Crispy Coconut Panko Fried Shrimp

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp.

These delicious golden Fried Shrimp made with panko crumbs and coconut flakes are an easy crowd pleasing appetizer for any occasion. They are shrimply amazing!

While many claim it’s not a party without cake, it is most definitely not a party without mouth watering appetizers. These are the coconut shrimp that everyone reaches for first because we all crave these crispy on the outside, succulent sweet shrimp.

Little bites of food and delicious dips really get the party going! Smoked Salmon Caper Arancini are an easy make ahead finger food to make for the holidays. If you’re in a dipping mood, this classic Seven Layer Dip is always a hit and practically irresistible.

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp and red dipping sauce.

Crispy Coconut Panko Fried Shrimp

Whew. That’s a mouthful…literally! While I was frying up these golden sea nuggets, the whole family was hovering around, just waiting to fill their faces. I asked them to whip up a batch of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce just to keep them busy.

They had good reason to hover. These juicy jumbo shrimp are double coated with a mixture of panko and sweetened coconut. They are perfectly sweet, succulent, with an intense coconut flavour that really shines through.

The shrimp are pretty irresistible on their own but they are also great dipped in Sweet Chili Sauce or even a spicy creamy Creole Style Remoulade.

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp and red dipping sauce.

Ingredients List for the Best Fried Shrimp

  • Shrimp – large or jumbo size raw, tail on shrimp
  • Panko Crumbs
  • Sweetened Coconut flakes
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Oil for frying

That’s really all you need to make coconut shrimp. Who knew? I buy the large 31-40 count raw shrimp from Costco and we get two meals out of a bag.

Ingredients needed for Coconut Fried Shrimp

What are Panko Crumbs?

Panko crumbs are a special kind of Japanese style bread crumb made from fluffy white crust free bread. This unique Japanese bread is baked using an electrical current, instead of the indirect heat usually used to bake bread.

Panko is exceptionally great as a coating for fried foods because the crispy airy texture resists absorbing oil and grease.

It is used in deep fried Japanese specialties such as katsu (deep fried breaded cutlet of various proteins), ebi fry (shrimp), or korokke (mashed potato cakes).

Find Panko Crumbs at any Asian grocery store or International section of your nearest grocery store. They come in a large brightly coloured box, so they are easy to spot!

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp and red dipping sauce.

Which Oil is Best for Deep Frying?

Ideally for deep frying, you want a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point (temperature at which the oil begins to burn and smoke).

Highly refined oils such as light olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, or safflower oil tend to have the highest smoke points (as impurities are removed) and a neutral or clean taste.

Additionally, if you have a large amount of refined coconut oil on hand, give it a try. While it may not have as high a smoke point as the above listed oils, it will impart extra coconut flavour into these fried shrimp.

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp and red dipping sauce.

How to Make Deep Fried Shrimp

It might surprise you how easy these shrimp are to make but once you ‘rip the bandaid off’ you’ll be a professional shrimp fryer in no time.

Begin by pouring the frying oil into a deep fryer or Dutch oven until the minimum fill line or 2 inches deep depending on the vessel. Start preheating the oil.

Next, set up the dipping bowls or shallow dishes. Crack two eggs into one bowl and add the sugar and salt. Beat the eggs well and set aside. For the second bowl, mix one cup of panko crumbs with one cup of sweetened coconut flakes.

Just before you start dredging the shrimp, set up three platters lined with paper towels. One is for drying the raw shrimp, another is for the dredged shrimp, the last platter is for the fried shrimp.

Always dry shrimp off before cooking it, whether pan frying or before dredging because it helps other flavours and ingredients to adhere or stick better.

Begin dredging the dry shrimp by dipping it in the egg wash. Allow excess egg wash to drip off then roll it in the panko/coconut. Dredge in the egg was as second time, drip, then roll again in the bread crumbs. You can press the dry mixture into the shrimp a bit if you like.

How to Deep Fry Coconut Shrimp

Place the dredged raw shrimp on one of the paper towel lined platters and repeat with remaining shrimp. If the oil has reached 375 F, you can begin frying the shrimp and dredge the remainder at the same time. However, I suggest dredging all the shrimp first because the frying goes quite quickly.

To fry the shrimp, grab it by the tail and carefully lower it into the hot oil. Fry six at a time as it really does not take that long for them to cook.

Once they have become a lovely golden brown colour, they are finished. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked shrimp from the hot oil and place on the remaining clean platter to drain.

Repeat with remaining shrimp, as long as the oil temperature stays at a relatively steady 375 F. If it drops too low, the oil will seep into the food and make it greasy. Too high and the oil may fry the shrimp too quickly, making it dry.

As with most deep fried foods, a generous scattering of large grained sea salt really finishes the Coconut Fried Shrimp to perfection.

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp and red dipping sauce.

How to Serve Panko Coconut Fried Shrimp

Truthfully, our whole family could eat these seafood treats by the bowl full especially when there’s dip involved.

As I mentioned earlier, the boys set to work whipping up a Thai style Sweet Red Chili Sauce. It was packed full of garlic and fiery heat…just how they like it.

These fried shrimp would also be amazing on a Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich all dressed with a generous drizzle of zesty Remoulade.

Additionally, how amazing would these fried shrimp be on tacos?! OMG I’m drooling just thinking about it! A little slaw, a little cilantro cream sauce and some pineapple salsa…can you imagine it?

Lastly, go the traditional dipping way with Cocktail sauce. To make a simple cocktail dipping sauce combine equal parts ketchup and horseradish.

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp.

Can Coconut Fried Shrimp Be Made in Advance?

Coconut Fried Shrimp are a great ‘make ahead’ appetizer. Make them in ‘advance’ the same day by breading them and layering them on paper towel. Keep them cool in the fridge until you are ready to fry and serve.

To make them much farther in advance, freeze the finished shrimp (cool them down after frying) for up to 2 months.

A hand dips a golden fried shrimp into a bowl of red chili sauce.

How to Reheat Coconut Fried Shrimp

To reheat from frozen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the frozen shrimp on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow them to cook for ten minutes, then serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

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Yield: 6 servings

Crispy Coconut Panko Fried Shrimp

A bowl of crispy golden fried shrimp.

These delicious golden Fried Shrimp made with panko crumbs and coconut flakes are an easy crowd pleasing appetizer for any occasion.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 30 large raw shrimp (tail on)
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Pour 2 inches of oil into Dutch oven and slowly heat it to 375 F.
  2. Dry the shrimp off using paper towels
  3. Mix 1 cup panko crumbs and 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes together in a medium bowl.
  4. Crack eggs into a small bowl. Add sugar and salt and beat well.
  5. Cover two plates with paper towels. One is to hold the dredged shrimp, the other is to hold the fried shrimp.
  6. Begin dredging one shrimp by dipping it in the egg wash. Allow excess egg to drip then roll in panko/coconut mixture. Dip it into the egg wash a second time, then the dry mixture again. Lay the shrimp down on the paper towel and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  7. If the dry mixture becomes 'stringy' or too full of egg wash, mix the remaining panko and coconut together. Similarly if the egg becomes too full of crumb, replace as needed.
  8. Once the oil has reached 375 F carefully lower the shrimp into the hot oil Fry in batches of 5-6 at a time.
  9. Once the shrimp turn a deep golden colour remove from hot oil and place on paper towel to drain.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

5

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 349Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 760mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 13g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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26 comments

  1. Gloria

    Coconut shrimp are so addictively delicious. A great appetizer. Perfect for popping on top of a salad. Heck, I would eat these for breakfast in an omelet too.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ooo in an omelette…that sounds amazing!

      Reply

  2. Kathryn Donangelo

    LOVE coconut shrimp and this recipe was delicious and so crispy just like it should bel. These taste better than the shrimp we get for takeout so thank you! Will be making this recipe again soon.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Better than takeout! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment Kathryn.

      Reply

  3. Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

    Okay I’m gonna need my own plate of these Bernice! You’re speaking to my heart with this recipe! I LOVE coconut shrimp so much! Thank you so SO much for another outstanding recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh yes, these are faves here too. I’m so glad you loved this recipe Lori. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  4. NANCY

    ooooo… they look so crispy! i can’t wait to make this over the weekend! Pinned for later!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      YUM! Get that frying oil ready!!

      Reply

  5. Marta

    Our kiddos were introduced to these early in life and they love them. After finding the recipe, and a quick trip to the store, we made a batch. They were in love! I assume they will be making this every chance they get.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You have such lucky kiddos Marta!

      Reply

  6. Eva

    Okay, sweetened cocount? Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering. I am a sucker for preparing shrimp with coconut oil because I love the flavour pairing, but I had never considered sweet coconut. This is going straight to the list of dishes I must try! And by the way, “shrimply amazing” cracked me up 😀

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! I love how it adds the extra sweetness and more coconut flavour to the shrimp.

      Reply

  7. Sean

    Oh MAN. I love fried shrimp (who doesn’t?) but that crispy coconut-y golden brown exterior is a whole other level. Fantastic recipe, and gorgeous photos! Great tips about oils too -always very handy to remember when deep frying! Cheers.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thanks Sean! These coconut shrimp are such a treat!

      Reply

  8. Elaine

    I was wondering what to make with all the shrimp that I’ve got waiting in the kitchen. Well, this recipe is perfect and just what I need this week!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      There you go! They are addictive…don’t say I didn’t warn you!

      Reply

  9. Jenny

    Your coconut shrimp is probably the best appetizer I have ever made. It was such a hit; my husband asked when I will be making them again. Thanks so much for your recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      This is great news Jenny! So glad he enjoyed them. I think we’ll be making them again real soon too.

      Reply

  10. Tammy

    Oh my goodness these look so crispy and beautiful!! I LOVE coconut shrimp…my cousin made the best when I was little and this reminds me of what he would make. I cannot wait to try ^_^

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yum! You have a cousin with great taste Tammy.

      Reply

  11. Veronika Sykorova

    Omg these look so good I’m making them tomorrow, I looove shrimp and anything with breadcrumbs. Can’t wait

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Lucky you! I should thaw some shrimp and make them again too.

      Reply

  12. Jo

    I absolutely adore coconut shrimps. These looks so perfectly cooked and the golden outer crust is to die for. So good!

    Reply

  13. Melanie C

    Fried shrimp has to be one of my favorites…. this recipe looks delicious, I’ll have to give it a try this weekend! Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Christmas is the perfect time to try this recipe. I think we’ll be having some for New Years.

      Reply

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