Coconut Shrimp


 Elaine Lemm

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 23 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Yields: 10 to 12 pieces

Imagine biting into a delicious deep-fried shrimp covered in a light tempura-like batter flavored with the taste of coconut - scrumptious. This coconut shrimp recipe is fantastic to serve as an appetizer, tapas plate, or party food. Excellent eaten on its own or served with sweet-spicy sauces or a fresh mango dip. And, better still it is quick and very easy to make.


  • 10 to 12 large fresh or frozen shrimp (if frozen, thaw quickly in a bowl of tepid water)
  • 1/2 cup regular white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cold sparkling water
  • 1/2 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)
  • 1 cup coconut oil, or canola, corn, or other high-temperature oil for deep-frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Remove shells from shrimp, but leave tails on for easier cooking and eating. Set aside.

     Elaine Lemm
  2. Make the batter by first mixing the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

    Elaine Lemm 
  3. Crack the egg into the flour mixture, then add the water, stirring to break the yolk, and form a fairly smooth batter (don't worry if there are a few small lumps).

     Elaine Lemm
  4. Spread coconut over a plate or other dry surface, and set beside the bowl of batter. Then hold the shrimp by the tail,(using tongs make this easier) and dip into the batter.

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  5. Take the batter coated shrimp and immediately drop it into the coconut, roll it around to make sure it is coated, then lift and place onto a kitchen-paper covered plate.

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  6. Pour oil into a frying pan, ensuring it's at least 1 inch deep. Set over medium-high to high heat. Test the temperature by dropping a tiny bit of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and cooks, the oil is ready. Drop a few shrimp at a time into the hot oil, reduce the heat to medium and fry quickly turning frequently. You will need about 20 seconds on each side.

     Elaine Lemm
  7. Cook about 20 seconds per side, then turn with tongs. Remove from the oil when shrimp turn a light to medium golden brown. Drain on a clean piece of parchment paper. Serve hot straight from the pan, or accompany with a sweet chili sauce or a fresh mango dip.

     Elaine Lemm

Recipe Variations

  • In this recipe the shrimp is quickly and lightly fried in oil, this makes the coconut tempura extremely crisp. If, however, you are watching the calories or prefer to avoid oil for any other reason, then the shrimp can be oven-baked. Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a parchment covered baking on the middle shelf. Follow steps 1 through to 5, then place the battered shrimp onto the preheated tray and bake for 10 minutes turning halfway through and the shrimp are ready when the batter is golden and crisp.
  • To make these gluten-free friendly, swap the white flour for a mixture of 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch.