need them ahead of time, you can bread the shrimp and let them sit in your refrigerator until you’re ready to fry.
Sprinkle over with salt before serving and dunk them in the best dipping sauce for coconut shrimp — sweet chili sauce.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR COCONUT SHRIMP?
A handful of kitchen staples like flour, baking powder, salt, pepper an egg and some beer make up the batter. (The beer is optional, but we’ll get back to the beer in a second.)
If you love a sweet and salty combination, use sweetened shredded coconut in the breading. For savoury coconut shrimp, use unsweetened. Panko breadcrumbs become super crispy when frying, but if you have regular breadcrumbs, use them instead!
For your shrimp, use any type of Jumbo shrimp or prawn. They are meatier and give you a better crumb to shrimp ratio in every bite.
HOW DO YOU MAKE BEER BATTER?
As mentioned above, using beer is optional. For taste preference, go with beer if you can. If you don’t have beer, you can use mineral water, sparkling water OR soda water. Carbon dioxide bubbles make the batter expand, resulting a light and crispy batter for your coconut shrimp.
You batter needs to be the consistency of regular pancake batter — not too thick that it won’t run off the spoon and not too thin that it won’t coat the shrimp. If you find the batter is too thick, simply add a little extra of your liquid of choice (beer, soda water, etc), whisking in between each addition, until done.
BUTTERFLY SHRIMP — OPTIONAL
Before frying, butterflying not only helps cook the coconut shrimp evenly, it gets the crumb on more of the surface area. More crumb = more crunch. This step is COMPLETELY optional and not necessary to make coconut shrimp. It’s just personal preference if you like MORE CRUNCH!
Butterfly the shrimp by opening the shrimp meat along the back:
- Run a knife about three-quarters of the way into the shrimp at the top, and cut a slit down the centre of the shrimp’s back to the tail.
- Using your fingertip to open the flesh of the shrimp slightly.
HOW TO MAKE COCONUT SHRIMP
With all of your ingredients ready, this part is a breeze! Just dredge in flour, dip in batter and coat with your coconut/panko mixture, shaking off any excess after each step.
You may need to lightly press the coconut/Panko onto the shrimp to make sure they are evenly coated.
FREEZE FOR 30 MINUTES OR LONGER!
Freezing the shrimp makes them the perfect make ahead appetizer or dinner.
Frying frozen shrimps in the hot oil ensure they do not overcook, while giving the crumb time to develop into that delicious golden colour. The coating adheres better and doesn’t fall apart while frying.
I’ve included this step to give you the ultimate coconut shrimp. If you don’t have time to freeze them, you can still go ahead and fry them up as soon as you’ve finished breading them! Just keep in mind the crumb may begin to fall apart after a minute of cooking.
Use canola oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil, and add enough oil in your pot or skillet so that it is about 2-3 inches deep. For minimal clean up, use a pot or dutch oven to prevent the oil making too much of a mess in your kitchen.
Get the oil nice and hot before frying. Then, add them in batches of 4 or 5 to prevent the oil from cooling down too much, boiling the shrimp instead of frying them.
Drain your coconut shrimp on paper towel lined plates.
THE BEST COCONUT SHRIMP!
Super crispy and perfectly golden on the outside; succulent, sweet and tender shrimp on the inside — it doesn’t get any better!
LOOKING FOR MORE SHRIMP RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- 1 pound (500 g) jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined, tails intact
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup beer (substitute with mineral water or soda water -- you may need a little extra)
- 1 cup shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- OPTIONAL: To butterfly shrimp, insert a knife about three-quarters of the way into the shrimp at the top. Cut a slit down the centre of the shrimp's back to the tail. Use your fingertip to open the flesh of the shrimp slightly. They don't need to be flat. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- In one shallow bowl, add 1/2 cup flour for dredging. In another shallow bowl, whisk the batter ingredients together until combined. The batter should resemble pancake consistency. If too thick, add a little extra beer or mineral water, whisking between each addition. In the third bowl, mix together the shredded coconut and bread crumbs.
- Dredge in the flour (shake off excess), dip in the batter (shake off excess) and coat in the breadcrumb/coconut mixture. Lightly press the coconut onto the shrimp.
- Place onto prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining shrimp. Arrange shrimp in a single layer and freeze until firm (about 30-45 minutes).
- In a dutch oven or deep skillet, heat vegetable oil (about 2-3 inches deep in the pot) until nice and hot.
- Fry the FROZEN shrimp in batches for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain them on a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce.