I have been testing this Coconut Shrimp recipe on and off for years and I finally got it perfectly crispy and coconutty! The combo of a light and airy batter and crunchy breading make for the best Coconut Shrimp you've ever tasted.
I like to serve these with some grilled pineapple that I slice fresh and toss on the bbq real quick. You can even chop some up and make a sauce for the coconut shrimp by combining some grilled pineapple and sweet chili sauce for the perfect dip for this shrimp!
To make the shrimp, I love to use this coconut panko that I came across. I bolster the flavor with more shredded coconut, but it is a great base. The other most important ingredient is sparkling water. It gives the batter great lift because all the bubbles pop during frying and keep it really airy and crisp.
My favorite shrimp to use are argentine red shrimp. They are like the lobster of the shrimp world. Their flavor is so light and they cook up so tender. They grow in the cool waters of Argentina and are just absolutely delicious!
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
First, whip up the batter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and roasted garlic powder with the egg and sparkling water. The roasted garlic powder gives this batter such great flavor and the smell is so good too!
Next, line up a breading station by seasoning the flour with some salt and pepper, and mixing up the panko with the extra coconut.
Dust the shrimp in the flour, dip in the batter, and coat in the panko and coconut. And the best key to getting the batter to really stick well is to put the coated shrimp in the freezer for 20-30 minutes and then fry them to a golden brown.
Serve the shrimp with some lightly grilled pineapple and mix some of it in with sweet chili sauce to make the perfect dip for these Coconut Shrimp.
Notes & Tips
Getting a slight chill on the shrimp after they have been breaded helps the coating to stick during frying and not fall off. You can also freeze the breaded shrimp on the pan and then transfer them to a freezer bag and keep them frozen for up to 3 months.
Slice a fresh pineapple, remove the core, and throw the slices on the grill. Chop some up really nice and fine and stir together with sweet chili sauce to make a perfect Coconut Shrimp dipping sauce. Enjoy the remaining grilled pineapple as a side.
I like to serve these shrimp over my Pineapple Coconut Rice to round out a perfect meal.
While any shrimp can really be used for this recipe, I highly encourage getting your hands on some Argentinian Red Shrimp, they are just that good. I find them at Sam's Club and Costco these days.
If you would like to keep this recipe gluten-free, you can swap the AP flour for rice flour.
Roasted Garlic Powder is my little secret weapon. If you can not find it, use regular garlic powder, but not granulated garlic.
I use topo chico because I keep it in my house. You can use any neutral-flavored sparkling water you have, just nothing flavored.