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.
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 Chicken Tenders (after a couple of failed attempts), I thought, “Why not try the same method with shrimp?” 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 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. Dip them in spicy sriracha mayonnaise or spicy remoulade sauce to make them even better.
With this simple method, we get to enjoy the flavor and texture of fried shrimp all year long (when we’re not eating these grilled shrimp in the summer!) without the mess or hassle of deep frying. And you can too!
Crispy Baked Coconut Shrimp
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!
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 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 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: 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. Dip one shrimp into flour and shake off excess, dip in egg and then coat thoroughly with breading. 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.
If you aren't a fan of coconut, no problem! Just use 1 1/2 cups of panko and skip the coconut. And for other dip options, I love Dorothy's suggestions in the comments: Thai sweet chili sauce or mango chutney!