These easy Coconut Shrimp are crisp and crunchy on the outside with a juicy shrimp center. Don’t forget the simple (2-ingredient) coconut shrimp sauce and a fresh squeeze of lime juice to serve.

This homemade appetizer is easier than you think and is endlessly better than store-bought. P.S. It’s make-ahead friendly!

Coconut Shrimp recipe arranged on a platter served with sweet chili sauce and fresh lime wedges

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We love shrimp recipes around here, like shrimp scampi, creamy shrimp pasta, or shrimp fried rice, and even Shrimp Boil. This coconut shrimp recipe does not disappoint!

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The Best Coconut Shrimp!

Homemade coconut shrimp has just the right balance of crunchy coating to shrimp – the crispy coconut flakes produce an amazing crunch as you sink your teeth into succulent shrimp – wow!

This coconut shrimp recipe reminds me of the gorgeous restaurant shrimp appetizer we ordered in Maui and I’m telling you this recipe rivals those but it’s way less expensive to make a batch of homemade shrimp. They taste like you’re on vacation, especially when paired with that amazing apricot sweet chili dipping sauce.

I can’t say enough about the dipping sauce – it’s ridiculously good. Similar to our Shrimp Cocktail sauce, you can’t enjoy this shrimp fully without the sauce! Also, check out the make-ahead options below to turn these into your new favorite party appetizer.

Up close coconut shrimp dipping into coconut shrimp sauce

Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp

This recipe has a short list of ingredients but the right ingredients make a difference. Here’s what you will need to make coconut prawns.

  • Shrimp – Use large, peeled, and deveined shrimp with the tail left on which serves as a handle for dipping the shrimp. See below for more tips on sourcing shrimp.
  • Flour, garlic powder, and salt – used to dredge the shrimp. Dredging helps the egg adhere better.
  • Eggs – beaten for dipping the shrimp. Adds a liquid coating for the coconut flakes to cling to.
  • Coconut Flakes – We use Baker’s brand “Angel flake” sweetened coconut flakes. Using a sweetened coconut gives the shrimp a more pronounced tropical flavor. You can find sweetened coconut flakes in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Panko Crumbs – mixed in with the coconut flakes to create a crunchier and more uniform breading.
  • Oil – for frying the shrimp – use a high smoke point oil such as extra light olive oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil.
  • Lime Juice – optional but nice to squeeze over the fried shrimp for serving.
Ingredients for shrimp with sweet coconut flakes

Pro Tip

When buying shrimp, look for raw wild-caught shrimp if you can find it. If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw according to the package instructions and pat dry before using. Avoid using pre-cooked shrimp. Pre-cooked shrimp will get tough if you cook it again.

What Size Shrimp for Coconut Shrimp?

We used 1 pound of large 21-25 count shrimp. We found this to be the ideal size for breaded shrimp to get them perfectly cooked in the center and golden on the outside. Smaller shrimp overcook quickly and larger shrimp tend to burn before the center cooks through.

Ingredients for Shrimp Dipping Sauce:

All you need to make an amazing coconut shrimp sauce is equal parts of sweet chili sauce and apricot preserves or apricot fruit spread. Simply stir to combine.

The sweet chili sauce can be found in the Asian food section of the grocery store. If your apricot preserves have large pieces of fruit, you will want to blend the sauce in a food processor or blender for easier dipping. In case you’re wondering, this sauce is NOT spicy.

Ingredients for dipping sauce with sweet chili sauce and apricot preserves

How to Make Coconut Shrimp:

Making these is easier than you think. It’s a quick assembly line process, in which my 9-year old son is now a pro because we love coconut shrimp around here!

  • Set up 3 shallow bowls. In the first, stir together flour, garlic powder and salt. In the second, thoroughly beat together 2 eggs with a fork. In the third, combine coconut flakes and bread crumbs.
  • Dredge shrimp in flour, dusting off the excess
  • Dip in beaten eggs, letting excess drip back into the bowl.
  • Roll in coconut mixture, pressing it onto the shrimp to adhere well.
  • Sautee – Once shrimp are all breaded, sautee or air fry right away, or refrigerate to sautee later.
how to make coconut shrimp process shots

Use tongs to transfer fried shrimp to a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil and serve right away with the 2-ingredient dipping sauce.

Fried coconut shrimp resting on paper towel

Can I Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp?

Yes! If you prefer not to fry the shrimp, the air fryer is the next best option – it quickly crisps up the exterior, keeping the center plump and juicy. Generously spray both sides of the breaded shrimp with cooking spray then cook air fryer shrimp at 400˚F for 8 minutes total, flipping the shrimp halfway through.

How to Bake Coconut Shrimp in the Oven

In all of our tests, deep frying and air frying produced the best results. Baking coconut shrimp in a conventional oven was our least favorite cooking method because it takes longer and the breading doesn’t crisp up quite as well. To bake in a regular oven, generously spray both sides of the shrimp with cooking spray and bake at 400˚F for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping shrimp halfway through.

Coconut shrimp served on a platter with sweet chili sauce

Serve the shrimp right away – warm and crisp. I love to squeeze fresh lime juice over the top just before serving or serve with lime wedges and of course that amazing sauce.

Make-Ahead Coconut Shrimp

  • Prep Ahead: Place raw battered shrimp on a platter, cover, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours then sauté or air fry.
  • Storing and Reheating Cooked Shrimp: Refrigerate cooked shrimp for up to 2 days. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in a standard oven at 400˚F for 8-10 minutes or until hot and crisp.
Cooked ahead shrimp appetizer on paper towel lined platter

Have I convinced you to make that dipping sauce? I mean it’s just 2 ingredients after all! Make this coconut shrimp recipe once and you’ll make it over and over. It’s easy and so satisfying.

More Party-Favorite Appetizers

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Coconut Shrimp with the Best Dipping Sauce

4.98 from 120 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
coconut shrimp served with dipping sauce
The Best Coconut shrimp coated in plenty of coconut flakes for superior crunch and subtle tropical flavor. Do not skip the super simple (2 ingredient) coconut shrimp sauce! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients for Coconut Shrimp:

  • 1 lb large shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined with tails left on
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, *
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • light olive oil, or vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

Ingredients for Shrimp Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves or apricot fruit spread

Instructions

  • Rinse shrimp in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Set up 3 shallow bowls. In the first, stir together 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt. In the second, beat 2 eggs with a fork. In the third, combine 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs.
  • Dredge shrimp in flour, then dip in beaten egg and finally dip in crumb mixture using your hands to press the coconut crumb mixture onto your shrimp. Transfer to a platter and repeat with remaining shrimp. Once all shrimp are breaded, either sauté right away or refrigerate for later. 
  • To sautee: place a large pan over medium heat and add enough oil to generously cover the bottom (1/4" deep). Once oil is hot (350˚F), add shrimp and sauté 2 minutes per side until golden brown and shrimp is pink and cooked through. Cook in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan. Use tongs to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Stir together 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce with 1/4 cup apricot preserves. Serve shrimp with dipping sauce and squeeze fresh lime juice over finished shrimp before serving if desired. 

Notes

* I used Baker’s brand “angel flake coconut sweetened” located in the baking section

Nutrition Per Serving

316kcal Calories25g Carbs19g Protein15g Fat8g Saturated Fat245mg Cholesterol1004mg Sodium177mg Potassium1g Fiber15g Sugar80IU Vitamin A6.5mg Vitamin C134mg Calcium2.8mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Coconut Shrimp with the Best Dipping Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
316
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Cholesterol
 
245
mg
82
%
Sodium
 
1004
mg
44
%
Potassium
 
177
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
25
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Protein
 
19
g
38
%
Vitamin A
 
80
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
6.5
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
134
mg
13
%
Iron
 
2.8
mg
16
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut shrimp
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 316

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Maureen Watson
    January 26, 2024

    I made these coconut shrimp and the sauce and it was phenomenal. I will most surely be making this again. I am a fan of British marmalade, and I might try that next time. I am an ex-pat, and didn’t like shrimp for many years, not ever having it growing up. But this recipe has changed my mind completely.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 26, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Maureen!

      Reply

  • Sara
    December 31, 2023

    These were a New Year’s Eve hit! They have already been requested to repeat for a birthday dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 1, 2024

      That’s awesome! So glad they were a hit!

      Reply

  • Lori
    December 21, 2023

    Hi, I would like to know if these will stay if I got them ready night before & left in fridge till ready to fry?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 21, 2023

      Hi Lori! I have not tested them in the refrigerator for longer than 4 hours, so I don’t know how the batter would hold up. Let us know if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Sandy
    October 14, 2023

    Seriously the best recipe for coconut shrimp! My family loved it! I made the dipping sauce in the recipe and another one with coconut cream and pineapple and both were great with it!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 14, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Sandy!

      Reply

  • Geraldine Derenda
    August 30, 2023

    Another winning recipe, thank you honey. Just wanted to pass along a great dipping sauce I used with my Bang Bang Shrimp. Another two ingredient favorite, Sweet chili sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, that’s it. Can never have enough dipping sauce!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 30, 2023

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Jessica
    August 29, 2023

    Okay hands down my new favorite shrimp recipe! I know I will be making this one a lot for parties and gatherings.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 29, 2023

      So glad you love it. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • Cheryl Kennelly
    August 28, 2023

    I’ve never used sweet Chile sauce in my sauce but I’ve always used apricot preserves and freshly grated ginger. I warm it slightly in the microwave to divide more ginger flavor and stir it well before serving.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 28, 2023

      That sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  • Robert Peck
    August 28, 2023

    Hi Natasha,
    I made this recipe seven or eight months ago, watching you make it. I’m probably your most senior cook follower at age 89 still going stron… I am the shock survivor out of Massachusetts when I gave you that shrimp deveiner, which is probably in your archives right now because you’re so busy that’s quite all right I’d rather watch your recipes. You are very good at what you do and being a professional photographer, you have the best back up imaginable, he does all he knows it all Vadim… you catch that.. I think your recipe is great, but I am not a favor of it. I think between your sauce and your coconut. It’s much too sweet in my neck of the woods would would call it icky sweet… excellent presentation. But when I say this, I have to be aware that it’s only my opinion and it is because the other 99 out of 100 that you make are excellent there’s something about the way you present your food Natasha.. by the way, I am sponsoring one of your fellow countrymen to live with me. Yes, she is a female. She’s also a Leo and a professional photographer like I am in the first meal we’re going to make is a Borscht .. somehow I’ll send you a picture.. yes, the sharks are safe down on Chatham Massachusetts. When I get a new left knee. I’m going back to hassle him. I’m still waiting on you to give me a recipe for venison backstrap’s. That’s comparable to a beef, steers, prime rib. Take care be well BOB PECK.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 29, 2023

      Hey Bob, great to haer from you and thank you so much for sharing! That’s so nice of you to sponsor, thank you for your kindness. You will blessed more because of helping others. Bless you and stay safe!

      Reply

  • Alda
    August 27, 2023

    This dish is delicious! I made it as an entree with a side salad.
    The only flour I had on hand was all purpose whole wheat flour, but I couldn’t taste that it made any difference.
    I will certainly make this again. Next time I will increase the garlic powder to 1 teaspoon. Also next time I will do the prep ahead..
    My sister was my guest for this dish and she loved it too. I sent her your link. Thanks!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 27, 2023

      Hi Alda! That’s great to hear. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Mary
    August 17, 2023

    This is the best I have made this numerous times and have now passed it on to the rest of my family and your friends. Thank you very much for your recipes. I’ll that I’ve tried. Thank you again

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 17, 2023

      Glad to hear that you loved our recipe a lot!

      Reply

  • Beth
    June 20, 2023

    This shrimp recipe is amazing! I used jumbo shrimp, cooked them 2 mins on each side, as indicated, and they were cooked perfectly. My husband loved them! I’ll be making these again. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 20, 2023

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Beth!

      Reply

  • Melinda
    June 5, 2023

    Hi Natasha,
    I have always been worried about cooking shrimp, and after watching your video on coconut shrimp-I decided to try it. I watched every move you made and my shrimp turned out pretty well. The Sauce is Amazing as well:)
    Where would I be without you and your Amazing Recipes!!!!!
    Thank You Once Again
    You are the BEST

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 5, 2023

      I’m so glad you gave it a try and loved it, Melinda! I hope you try more recipes soon – especially the shrimp ones! Thank you for your lovely comment!

      Reply

  • Andrea Kayruz
    May 26, 2023

    I made this tonight was very tasty
    Very nice
    Will definately do again

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 26, 2023

      So glad you loved it, Andrea! Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Leslie
    May 22, 2023

    I want to try this! But I don’t know how to buy shrimp…from the frozen section?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 22, 2023

      Hi Leslie, most stores have fresh shrimp near the butcher/ fresh seafood section, or you can purchase from the frozen seafood section. Most shrimp bags will have the amount in weight – we’re looking for 1 lb here & it will list the count. For this recipe we used 1 lb large shrimp, 21-25 count. The smaller the count per pound, the larger the shrimp will be. WE like to purchase shrimp that is Raw, and has been deveined. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Regina
    February 28, 2023

    Thank you! So far 3/3 recipes with me💙 I have brought my cravings and you have delivered! First time using rice flour ( celiacs) and just Amazing!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 28, 2023

      Hi Regina! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • ml
    February 16, 2023

    What type of oil do you typically find works well for frying these?

    looking forward to trying these tonight

    thank u 💕

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 16, 2023

      A neutral-tasting high-heat oil. I like to use light olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil even.

      Reply

  • Claudia
    January 14, 2023

    Perfection!!! Wow, I will be making this again and again. Thank you Natasha!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 14, 2023

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you loved it, Claudia.

      Reply

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