Lower in fat and calories, but every bit as delicious as the fried version, this recipe for Baked Coconut Shrimp comes together in under 30 minutes. Serve Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce for an irresistible appetizer or entree.
If you have ever had Coconut Shrimp, you know just how delicious this appetizer is! Juicy shrimp are breaded in a mixture of breadcrumbs and sweetened shredded coconut and then fried until crispy. The result is a crispy, slightly sweet, flavorful nugget of heaven. DELICIOUS!
I have recreated one of my family's favorite restaurant appetizers, but instead of being deep-fried, my recipe for Coconut Shrimp is baked. The breading becomes golden and crisp, just as if the shrimp was fried, yet much lighter and better for you!
Notes on Ingredients
- Shrimp: Be sure to use jumbo, raw shrimp for this recipe.
- Panko: For the lightest, crispiest Coconut Shrimp, there is no exception for using panko breadcrumbs. Traditional breadcrumbs will create a thicker, less crispy coating on the shrimp.
- Coconut: Use shredded, sweetened coconut for the breading. The sweetness in the coconut will help to enhance the coconut flavor and add to the overall tropical flavor of the Coconut Shrimp.
- Cooking Spray: In order for the breaking of the shrimp to become golden and crispy without frying, you need to use cooking spray. I personally prefer avocado or olive oil cooking spray, but any variety will work.
- Sweet Chili Sauce (optional): The Sweet Chili Sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for the Coconut Shrimp.
How to Make Baked Coconut Shrimp
- Dry the shrimp with a paper towel, which will allow the breading to adhere to the shrimp better. This step seems trivial, but trust me, it is crucial to allow the breading to adhere well to the shrimp.
- Prepare a breading station for the shrimp by setting up 3 shallow dishes.
- Combine flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in one dish. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in the second bowl. In the final dish, combine the panko and shredded coconut.
- To bread the shrimp, dip the shrimp into the flour mixture first, shaking off any excess flour. Be sure not to skip shaking off excess flour, or your coating will become gummy.
- Dip the flour-coated shrimp into the egg mixture, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the bowl.
- And finally, place the shrimp into the coconut mixture. Be sure to gently press the coating onto the shrimp to adhere and evenly coat each piece of shrimp.
- Place the breaded shrimp onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been coated well with cooking spray.
- Spray the top of the breaded shrimp with cooking spray until the shrimp is slightly glistening. This will help the breading to crisp up beautifully.
- Bake flipping halfway until the breading is golden and the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Serve the shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping as an appetizer, or pair the shrimp with fried rice or Asian noodle salad for a delicious entree.
Dipping Sauce for Coconut Shrimp
Traditionally, Coconut Shrimp is served with a sweet and slightly spicy chili sauce made with apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar, and chili paste, which I have included a recipe for in the recipe card. However, I find that store-bought or homemade Sweet Chili Sauce is the perfect stand-in for this sauce, as it has the same flavor profile.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Instead of baking Coconut Shrimp, you can opt to air fry it using an air fryer.
- Bread the shrimp as directed.
- Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with cooking spray and place a single layer of the breaded shrimp into the basket. Fry the shrimp in batches if needed, do not overlap the breaded shrimp.
- Spray the top of the shrimp with cooking spray.
- Air fry at 360 degrees F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway. Continue cooking for up to 2 minutes if desired for crispier breading.
- Repeat if needed with any remaining breaded shrimp.
More Shrimp Recipes
If you tried this recipe for Baked Coconut Shrimp, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- Cooking spray
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 pound raw large shrimp peeled and deveined with tails attached
- Sweet chili sauce for serving see notes for alternative recipe
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a rimmed, non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Set up the breading station by placing out 3 shallow dishes. Combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in one dish. Beat the eggs with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt in the second bowl. Combine the panko and coconut in the third bowl.
- Dry the shrimp with a paper towel then dip into the flour, shaking off excess. Dip the flour-coated shrimp into the eggs, shaking off excess, then into the coconut mixture. Be sure to gently press the coating onto the shrimp to adhere.
- Place the breaded shrimp onto the baking sheet and generously spray with cooking spray until the shrimp is glistening.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 6-7 minutes or until the breading is golden and the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.