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The secret to truly crispy baked coconut shrimp is in the breading. It's all about double toasting - toast the panko breadcrumbs and coconut before you bread the shrimp and let it crisp up again while the shrimp bakes. With this method, the breading adheres perfectly and the shrimp stay truly crispy. It's the best alternative to deep frying that I've found!
Every other year, the Stevens family gathers at Keith's dad's house for Christmas. It's tradition to deep-fry shrimp on Christmas Eve and we all love it (well, except for the two seafood haters who have a giant steak instead!). The shrimp is always excellent: crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, deeply flavorful.
Ingredients You Need to Make Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp: ideally large raw shrimp with tails intact
- Flour: unbleached all-purpose flour
- Eggs: large or extra-large eggs
- Panko Breadcrumbs: these are a must for the crispiest coating
- Coconut: unsweetened, shredded coconut
- Mayonnaise: good quality store-bought mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise
- Sriracha: or your favorite hot sauce
- Lime: fresh lime juice
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper:
- Fresh Parsley: optional
Why you don't need a deep fryer for crispy Coconut Shrimp.
Until now I only got to enjoy that meal every 24 months because honestly, I don't like to deep-fry food in my own kitchen. It's just not worth the mess. But after successfully making Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings and Baked Chicken Tenders (after a couple of failed attempts), I thought, "Why not try the same method in a baked coconut shrimp recipe?" And all I can say is - wow! Not only are these shrimp incredibly delicious and super crispy, they come at a minimum of effort and mess. If you love fried shrimp, you simply must try this easy recipe!
How to Make Coconut Shrimp
Here is the key step - you need to pre-bake the mixture of panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut before you bread the shrimp. Note the difference in the photo below. The breading is already lightly golden before you coat the shrimp with it.
Then you coat the shrimp in this order: flour, egg, breading. Next you crank up the oven and bake the shrimp on a rack until deeply golden all the way around.
That's it! You're rewarded with perfectly crispy, entirely tasty shrimp. Serve a spicy sriracha mayonnaise or spicy remoulade sauce for dippin to make them even better.
With this simple method, we get to enjoy the flavor and texture of crunchy fried shrimp all year long without the mess or hassle of deep frying. And you can too!
More Must Try Shrimp Recipes
Coconut Shrimp Recipe Video
Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sriracha
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs beaten
- fresh parsley minced, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together panko and unsweetened coconut in a bowl. Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 4 minutes, until lightly golden. Return to bowl and whisk in kosher salt.
- Place oven-safe rack on baking sheet and and brush with oil or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
- Meanwhile, whisk together dip ingredients in a small bowl: mayonnaise, sriracha and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Increase oven to 425°F.
- Put flour on a small plate and season with salt and pepper, stir to combine.
- Set up your breading station in this order: flour, egg, breading. Dredge one shrimp in flour and shake off excess, dip in egg and then coat thoroughly with coconut mixture. Place on rack in baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until shrimp are golden brown and cooked through. Transfer shrimp to platter and garnish with parsley if desired. Serve immediately with sriracha mayonnaise for dipping.
Hi Marissa! I am making these for my mums birthday tonight, have all the ingredients but I don’t have the rack exactly! I have a wire rack ie grill one but worried it’s not right one! Any alternative at all you can suggest!
Marissa Stevens says
Hi Marianne! I recommend cooking them on a foil lined baking sheet that you've brushed with a little oil. I hope that helps!
Tonya Coty says
This is one of my favorite recipes! The double toasting of the Panko makes a world of difference! For my dipping sauce, I use Orange Marmalade as a base, then add in a dash of stone ground mustard and a little prepared horseradish (amount depends of how spicy you prefer it). Serve at room temperature or warmed but not hot, as consistency becomes too thin. Taste is awesome with the orange and the coconut! I have also done a whipped cream base one with chopped up canned or fresh pineapple (amount can vary, based on how well you like pineapple, but dry off pineapple, so the moisture doesn't break down cream), salt and pepper (dash each) and a splash of lemon juice (preferably real lemon juice). Coconut and pineapple is another great classic combo! Enjoy!
Marissa Stevens says
I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Tonya! Ad your dipping sauce sounds amazing!
We have loved nearly every recipe I’ve tried from this site... but the coconut shrimp wasn’t to our liking. It absolutely does turn out perfectly crunchy, with succulent shrimp inside. Pre-toasting the breading to a golden brown is a great idea.
But, in the end, I think panko crumbs sort of need deep frying to bring out the best in them. As is, they tasted a bit starchy and unpleasant. And the breading didn’t have a very strong coconut flavor at all, despite the pre-toasting. I think a 1:1 ratio of coconut to panko may lend more flavor. But ultimately I think deep frying would lend the best flavor 😊
Marissa Stevens says
Hi Lisa! Thank you for your thoughts and honest review. I'm sorry that this one wasn't a hit for you. Since you wanted a stronger coconut flavor, increasing the coconut in the breading is a great idea!
Lara Brewer says
Wonderful recipe, made just a directed and they came out crispy on the outside, succulent and tender on the inside. Yummy!
I’m so happy you enjoyed these, Lara! Thank you for coming back to let me know!
Just made this tonight (9/28/2019). I had my doubts but they came out really good, crunchy yet cooked through. Served with the mayo Sriracha sauce for husband and for me, a Vietnamese sipping sauce.
So glad that you and your husband enjoyed them, Rachel! Thanks so much for letting me know!
Lauren @ Lemon & Mocha says
Thank you for the recipe! These crispy shrimp came out perfectly - I loved the double toasting of the panko! I'll be making this again and again 🙂
That's fantastic, Lauren! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know!
Kirsty Morrison says
Any hints for doing this recipe ahead of time? I am making for a party and would like to take them ready to pop in the oven!
Hey Kirsty! I haven't made them much ahead of when I planned to serve them, so I can't speak from experience. I'd say to make them as close as you can to party time and then refrigerate uncovered or lightly covered with plastic wrap - the main concern is the breading soaking up moisture before baking. Have a fantastic party!
Kirsty Morrison says
I made them about 2 hours before the party. I covered with parchment paper and then loosely with cling wrap and they turned out perfectly! very crispy! My dipping sauce was ranch dressing, apricot jelly and a heaping tablespoon of mild curry powder. It was a big hit! (I know it sounds weird, but it was very tasty!)
That's fantastic, Kirsty! So sweet of you to come back and let me know. And I'm really intrigued by that sauce you came up with... 🙂
Carmen Liizakowski says
Tried this tonight, really great. and easy. I ended up with flaked coconut, so the coating is not as smooth as yours but it worked. Do you grease the rack to prevent sticking ? I did have some breading stick to the rack. Other than that great .
I'm so glad you enjoyed the shrimp, Carmen! Thank you for letting me know about breading sticking to the rack - I've added a note to the recipe to brush the rack with oil or coat with cooking spray.
William Harned says
Love the before and after photos. I know exactly what to look for. Thanks
You're welcome!! 🙂
Made these and they came out fantastic! So crispy and coconutty. I added some garlic powder to the flour but I'm sure they would've stellar without as well. Used a peach spicy preserve with lime juice for dipping. Def going to be making many more times!
Love to hear that, Justin! Thank you for coming back to let me know!
These shrimp are simply irresistible! My husband and my son would absolutely love them. And the sauce looks terrific! Thanks for sharing:)
Thanks so much!!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
These look delicious Marissa! My mother-in-law used to love coconut shrimp. I'll need to try your recipe and get them on the summer menu!
Thanks, Mary Ann! I was so excited about how these turned out - better than I expected. I'd love to hear how it goes if you try the recipe.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Baked not fried…your coconut shrimp look great.
Thanks so much, Karen!
David @ Spiced says
Great tip about toasting the panko + coconut on the early side...I would never have thought about that. And now I really want to make these baked shrimp for dinner...they look like a pretty easy recipe! 🙂 Also, I think I need to come around your house on Christmas Eve...that sounds like quite the party! Is it possible to do shrimp AND steak? Hah!
haha, David! Yes, you could definitely have shrimp AND steak. 😉 I'm telling you, the double toasting of the breading makes all the difference! I hope you try it...
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I've got to try this! I rarely deep fry but I love crunchy food so this will satisfy that craving perfectly! 😀
I'd love to hear how it goes, Lorraine! Wish I could make you a batch myself. xo
This is such a great idea. I try to steer away from frying as often as, so this recipe is definitely appreciated. Should give this a try.
Thank you, Funmi!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa. Once again you amaze me. Coconut shrimp are one of my (many) weaknesses and I don't get to have them often as I hate deep frying, The first time I made them they came out looking like sea urchins. I like Thai sweet chili sauce or mango chutney with mine.
Dorothy, I love your dip suggestions!! Thank you. I'm going to add those options to the recipe notes!
Ben Maclain says
Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of shrimp covered in panko and then deep-fried cause: a. I don't fancy the flavor and texture of breadcrumbs b.when deep-fried, these breadcrumbs are sometimes soggy which doesn't make me happy. But this idea sounds fantastic, Marissa! I do love the addition of coconut here which introduces an additional texture and the fact you baked the shrimp. Sounds and looks seriously delicious!
Thanks, Ben! And I agree completely about soggy breading. Have a wonderful weekend!
These look like perfection Marissa! Crunchtastic and I'm diggin' the before after photos!
aww, thanks Kevin!! 🙂