Coconut Fried Shrimp

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

Makes

4 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
These crisp and crunchy coconut shrimp make a tempting appetizer or a fun change-of-pace main dish. The coating adds a touch of sweetness, and the tangy marmalade and honey sauce is excellent for dipping. —Ann Atchison, O’Fallon, Missouri

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups cornstarch
  • 6-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • Additional oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Stir in water and oil until smooth. Place coconut in another bowl. Dip shrimp into batter, then coat with coconut.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry shrimp, a few at a time, for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat marmalade and honey; stir until blended. Serve with shrimp.
Coconut Shrimp Tips

Can you use frozen shrimp?

Frozen shrimp can be used, but they must be thawed first since the batter and coconut will not adhere to frozen seafood. When peeling and deveining the shrimp, the choice is yours to remove the tails or leave them on. Since coconut shrimp is a finger food, the tail can act as a handle.

How can you make this coconut shrimp recipe your own?

Try unsweetened coconut in place of sweetened. Swap in larger or smaller shrimp. Or, change up the dipping sauces.

What other sauces can you serve with coconut shrimp?

Pepper mango salsa, orange cranberry sauce or jerk-spiced mango chutney are all differently delicious options.

How do you make sure coconut shrimp are crispy?

Cooking temperature is key to ensure crispy coconut shrimp. Use an instant read thermometer to check the oil temperature before frying. Frying the coconut shrimp in oil that is not 375°F will cause oil to seep into the coconut and the batter, resulting in soggy shrimp. Keep in mind that each time you add shrimp to the pan or fryer, the oil temperature reduces a bit, so it’s best to fry in small batches. After frying, place shrimp in a single layer on paper towels or on a rack placed over a baking sheet. If shrimp are stacked on a plate, the crispness will quickly fade.

What do you serve with coconut shrimp?

Coconut shrimp is a welcome addition to any gathering where appetizers are on the menu, but it’s also a great main dish for a lighter meal. Rice recipes like rice pilaf or orzo recipes like spinach orzo salad will go nicely with this delicious dish.

Can you freeze coconut shrimp?

Yes—it's most common to freeze them after they're breaded, but before they're fried. This way you can take them out of the freezer as needed for a quick appetizer or snack in minutes!

Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor and Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager

Nutrition Facts

7 shrimp with about 2 tablespoons sauce: 906 calories, 40g fat (20g saturated fat), 138mg cholesterol, 1193mg sodium, 117g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.