Pan-Fried Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Whether you're planning to serve it as an appetizer or a main course, coconut shrimp is undoubtedly one of the most popular ways to dress up shrimp. Most of us have a go-to restaurant that serves this delicious dish, but you can also make it at home easily. This recipe features a sweet, coconut-based batter that fries up perfectly — the only hard part is choosing what sauce to dip them in. 

Recipe developer Michelle McGlinn came up with this pan-fried, coconut shrimp recipe, and it does not disappoint. "Coconut shrimp is a delicious appetizer or side, and is especially good for serving [to] guests. I know we are all used to the frozen kind, but making them fresh is super easy, and tastes infinitely better," McGlinn raves. "The coconut breading is crispy and crunchy, and you can customize the seasoning super easily. You can add cayenne, ginger powder, garlic powder, or chili flakes to the flour for different flavors." Keep reading to find out how to make this easy coconut shrimp recipe.

Gather the ingredients for this pan-fried, coconut shrimp recipe

Believe it or not, this recipe requires just a handful of ingredients. You only need jumbo, tail-on shrimp, flour, ground white pepper, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, shredded coconut flakes, and a neutral oil for pan frying. "There's not really a special ingredient, but white pepper is worth mentioning as a swap for black pepper — it's earthier, a bit sweeter, and goes really well with coconut," McGlinn says. "Of course, you can use black pepper, and you can add salt if you'd like. I don't think this needs salt, but it won't hurt the dish by any means." Once you have those items, you can make this pan-fried, coconut shrimp.

Set up the dredging station

To make the dredging station, you will need 3 shallow bowls. Add the flour and white pepper to the first bowl, and mix to combine. In the second bowl, beat in the eggs, until scrambled. Last but not least, combine the panko breadcrumbs and coconut in the third bowl. 

"You don't have to use panko [breadcrumbs], but I highly recommend it. It is crunchier and coarser than regular breadcrumbs, so [it's] perfect for crispy, crunchy, coconut shrimp," McGliin notes. "You don't have to measure everything out, but if you're eyeballing the dredge [mixture], make sure to add more coconut than panko, or you'll have a breading-heavy shrimp."

Dredge the shrimp

Add the shrimp to the flour mixture first, making sure to coat it on both sides. Then, hold the shrimp by its tail, and submerge it fully into the egg mixture to coat. "I suggest keeping the tails on so when you dredge, you can grip them by the tails, and dunk them in each bowl without getting your hands too messy," McGlinn says. Next, dredge the shrimp in the panko-coconut mixture, pressing each side of the shrimp firmly to coat. Repeat those steps with the remaining shrimp.

Heat the oil

Add ¼ inch of oil to a frying pan. "You also don't need to measure the oil precisely — just make sure there's a generous amount in the skillet," McGlinn says. "You don't need to submerge the shrimp in oil, but you'll want enough so that the oil comes up less than halfway [on] the shrimp. It isn't deep frying, but you'll still want enough oil for a shallow fry." Heat the oil over medium heat, until a speck of flour sizzles immediately when it hits the oil.

Cook the shrimp

Once the oil is hot, and the shrimp, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. "Shrimp cook quickly, so after a minute or so, it is to your discretion how brown the breading should be," McGlinn adds. Once done, remove the shrimp from the skillet, and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook in batches. Don't worry if any batter falls off the shrimp in the skillet — it won't affect how delicious it is. 

Serve and enjoy

Now, it's time to dig in. This shrimp dish is a great main course or an excellent starter, so just serve it as desired.  McGlinn also shares a few of her favorite serving suggestions to take this dish to the next level."Definitely serve these with a sauce: sweet chili sauce, sriracha mayo (my favorite), orange marmalade and chili sauce, or soy ginger sauce," McGlinn suggests. "Serve with either lemon or lime [wedges] (I thought both were good), and a sprinkling of parsley or cilantro (again, both work). These go well with noodles, egg rolls, potstickers, and bao buns."

Pan-Fried Coconut Shrimp Recipe
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You don't have to order takeout from your favorite seafood restaurant, thanks to this easy, pan-fried, coconut shrimp recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
coconut shrimp with dip
Total time: 20 minutes
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 pound tail-on jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup oil, for frying
  1. Prepare the dredging station. In the first bowl, mix the flour and white pepper together. In the second bowl, beat the eggs. In the third bowl, toss together the panko breadcrumbs and coconut, until well-combined.
  2. Dunk the shrimp in the flour first, coating on both sides. Holding the shrimp by the tail, dip it fully into the egg mixture. Finally, dredge the shrimp in the panko-coconut mixture, pressing firmly to coat each side. Repeat the steps with the remaining shrimp.
  3. In a frying pan, add ¼ inch of oil. Heat over medium, until a bit of flour sizzles immediately.
  4. Add the shrimp to the hot oil, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet, and place the shrimp on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm with your favorite sauce.
Calories per Serving 591
Total Fat 43.7 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 262.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Total Sugars 1.9 g
Sodium 184.4 mg
Protein 29.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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