Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce

We recently were on a little road trip and the nearest restaurant to our hotel was an Outback Steakhouse.

My daughter fell in love with their coconut shrimp and I could put the orange dipping sauce on everything in sight.

Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce - Plump, juicy shrimp with a crispy, crunchy coconut coating!! Fast, easy, and better than you get in restaurants! Will be your new favorite shrimp recipe!!

I made a copycat version of the Outback shrimp and sauce and the recipe is fast, easy, and trumps the restaurant shrimp, if I do say so.

Perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of coconut flavor without being heavy or greasy. Even if you don’t love coconut, this recipe could make you change your mind.

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Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce - Plump, juicy shrimp with a crispy, crunchy coconut coating!! Fast, easy, and better than you get in restaurants! Will be your new favorite shrimp recipe!!

It’s a three bowl battering process. First, dip the shrimp into one bowl containing flour, then dunk into a bowl with beaten eggs, and then dredge in bowl containing a coconut and Panko breadcrumbs before frying. I fry in canola oil because it’s less expensive than coconut oil but coconut oil will give you an extra pop of coconut flavor.

Use sweetened shredded coconut and Panko breadcrumbs for the best results. Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese breadcrumbs used for tempura because they get much crispier than traditional breadcrumbs. They’re usually found next to traditional breadcrumbs at your grocery store. Make this or this with the leftovers in the box.

Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce - Plump, juicy shrimp with a crispy, crunchy coconut coating!! Fast, easy, and better than you get in restaurants! Will be your new favorite shrimp recipe!!

The Thai chili sauce adds savoriness and heat to the sweet orange marmalade and the spicy-sweetness of the dip is addictively good.

My family was fighting over the last shrimp.

Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce - Plump, juicy shrimp with a crispy, crunchy coconut coating!! Fast, easy, and better than you get in restaurants! Will be your new favorite shrimp recipe!!

Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce

The recipe is an Outback Steakhouse copycat, fast, easy, and guaranteed to trump restaurant and take-out versions. Perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of coconut flavor without being heavy or greasy. It’s a three bowl battering process – flour, eggs, and coconut and Panko breadcrumbs before frying. I fry in canola oil because it’s less expensive than coconut oil but coconut oil gives an extra pop of coconut flavor. Use sweetened shredded coconut and Panko breadcrumbs for the best results. The Thai chili sauce adds savoriness and heat to the sweet orange marmalade and the spicy-sweetness of the dip is addictively good.

Ingredients:

Shrimp

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • about 2 cups canola, vegetable, or coconut oil, for frying

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/3 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste

Directions:

  1. Shrimp – Clean the shrimp; set aside.
  2. To a small bowl, add the flour, salt and pepper, stir to combine; set aside.
  3. To a separate small bowl, add the eggs and beat; set aside.
  4. To a separate medium bowl, add the coconut, Panko, stir to combine; set aside.
  5. To a Dutch oven or large skillet, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. While oil heats up, begin the battering process.
  6. Dip 1 shrimp in flour, dunk in egg, and dredge very well in the coconut-Panko mixture pressing it on as needed to ensure shrimp is very well coated (I re-drege some of the more skimpy-coated shrimp if I have extra coating mixture after they’ve all been coated once); set aside on a platter while you repeat battering process with all remaining shrimp. After all shrimp have been battered, begin frying. I take the temperature of the oil and 325F to 350F is recommended for best results; wait to fry until your oil is hot enough to ensure a crispy coating.
  7. Add the shrimp in small batches (4 to 6 at a time) to the hot oil, frying for about 2 to 4 minutes, flipping as necessary, and frying until as dark and crispy as desired. Frying time will vary based on pan size, size of shrimp, and personal preference. Frying in small batches helps the oil stay at a hotter temperature which ensures a crispy crust. After frying, remove from oil, place on paper towels, and continue the frying process until all shrimp have been fried.
  8. Sauce – To a small bowl, add the marmalade, Thai chili sauce, optional salt, optional cayenne pepper, stir to combine, taste, and adjust ratios if desired. Serve shrimp and sauce immediately. Shrimp are best warm and fresh although leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheating in a 350F oven is better than microwaving to help coating stay as crispy as possible.
Only Eats

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43 comments on “Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce”

  1. I am loving your savory dishes Averie! Every single one is calling my name, especially this one. We love shrimp and if it’s fried Jordan will eat it. LOVE this recipe!

    • Glad you’re loving them and sounds like Jordan is a little shrimp fan! And I think this is quite possibly the first fried food recipe I have EVER posted on my site in 6+ years of blogging :)

  2. YES! The sauce itself is amazing and couldn’t be easier to make! LOVE this! 

  3. Oooh looks so crispy and delicious Averie! Yum! 

  4. This looks so fantastic! The dipping sauce looks so addicting.

  5. Being so close to the Mexico border (I’m near Nogales right now), all I want is anything tropical and this sounds SO GOOD.  I have a microwave only to cook in right now, so this will sadly have to wait until I get home, but seriously, I LOVE shrimp.  I know it s probably all kinds of cooking faux pas to leave off the coconut, but…well, meh.

    • Welcome to my life, 9 miles from Mexico every day. And every day I want to have guac, margaritas, and these shrimp wouldn’t be too shabby on the regular :)

      However…and you know I am all about, oh just substitute this or that, go with what you have and it’ll be fine. No, not here. You HAVE TO USE coconut. I know you don’t like it that much but it’s just THE clincher for this recipe. It’s a game-changer. It’s mandatory!! You will love it and if you don’t, send me your grocery bill :)

  6. Looks delicious but I am fry-phobic (is that a word?). Can I bake ’em instead? Thanks.

    • This is the first fried recipe I’ve ever post on my blog in 6+ years because I hate frying as well…but in this case, there’s just no way around it. You can bake them but the coating likely won’t get crispy and that’s just so key. If you do bake, LMK how it goes!

  7. I love your shrimp recipes..and that dipping sauce would be so good on chicken too.  Have to give this a try.  

  8. I love your savory recipes–they are all easy to do and so good! I still want to try your sweet and sour recipe from last week. A shrimp fest might be in order for the weekend because today’s recipe looks awesome too!

    • Thanks for the compliments and the two dishes are so vastly different in taste…so you can have a shrimp fest and not feeling like you’re ‘repeating’ a recipe or eating almost the same thing!

  9. I LOVE coconut shrimp – I order it at nearly every seafood restaurant. I must make this easy recipe at home! And that dipping sauce? Just a bonus – sounds amazing, too! 

  10. This looks so delicious! I want to make it for dinner tonight. That dipping sauce I just want to put on everything!! Delicious :)

  11. Goodness gracious these shrimp are GORGEOUS! And that dipping sauce….oh man! Sign me up! Pinned!

  12. Oh my goodness, this is too much! I’m all over this crispy coconut coating and don’t even get me started on the dipping sauce! Delicious!

  13. Yum! I want a plate full of this shrimp right now!

  14. These look great- and it just so happens I have all the things to make them for dinner!

  15. My dipping sauce for coconut battered shrimp or chicken bites is a combination of orange marmalade, horseradish & dijon mustard. I’ll give yours a try.

    • orange marmalade, horseradish & dijon mustard = that sounds amazing! I love horseradish and mustard. And well marmalade, too! The chili sauce I used gives a different kind of heat than horseradish/mustard do, but I want to try your way next!

  16. This looks so fantastic! I can make my children eat.

  17. Hm my comment was just blocked saying its spam :( oh well I hope this one works as I love this recipe so much and would like to tell you how I would have all of it to my own without sharing a bite. Shrimp is a staple in our house and the sweet and spicy sauce is great.

  18. Not going to lie – I’m always secretly a bit happy when I’m traveling and the only choice for dinner is Outback.  We stayed in a hotel on the same block as one in Singapore of all places and if not for all the other good eating to do there, it might have made the list. ;)  This looks amazing – crispy and delicious!

    • I used to go to Outback on purpose just for the Wallaby Darned’s. I love those things, with the extra floater on top, of course :) Glad you are secretly happy about some Outback action, too!

  19. I am dreaming this coconut shrimp recipe and I think my dream comes true. This Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce recipe looks great and amazing .The images looks very nutritious and delicious. I like the combinations of your ingredients with chilli dipping sauce, pretty cool perfect for healthy eating. I am excited to try this. Thanks for this brilliant ideas. Fantastic.

  20. I don’t eat shrimp, but my husband LOVES it and I’m learning to cook it for him.  He is going to gobble this up!  Thanks for sharing!

  21. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe, Averie! I tried it out today for the first time and both my husband and I enjoyed it so much. I followed your instructions and wouldn’t change anything about them.
    As we’re trying to loose weight and thus try to avoid frying, my husband suggested baking them instead. I had just fried the first 4 shrimp and decided to give my husband’s idea a try. It worked out perfectly!
    I preheated our gas oven to 450 (for no particular reason other than hoping to get them crispy that way, however, less might work just as fine). I placed the shrimp on a large pyrex that I had brushed with a thin layer of coconut oil. The glass prevents them from getting burned and is naturally “non-stick”. After five minutes backing I flipped each shrimp with tongs and baked them five more minutes. They were light, tasty and crispy!
    So I highly recommend baking the coconut shrimp in the oven. Surely we’ll have this dish again and again in the future.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I love that you were able to get a nice, crispy coating by baking in pyrex. That’s great to hear and thanks for sharing what you did!

      I’d like to experiment more with the baking vs. frying method but haven’t because, well, shrimp are expensive and I didn’t want to waste them if they didn’t turn out so well via baking. I’ve seen some blog posts with ‘fried’ shrimp that were actually baked and they didn’t look super crispy and so I was just resigned to frying but sounds like I should play around :)

  22. I used to work at Outback, and the recipe was orange marmalade, horseradish and red pepper… but I yours better:)

  23. This is my go to recipe when I have to please a crowd. Success every time, thank you for sharing!

  24. I tried your coconut shrimp and it was absolutely the most delicious recipe and the sauce was so gooooood thank you for the recipe

  25. I did these and used my air fryer(preheated for 350 and let them go for 9-10 minutes with spritz of olive oil to them and turned halfway) They were awesome. The sauce I will use again too!

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