Coconut Shrimp with Easy Dipping Sauce


Coconut shrimp is a delightful appetizer or main course that brings a taste of the tropics to your table. This dish features succulent shrimp coated in a crispy coconut and panko breadcrumb mixture, fried to golden perfection, and served with a tangy and sweet dipping sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or an impressive party snack, this recipe is sure to please any crowd.

Overview of the Recipe

This coconut shrimp recipe combines the natural sweetness of coconut with the crunch of panko breadcrumbs, creating a texture and flavor combination that’s hard to resist. The shrimp are easy to prepare and cook quickly, making this dish both delicious and convenient. The accompanying dipping sauce, made from mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard, lime juice, and soy sauce, adds a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors that complement the shrimp beautifully.

History and Origin

Coconut shrimp is believed to have originated in tropical regions where coconut and seafood are abundant. It’s a popular dish in Caribbean and Southeast Asian cuisines, where coconut is a staple ingredient. The combination of coconut and shrimp likely developed as a way to utilize these plentiful resources, resulting in a dish that’s both flavorful and representative of its tropical origins. Over time, coconut shrimp has become a favorite in many parts of the world, appreciated for its unique taste and texture.



  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. Prepare the Coating:
    • In a shallow bowl, mix the shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.
    • In another bowl, place the flour.
    • In a third bowl, beat the eggs with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat the Shrimp:
    • Dredge each shrimp in flour, shaking off the excess.
    • Dip in the egg mixture, ensuring each shrimp is well-coated.
    • Finally, coat the shrimp with the coconut mixture, pressing lightly to ensure the mixture adheres well.
  3. Fry the Shrimp:
    • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Fry the shrimp in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
    • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Prepare the Dipping Sauce:
    • In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard, lime juice, and soy sauce.
    • Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  5. Serve:
    • Serve the crispy coconut shrimp with the prepared dipping sauce.


This recipe serves approximately 4 people as a main dish or more as an appetizer. It’s best served hot, right after frying, to maintain the crispy texture of the shrimp.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Coconut shrimp pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides and beverages. Consider serving it with:

  • A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette
  • Steamed jasmine rice or coconut rice
  • Tropical fruit salad
  • Iced tea, lemonade, or a refreshing tropical fruit punch

Variations of the Recipe

There are many ways to adapt and enhance this coconut shrimp recipe:

  • Baked Coconut Shrimp: For a healthier version, bake the shrimp instead of frying. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  • Spicy Coconut Shrimp: Add some heat by mixing cayenne pepper or chili powder into the coconut and panko mixture.
  • Gluten-Free Coconut Shrimp: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and flour to make this dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Health Benefits

Shrimp is a great source of protein and contains several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Coconut, although high in fat, contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can provide quick energy and potentially support weight management. When eaten in moderation and prepared with healthier cooking methods like baking, coconut shrimp can be a nutritious and satisfying option.


  • Ensure the oil is hot enough before frying the shrimp to achieve a crispy texture without absorbing too much oil.
  • You can prepare the shrimp ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
  • The dipping sauce can be adjusted to taste; add more lime juice for tanginess or honey for sweetness.


Q: Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?
A: Yes, just make sure to thaw them completely and pat them dry before coating and frying.

Q: What type of coconut should I use?
A: Use unsweetened shredded coconut for a more balanced flavor. Sweetened coconut can make the shrimp too sweet.

Q: Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?
A: You can coat the shrimp in advance and keep them in the fridge. Fry them just before serving to ensure they stay crispy.

Q: How do I store leftovers?
A: Store any leftover shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in an oven to maintain crispiness.


Coconut shrimp with an easy dipping sauce is a delicious and impressive dish that’s surprisingly simple to make. With its tropical flavors and satisfying crunch, it’s perfect for any occasion, from casual family dinners to festive gatherings. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. Enjoy the taste of the tropics any time with this delightful coconut shrimp recipe!

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