What Is Coconut Shrimp?

Christina Edwards

Coconut shrimp is a type of breaded shrimp. As it's name suggests, it is covered with coconut before cooking. These shrimp are usually dipped into beaten eggs before they are rolled in coconut. This helps ensure that an adequate amount of coconut sticks to the shrimp. Recipes for coconut shrimp sometimes vary, and the dish can be eaten a few ways.


Coconut shrimp is coated with flakes of dried coconut. It is then deep fried or baked. Unlike other types of breaded shrimp, it is usually a little sweet, with the taste of coconut.

Coconut shrimp is coated with flakes of dried coconut, then fried.
Coconut shrimp is coated with flakes of dried coconut, then fried.

To make the coconut stick to the shrimp, it is first dipped into a liquid substance. Some chefs use plain water or milk. Most cooks, however, use well-beaten eggs. Just the egg whites can also be used.

After the shrimp is dipped into the egg mixture, it is then rolled in coconut. Dried coconut flakes are usually used. Bread crumbs can also be added to the coconut. This will make the outside coating of the coconut shrimp a bit crispier.

Most chefs cook shrimp of this sort in a deep fryer. This kitchen appliance heats a large amount of oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). The coconut shrimp are removed when they turn golden brown and placed on several layers of paper towels. If a deep fryer is not available, a large pan or pot will also suffice.

For a healthier version of coconut shrimp, some cooks bake this dish. This eliminates the added fat from the oil. To do this, a layer of coconut shrimp is put on a baking sheet. They are then put in a 400 degree Fahrenheit (205 degree Celsius) oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. To ensure even browning, the shrimp should be turned halfway through the baking time.

Some of the variations on traditional coconut shrimp are rather plain, but others add a few extra ingredients. Spicy coconut shrimp can be made by adding cayenne pepper to the mix. Sweet shrimp can be made by adding honey or sugar to the egg mixture.

Coconut shrimp can be served as an hor d'oevre or as an entree. It is usually served with a dipping sauce on the side. A regular cocktail sauce usually won't complement the flavor of these shrimp well, and sweet sauces are often preferred. These sauces are often made from either pineapple or orange marmalade.

Most chefs cook coconut shrimp in a deep fryer.
Most chefs cook coconut shrimp in a deep fryer.

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Discussion Comments


I'm a coconut fiend, so this is a dish I love. @Grivusangel -- I'll have to keep my eyes open for the crystal coconut shrimp at my local Chinese restaurant. It sounds yummy!

I especially like coconut shrimp with a spicy lime creamy dipping sauce. That stuff is the bomb! I could eat it all day long. I could make myself sick eating coconut shrimp.


Around here, Chinese restaurants have something called "Crystal coconut shrimp" on the menu. It's usually a wedding dish. It consists of shrimp battered and fried, with a sauce of mayonnaise and coconut milk over it. It sounds really strange, but it is tasty!

I got some as takeout, got it home and put curry powder on it. Oh, but it was good!

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