For a simple yet flavorful appetizer that will impress friends and family, baked coconut shrimp are sure to hit the spot. These easy, baked coconut shrimp are sweet and savory, with a crispy, crunchy outside and tender inside that makes them hard to resist.
This recipe is the baked version of classic fried coconut shrimp, and because it's prepared in the oven, is a healthier recipe. Baked coconut shrimp is a phenomenal dish to serve up at holidays, for parties, or anytime you're entertaining a group of people. Serve them with a sweet and spicy dip and we can guarantee they'll disappear quickly!
You can use fresh or frozen shrimp to make your baked coconut shrimp, however, we find that fresh shrimp gives the best results.
To get that perfectly crispy, crunchy texture, you'll need panko breadcrumbs – nothing else quite compares to panko. Mix the panko with sweetened coconut flakes and a dash of salt.
You'll also need an egg and some flour. If you're not keen on using flour, cornstarch is a good substitute. These are essential for helping the panko batter to stick to the shrimp.
To make the sweet and spicy dipping sauce, you'll need apricot preserves, chili flakes, and some rice wine vinegar.
Baked coconut shrimp only take half an hour to make, so it's ideal when you need a quick appetizer before your guests arrive. Start by preheating your oven to 425F and spraying a baking tray with cooking spray.
Whisk the coconut, panko, and salt in a small bowl. Beat the egg in a second bowl, then pour the flour onto a shallow plate. Season your shrimp with a generous pinch of salt, then dredge them through the flour, then the egg, and finally, the coconut-panko mixture.
Put the shrimp on the prepared baking tray, then give them a quick spray with the cooking spray. This will help them get extra crispy and golden. Bake the shrimp for 10 minutes, then flip them and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
While your shrimp are in the oven, whisk the apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar, and chili flakes in a small serving bowl. Take the shrimp out of the oven and serve them with the dipping sauce while they're good and hot.
When served as an appetizer, baked coconut shrimp should be dished up with a dipping sauce like the easy sweet, spicy, tangy dipping sauce we've included here.
While coconut shrimp make a great appetizer, you can also serve them with a variety of sides to turn this dish into a main meal. Enjoy your baked coconut shrimp with some fried rice, Asian coleslaw, roasted vegetables, French fries, onion rings, rice noodles, or pop them into tacos.
You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by swapping gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour and using gluten-free panko instead of regular panko.
If you prefer not to use egg, butter, milk, or cream are excellent substitutes. For a vegan-friendly option, a flour and water slurry or aquafaba are great choices.
If you want to make your coconut shrimp in an air fryer, simply preheat your air fryer to 375F. Batter the shrimp, then lay them down in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer. Spray them with cooking spray, then fry the shrimp for 4 minutes, then flip them and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Keep in mind you'll need to work in batches if you're cooking coconut shrimp in an air fryer, but the results will be just as tasty!
Wait for the shrimp to cool, then place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Grease a baking tray with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk coconut, panko, and salt. In a second bowl, beat an egg. Pour the flour onto a plate.
Season the shrimp with salt. Dredge each shrimp in the flour, then the egg, then the coconut-panko mixture. Arrange on the baking tray.
Once all the shrimp have been coated, spray them with extra cooking spray. Bake them for 10 minutes, flip them, then cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
While the shrimp are baking, whisk the apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar, and chili flakes in a small serving bowl.
Serve the shrimp hot with the dipping sauce.
Use sugar-free preserves, if you prefer.