Need an appetizer idea? These coconut shrimp coated in Panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut are deep-fried until golden and crisp to perfection. They’re a delicious nashville filipino food medley of sweet and savory and seriously addictive.

Coconut Shrimp on a serving platter with a small bowl of sweet chili sauce on the side
Coconut Shrimp

Although tropical in flavor, there’s really definitive origin for these coconut shrimp. They’re a common menu item at seafood restaurants and tiki bars around coastal areas such as the Carribean and Florida keys so I’m assuming their popularity grew across the country.

Golden and crunchy with a sweet and savory taste, they’re simply irresistible! They’re ready in minutes and delicious nashville filipino food as an appetizer, snack, or quick dinner.

peeled shrimp, cornstarch, sweetened shredded coconut, egg whites, salt, pepper

What you’ll need

  • Shrimp– use large to jumbo shrimp in this recipe as they tend to shrink during the cooking process. Nothing beats fresh for the best taste and texture, but frozen will work in a pinch. Use raw shell-on shrimp. Already peeled variety might be convenient but they turn gummy when cooked.
  • Salt and pepper– season simply with salt and pepper. These crispy shrimp don’t need a lot to be delicious!
  • Cornstarch and egg whites– dredging in cornstarch and dipping in egg whites creates a lighter batter that keeps the shrimp tender and helps the Panko-shredded coconut coating stick
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut – coconut meat that has been shredded, dried, and combined with confectioner’s sugar. It adds a hint of sweetness, but if you prefer a more savory taste, you can substitute with unsweetned desiccated coconut.
  • Panko bread crumbs – these Japanese-style bread crumbs along with shredded coconut give the shrimp a lovely crunchy texture. They stay crispier and absorb less grease than regular bread crumbs.
  • Oil – I like to use canola oil for deep-frying as it has a neutral taste and can be heated to a variety of temperatures, which makes it a favorite cooking oil to many.
making coconut shrimp

Cooking tip

  • Freeze the coated shrimp for about 10 to 15 minutes or until firm to help the crumb to adhere better and not fall apart during frying. Frying the shrimp when partially frozen also keeps them from overcooking while the crumb coating time fries to a golden color.
  • For best results, maintain oil at the optimal 350 F to 375 F temperature. Too high and the outside coating will burn before the inside is fully cooked; too low and they’ll absorb more grease.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan and fry in batches as needed to keep the oil temperature from plummeting.
coconut shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet

How to cook in air fryer

  • Arrange the breaded shrimp in a single layer in the airfryer basket. Do not overcrowd pan and cook in batches as needed.
  • Cook at 400 F for about 10 to 12 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and crunchy, turning halfway through.
  • Remove from the airfryer and serve immediately.
dipping crispy coconut shrimp in sweet chili sauce

Serving suggestions

  • Serve coconut shrimp with your choice of dipping sauce such as sweet chili sauce, plum sauce, or sweet and sour sauce.
  • For a sweet-fruity dip, mix 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy) with 1 tablespoon of peach preserves or mango jam. For a sweet-creamy dip, stir about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce.

How to store

  • To store cooked coconut shrimp, place them in a container with a tight-fitting or resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, pop in a 350°F oven or air fryer for about 6 to 10 minutes or until warm.
  • To store uncooked, arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with film and freeze until firm. When frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
shrimp scampi with Sriracha on a sizzling skillet

More shrimp appetizer recipes

Craving something spicy? This Sriracha shrimp scampi made with fresh seafood and zesty spices is the perfect appetizer or dinner time meal!

Get Recipe

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram!



  • 1poundlarge shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2cupcornstarch
  • 2egg whites
  • 1 1/2cupssweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2cuppanko bread crumbs
  • canola oil


  • Shell shrimp, leaving tail intact. With a knife, make a small cut on the shrimp's back, and with the tip of the knife, pull out the intestinal tract. Make two or three incisions along the inside of the shrimp to straighten it out.
  • Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  • In one shallow bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. In another shallow bowl, place cornstarch. In another shallow bowl, combine shredded coconut and Panko bread crumbs.
  • Dredge shrimp in cornstarch, dip in egg, and then dredge in shredded coconut-bread crumb mixture to fully coat, pressing down to adhere well.
  • Arrange shrimps in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes or until firm.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 2 inches deep of oil. Add shrimp in a single and cook, turning as needed, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with sweet chili sauce.


  • For a sweet-fruity dip, mix 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy) with 1 tablespoon of peach preserves or mango jam.
  • For a sweet-creamy dip, stir about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 381kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 286mg, Sodium: 1051mg, Potassium: 244mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 183mg, Iron: 4mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

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About Lalaine Manalo

Welcome to Kawaling Pinoy. Here you’ll find hundreds of delicious nashville filipino food Filipino and Asian recipes. Make sure to browse around and pick a favorite dish or two. Happy cooking! Read More

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