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Fried Coconut Shrimp

Fried Coconut Shrimp is a sweet n’ salty, crispy are a classic for a reason. This easy to make recipe makes a great appetizer or main dish. 

Way back when, I was a server at a seafood restaurant. It’s a job I actually still look back fondly on. But I’m not gonna lie, when I first spotted fried coconut shrimp on the menu, I was not intrigued. I simply did not like coconut. That however did not stop me from using them in my spiel whenever I visited a table. They were hot sellers. People liked them. People really liked them. People liked them so much that I eventually caved and ordered some on my break.

Hand holding single coconut shrimp.

I took my first bite hesitantly as I was fully expecting my mouth to taste like I squirted some Hawaiian Tropic Suntan lotion on my tongue. But alas, that was not the case. They were good. They were crunchy. They were salty. They were sweet. They were everything I was expecting them not to be… including quite addicting.

The seafood restaurant I worked at as long since closed but thats OK because I can make these Fried Coconut Shrimp at home now and with this recipe so can you! And guess what: they are super easy!

What ingredients you’ll need:

  • SHRIMP: Use large sized shrimp (about 25 – 30 per pound). I like to buy EZ- Peel Shrimp so that I don’t need to do the deveining myself. Makes this easier!
  • FLOUR/GARLIC POWDER/SALT: This is the mixture that you will dredge the shrimp in before you dip it in the egg whites. It will give the egg whites something to stick to.
  • EGG WHITES: I like to use this instead of the whole egg because it makes the final coating a bit lighter.
  • PANKO: This is where the crispiness really comes from. Panko bread crumbs are by far my favorite bread crumb to use in the kitchen.
  • FLAKED COCONUT: You’ll use sweetened flaked coconut in this recipe to give the shrimp a bit of a sweetness.
  • OIL: Canola, vegetable or peanut oil for frying.

How do you make Fried Coconut Shrimp?

If you’ve ever done any frying, this coconut fried shrimp follows the same basic “assembly line” preparation.

STEP #1: You’ll want to set up an assembly line with 3 different dishes. Combine the flour, garlic powder and kosher salt together in one bowl. In another whisk together the egg whites with 1 tablespoon water. In another bowl combine panko and flaked coconut. 

STEP #2: Press the shrimp into the seasoned flour mixture to coat. Next dip the shrimp into the egg white mixture. Finally, dredge the shrimp into the panko/coconut mixture. Repeat until all shrimp is coated.

STEP #3: Heat 1/4 – 1/2 inch oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan to 350 degrees. Fry the shrimp, in batches if necessary, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and allow to coo slightly before serving.

For the ultimate sweet n’ salty, slightly spicy, bite dip these Fried Coconut Shrimp in sweet chili sauce.

Note: This post was originally posted in 2010. It was updated in 2021 with new photos and nutrition information.

Looking for more Shrimp Recipes? Try these: 

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Shrimp Linguine with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Cajun Popcorn Shrimp

Overhead photo of coconut fried shrimp in white bowl.

Coconut Prawns

Salty, sweet, and fried until golden brown and crunchy.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Easy Appetizer Recipes, Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 709 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on if possible
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 egg whites beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Combine flour, garlic and kosher salt in a bowl. Whisk together egg whites and water in another bowl. In a third bowl combine panko bread crumbs and coconut.
  • Press shrimp into flour to coat. Dip in egg batter and then press into coconut/panko mixture. Repeat until all shrimp are breaded.
  • Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle some panko bread crumbs into the oil, if they sizzle the oil is hot enough. Begin frying the prawns in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool slightly. Serve.

Notes

As with any fried food, it is essential not to overcrowd the pan when you are cooking the shrimp. Overcrowding will cause the shrimp to steam rather than fry and they won't be as crispy. 
Make ahead tip: Coated shrimp can be refrigerated for up to two hours until you are ready to cook.
This recipe can easily be doubled. 
To ensure crispiness, these are best eaten the day of.
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 709kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 16gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 37gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1457mgPotassium: 508mgFiber: 13gSugar: 7gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: appetizer, coconut, coconut prawns, coconut shrimp, Food, Prawns, Recipe, seafood, shrimp

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Valerie
    July 25, 2022 at 3:16 am

    5 stars
    This recipe sounds delicious, I can’t wait to try it 😋😋

  • Reply
    sara dc
    September 30, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    5 stars
    5 star!!!

  • Reply
    Amanda Azevedo
    December 16, 2019 at 6:15 am

    5 stars
    I was wondering if anybody has tried freezing these before or after frying them and if they would fry or bake up well after freezing?

  • Reply
    Oggi
    September 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Hi,

    I found this blog post copied word for word including your photo on this blog

    http://lasangpinoyatbpnikusineronggill.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-coconut-prawns.html

    This guy has stolen more than 400 blog posts from food bloggers around the world and I am one of the victims. I thought you should know.

  • Reply
    Marion
    May 27, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I love coconut and I jusr know this recipe is going to be a big winner with all my boys – both big and small. While my hubby won’t touch sea food in any shape or form, I have a son, a SIL and 7 grandsons that go absolutely ape over it. The sweetness of that coconut guarantees it.

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    May 27, 2010 at 5:29 am

    These looks perfect… just like in the restaurants! I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but fry it.. and I’m all for it!!

  • Reply
    Jane Ko
    May 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I love fried shrimp, with coconut added, it’s even better!
    I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway at http://atasteofkoko.blogspot.com/2010/05/men-can-cook-feat-classic-spaghetti.html

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.