Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

5 from 13 reviews

Crispy crunchy flavor-packed Coconut Shrimp with easy, Sweet Chili Sauce is sure to be a hit at your house!


Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (fresh chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Coconut Shrimp

  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined with tails attached
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together rice vinegar, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, and sambal oelek. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer.  Mix 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch.  Whisk it into the chili sauce mixture and cook until slightly thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  2. Arrange 3 shallow bowls in a row. In the first bowl, whisk together the flour, black pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  In the second bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  In the third bowl, mix together the sweetened coconut flakes and panko bread crumbs.
  3. Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven to 375 degrees. Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, then in the eggs, and finally in the coconut mixture.  Drop into the oil and cook until golden brown, flipping halfway through the cooking process; approximately 3 minutes.    Remove to paper towels to drain.  Serve warm with the Sweet Chili Sauce.


  • Sambal Oelek (ground fresh chili paste) can be found in the Asian food section of the grocery store. It has a very long shelf life (6-9 months) if stored in the fridge, so you can use it for some of my other recipes, like Bang Bang Shrimp.
  • Use good quality fresh or frozen large or jumbo shrimp.  Prep the shrimp ahead of time by peeling (leave the tails intact) and deveining them. Dry them well with paper towels.
  • For an even finer, crunchier crust, pulse the flaked coconut in a food processor for 3-4 pulses before mixing with the panko bread crumbs.
  • Fry the shrimp in batches, and do not crowd the skillet.
  • For frying, use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable or canola oil.
  • You can bake these in the oven, but the breading will not be as crisp as fried. Spray both sides of the shrimp with cooking spray and lay the shrimp out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Leave some space between them for hot air to flow. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then flip them and bake for another 5-6 minutes. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a single layer in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 3-4 minutes or in an air fryer at 350 degrees for 2 minutes

Keywords: fried coconut shrimp, how to make coconut shrimp, homemade coconut shrimp, what is coconut shrimp

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