Enjoy summer with some crispy and delicious, panko-crusted sweet coconut shrimp dipped in a chilled pineapple sauce.
Today we’re making some tropical, restaurant-style coconut shrimp. It’s a crowd-favorite finger food with jumbo-sized shrimp coated in some sweet and crunchy coconut-panko breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crisp.
I paired it with a chilled homemade pineapple sauce but you can use other dipping sauces like store-bought sweet chili sauce. It’s incredibly delicious and addictive. The contrast of hot and crispy coconut shrimp with the chilled pineapple sauce works so well.
Pair it with some fun sides like coconut rice and grab a Pina Colada while you’re at it. For more shrimp recipes, try out honey garlic shrimp, cilantro lime honey garlic shrimp, or some Sriracha shrimp. In the meantime, let’s start cooking!
COCONUT SHRIMP RECIPE TIPS
You will need to set up three breading stations. Flour dusting is station number one, egg dipping is station number two and coconut-panko breadcrumbs are station number three. One of the reasons I suggested shrimp with tails on is because the tails make it so much easier to bread. Use the tails as your handles and you’re less likely to have clumpy flour fingers, where you end up breading them more than the food. So rest easy knowing you can swish that shrimp in the egg and not get messy!
Also, you’ll want to shake off any excess flour before dipping it into the egg and likewise, let the egg drip off fully before rolling it in the panko-coconut mixture. I like to use a spoon to heap on flour in the first stage so I don’t get my fingers messy.
As for the cooking, one thing I will have to point out here is shrimp cooks fast. Panko and coconut burn even faster. So don’t blast your kitchen with super high heat and wonder why you have blackened charcoal shrimp. Heat up the oil nice and slow and wait for it to be ready. If you’re wondering what ready is, ready is when you dip a shrimp end in it and the oil gets all excited. Or toss a coconut flake in there and see if it bubbles.
Then watch the shrimp cook, it shouldn’t take too long. Once my oil was nice and hot, it took 30 seconds per side. If you don’t own a deep fryer like me, you’ll need to do both sides. I pan-fried this in a regular skillet and flipped sides. Once the coconut and panko turn a nice light brown, it is done. Once it starts turning a dark orange-brown, is it a little overdone. You don’t want it to look like someone with a bad suntan. I don’t need to tell you what it looks like when it’s gone way past the overdone stage.
If oil makes your arteries scream for mercy, you can probably bake these too. Just like I had success baking my tuna and cheese croquettes, these are bake-friendly as well. I did the croquettes with cornflakes breadcrumbs at 450°F for 15 minutes. I suggest 450°F for about 5-10 minutes, check to see how long it takes to get a light golden brown. If you do bake it, let me know what settings you used!
And now it’s time to eat. I spent about an hour taking pics of these. By the time I was ready to eat, it had cooled down but was still crispy. Oh and that pineapple sauce. Just a little bit of heat to it and with it being chilled and all, it was great! The first thing I thought when I took my first bite was ‘How do I tell them how awesome this is without using hyperboles?’. Well, I hope I just did. Enjoy!
MORE SHRIMP RECIPES TO TRY
- Honey Garlic Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp Scampi
- Cilantro Lime Honey Garlic Shrimp
- Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Shrimp