Monday, August 4, 2014

Coconut Shrimp

Until a couple of years ago, the extent of my shrimp knowledge was to remove the tail and dip directly in cocktail sauce. Oh how far we've come. I have since had peanut shrimp, coconut shrimp, jumbo shrimp, all the shrimps! Coconut is a favorite though so that along with the coconut oil frosting success inspired me to try making healthier coconut shrimp.

Melting coconut oil
Instead of using vegetable or canola oil to fry these puppies, I used the ever-abundant tub of coconut oil. The rest of the process remains the same with the thawing and de-tailing of the shrimp. I keep frozen shrimp in my freezer for quick dinners but it requires defrosting them which means they are ice cold when you remove the tails. Riddle me this: why would you leave the tails on when you're putting the shrimp into a bowl of pasta, for example? This is my new pet peeve: getting shrimp at a restaurant in a mixture of hot goodness but then having to take off the tails myself. Why yes, I would love to stick my hands in my curry soup to remove the shells of my shellfish. Rant over. No it's not, I also don't want to de-tail shrimp in my fajita.

Stop, in the name of shrimp!
Okay, now I'm done. The de-tailed (deveined?) shrimp are placed in flour and then bathed in egg before being covered in bread crumbs. I used panko bread crumbs for an extra crispy result. Panko bread crumbs are often used in sushi or other Asian cuisines. They're much lighter than straight up bread crumbs. The shrimp are then gently placed in the heated oil (avoid splashing!) and turned over when golden brown.

Close up of panko
One thing I learned from this process is once the oil is heated, it's best to reduce the heat. Otherwise you end up with golden brown shrimps on the outside and not so cooked shrimp on the inside (or cooked shrimp on the inside and burned panko on the outside).

Bubble, bubble, boil and bubble
I was hoping there would be a stronger coconut flavor to these, resembling coconut shrimp without the coconut mixture. But there was really only a hint. So if you don't like coconut, this would be a healthy alternative to vegetable oil but if you dooo like coconut shrimp, I feel that mixing coconut with the bread crumbs would give it more flavor. 

This is definitely not the end of my shrimp experimenting. Nor is it the beginning, pineapple shrimp kabobs weren't so great so not very blog worthy. Overall, shrimp on the barby is a great idea though!

With a side of chipotle mustard, this was delicious

  • Shrimp (uncooked, de-tailed)
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko bread crumbs (or regular ones)
  • Coconut Oil
  1. Once the shrimp have been thawed, carefully remove the shells and tails. Set raw shrimp aside and discard the shells.
  2. In three small bowls, add flour, eggs and bread crumbs to each (separately). The amount you use will vary depending on how many shrimp you make but you can always add more if you run out.
  3. Add a lump of coconut oil to a skillet and begin to heat until the oil has melted. Again, the amount you need will depend on how much shrimp you make and can always be increased.
  4. While the oil is melting and heating, dip one shrimp at a time in the flour. Once coated, transfer to the egg wash to completely coat. Allow any excess egg to run off into the bowl before dipping in bread crumbs.
  5. Once coated in bread crumbs, carefully add the shrimp to the oil. Avoid splashing the oil as it will be very hot. Allow to cook until golden brown.
  6. Using tongs, remove the cooked shrimp from the pan and lay on a plate covered in a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.
  7. Repeat with each shrimp. You may need to lower your burner heat as the oil becomes hot to prevent the bread crumbs from burning before the shrimp is cooked.
  8. Serve with your desired sauce-- tartar sauce, mustard, cocktail sauce, etc. 


  1. Have you ever tried eating the tail of your fried shrimp? More crunchy, salty goodness for your buck. I even do it with cocktail shrimp.

  2. Interesting tip! Thanks for reading :)