Five-Spice Coconut Shrimp

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
June 28, 2023 | Updated on October 13, 2023

Crispy coconut shrimp are well seasoned, coated in panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut, then deep fried until golden brown. Served with a side of spicy sweet honey-dijon apricot sauce, this easy coconut shrimp recipe works great as a party appetizer or dinner entree.

For more tasty shrimp recipes, try my Crispy Shrimp Burger, Honey Garlic Shrimp with Aleppo Pepper, Honey Walnut Shrimp, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, and Chimichurri Shrimp next.

five-spice coconut shrimp on a platter with honey dijon apricot sauce

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Coconut shrimp are juicy shrimp with a crunchy, slightly sweet coating. I’m sure you’ve had these delicious jumbo shrimp at restaurants but have ever tried them at home? They’re super easy to make, and only take about 35 minutes from start to finish.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Super Flavorful – This restaurant-style shrimp is seasoned with 5-spice powder, a Chinese dry powder made with fennel, cinnamon, and other warm spices for a distinct spicy, sweet taste.
  • Great Finger Food – Served with a zesty dipping sauce, this is an irresistible anytime snack or party appetizer that’s made to be devoured!
  • Versatile – Coconut shrimp is a delicious protein that pairs well with so much. Enjoy it with a salad, rice, or fries for an easy, satisfying meal.

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Coconut Shrimp

All you need is a few pantry staples and some raw shrimp to make this recipe for coconut shrimp.

Five-Spice Coconut Shrimp

  • 16/20 Count Shrimp: Peeled and devein the jumbo shrimp but leave the tail on.
  • Seasoning: I use Diamond Kosher salt, five-spice powder, and garlic powder, all seasoned to taste.
uncooked shrimp in a shallow bowl seasoned with five spice, garlic, and salt

First Bowl

  • All-purpose flour This ensures a crisp coating.
  • Seasoning  – I use kosher salt and five-spice powder.
  • Frying Oil  – Use vegetable oil for the best results.

Second Bowl

  • Egg – This helps the flour, coconut flakes, and bread crumbs adhere to the shrimp.
  • All-purpose flour  – This is the base of the beer batter.
  • Mexican lager  – This is a key ingredient for a light, crispy coating. Use very cold beer. I use Modelo.
  • Seasonings  – Season with garlic powder, five-spice powder, and kosher salt.

Third Bowl

  • Sweetened coconut flakes  – This adds a sweet, crisp quality to the shrimp. As the shrimp fries, the shredded coconut will begin to caramelize.
  • Panko breadcrumbs  – This is a salty, crunchy contrast that makes coconut shrimp hard to resist.

Honey-Dijon Apricot Sauce

  • Apricot preserves For a sticky, jammy, sweet quality.
  • Maille honey-dijon mustard – This adds a nice sweetness with a hint of spicy from the dijon.
  • Water Start with 1 teaspoon then add more depending on how thick you want the consistency of the sauce to be.
  • Aleppo pepper This enhances the overall flavor with a subtle spiciness.
  • Fresh ginger  Added to balance the sweetness of the sauce and give it a little zing.
  • Kosher salt Added to taste.
three bowls with dredge and batter ingredients

How To Make Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is coated three times, first with seasoned flour, then a beer batter, and finally a panko and coconut mixture. Once the marinated shrimp are all evenly coated, fry each of them to crispy, crunchy perfection!

  1. Season shrimp to taste. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, add enough oil to give you a depth of three inches in a 4-quart dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat until temp reaches 325°F.
  2. Prepare the sauce. Add ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
  3. Prepare the three bowls filled with the appropriate ingredients. Whisk to combine well. Hold shrimp by the tail and dredge in the seasoned flour mixture. Tap the excess flour then dip into the batter, allowing the excess batter to drip, then finish in the panko and coconut mixture, really pressing the shrimp to fully coat the coat. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer until you finish coating the batch of shrimp.
  4. Carefully place 4-5 shrimp in the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to maintain an oil temp range of 325°-350°F and not crowd the dutch oven. Place cooked shrimp on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
five-spice coconut shrimp dredged and breaded and laying on a baking sheet
five-spice coconut shrimp frying in oil

Variations

  • Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp – Coat them as detailed above then add the shrimp to an air fryer preheated to 360°F. Cook them for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Sauce – If you’d like another dipping sauce option, try my easy Thai sweet chili sauce recipe.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use large shrimp. They get smaller as they cook and you want something substantial to hold on to (which is also why I say keep the tails on).
  • Do not overcrowd the frying pan. If there are too many shrimp frying at once, the temperature of the oil will drop too much and affect may affect the crispiness of the shrimp.
  • Shrimp cook quickly so don’t take your eye off the stove. Jumbo shrimp only takes about 3 minutes to cook.
five-spice coconut shrimp on a platter on a wire rack

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For longer storage, flash freeze coconut shrimp then transfer them to a zip lock bag. Consume within 3 months.

To reheat frozen shrimp, bake them in an oven preheated to 400°F for about 20 minutes or until crispy. You can reheat refrigerated shrimp in the toaster oven or air fryer in order to retain that crunchy texture.

five-spice coconut shrimp on a platter with honey dijon apricot sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What tastes good with coconut shrimp?

Serve it restaurant-style with fries or roasted potatoes, like these Crispy Parmesan Potatoes or Air Fryer Potato Wedges. Alternatively, have coconut shrimp with white rice and a veggie. You can also add them to a salad.

Is coconut shrimp healthy to eat?

This recipe includes fried coconut shrimp so it’s best eaten in moderation. To reduce calories, bake or air fry them to use less oil.

What is coconut shrimp made of?

Coconut shrimp is more than just shrimp coated in coconut flakes. The breading coating is a three-bowl process that includes flour, cold beer, panko breadcrumbs, and a battered egg.

Looking for More Shrimp Recipes?

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five-spice coconut shrimp on a platter with honey dijon apricot sauce

Five-Spice Coconut Shrimp

Crispy coconut shrimp are well seasoned, coated in panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut, then deep fried until golden brown. Served with a side of spicy sweet honey-dijon apricot sauce, this easy coconut shrimp recipe works great as a party appetizer or dinner entree.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Seafood

Equipment

  • 4 quart dutch oven
  • Kitchen Thermoneter
  • ¼ baking sheet,
  • Wire Rack

Ingredients

Five-Spice Coconut Shrimp

  • 1 pound 16/20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • Diamond Kosher salt, season to taste
  • five-spice powder, season to taste
  • garlic powder, season to taste

First Bowl

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • oil for frying

Second Bowl

  • 1 large egg
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup Mexican lager, very cold, I use Modelo
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Third Bowl

  • cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • cup panko breadcrumbs

Honey-Dijon Apricot Sauce Sauce

  • ¼ cup apricot preserves
  • cup Maille honey-dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • teaspoon aleppo pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Season shrimp to taste. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, add enough oil to give you a depth of three inches in a 4-quart dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat until temp reaches 325°F.
  • Prepare the sauce. Add ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
  • Prepare the three bowls filled with the appropriate ingredients. Whisk to combine well. Hold shrimp by the tail and dredge in the seasoned flour mixture. Tap the excess flour then dip into the batter, allowing the excess batter to drip, then finish in the panko and coconut mixture, really pressing the shrimp to fully coat the coat. Place on a baking sheet until you finish coating the batch of shrimp.
  • Carefully place 4-5 shrimp in the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to maintain an oil temp range of 325°-350°F and not crowd the dutch oven. Place cooked shrimp on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Keywords coconut shrimp, coconut shrimp recipe, coconut shrimp recipes, coconut shrimp sauce, easy coconut shrimp recipe, how to make coconut shrimp, recipe for coconut shrimp, what to serve with coconut shrimp
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five-spice coconut shrimp on a platter with honey dijon apricot sauce

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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