Coconut Shrimp

coconut shrimp 1Several years back, Terry and I went out for supper at Red Lobster during their shrimp fest. Coconut shrimp with a wonderful piña colada dipping sauce was our favorite. We were in love.

Sometime later I decided to surprise Terry with homemade coconut shrimp for supper for Valentine’s Day or his birthday. This is the recipe that tasted great then and is still great today.

meal 2Frying is not normally my thing. I pan fry chicken fried chicken and I will pan fry thin chicken breasts for parmesan chicken, but I do not own a deep fryer, and I generally avoid fried foods. This coconut shrimp is a once or twice a year indulgence. My parents are visiting right now, and this is one of the things they have really enjoyed in the past, so I had to indulge. I served the shrimp as a meal with coleslaw, but it could also be used as an appetizer for a party.

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Coconut Shrimp


For the shrimp:shrimp and beer

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup beer**
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 24 large tail-on shrimp
  • oil for frying (I used canola)

For the dipping sauce:dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup piña colada mix
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Prepare three bowls for coating the shrimp. In a medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, beer, and baking powder. Place 1/4 cup flour in a separate small bowl and coconut in another small bowl. Line a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or wax paper. coating station
  2. Drop a few shrimp at a time in the bowl of flour and shake or toss to coat. Working one at a time, hold the shrimp by the tail and shake off excess flour. Dip in the batter, letting excess drip off, and then drop into the bowl of coconut and toss to coat. (Note: I find it easiest to drop the shrimp in the coconut and then use my hand to place coconut on the top side of the shrimp, pressing a little if needed. Place the coated shrimp on the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all shrimp are coated and pan is full.
  3. Place the pan of shrimp in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more or the freezer for 15 minutes or more before frying. *This step is very important; it is what will keep the batter on the shrimp for frying.
  4. While the shrimp is chilling, mix dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. When ready to cook, pour oil into the bottom of a frying pan until it is about 1/2-1 inch deep. Heat on medium (5-6 on my stove). When oil is hot, fry shrimp in batches about 2 minutes on each side until coconut is browned. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil until ready to eat. Repeat as needed. You will need to add more oil as you go. I also used a metal slotted spoon to remove extra coconut that falls off into the oil and burns during the process.
  6. Serve immediately with piña colada dipping sauce. Shrimp is best eaten immediately. Leftovers will be soggy as are most fried foods. plate

*Some people have successfully baked the shrimp rather than frying, but I have not tried it. They recommend 400 degrees.

**Terry likes cheap beer, so this batch was made with Extra Gold. I have also made it with Blue Moon. I don’t think it matters very much. One recipe reviewer substituted the beer with coconut milk and reported great results.


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