Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Chili Dipping Sauce
This Coconut Shrimp recipe is an Outback Steakhouse copycat. It’s 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.
Easy Coconut Shrimp Recipe
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.
I made a copycat version of the Outback coconut 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.
The Thai chili sauce adds savoriness and heat to the sweet orange marmalade and the spicy-sweetness of the dip is addictively good.
Even if you don’t love coconut, this easy shrimp recipe could make you change your mind! My family was fighting over the last shrimp.
How to Make Coconut Shrimp
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.
To make the coconut shrimp dipping sauce, simply whisk together orange marmalade, sweet Thai chili sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper. This orange-chili sauce pairs well with pretty much everything — grilled chicken, pork chops, you name it!
How to Reheat Shrimp
Avoid reheating shrimp in the microwave at all costs! Microwaved shrimp are often rubbery, and the coconut-Panko coating loses its crispness.
Instead, I recommend reheating the coconut shrimp in a 350 degree oven. The shrimp will only need to be baked for a few minutes until they’re heated through.
Tips for the Best Coconut Shrimp
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.
It’s also very important that your oil is at the right temperature before frying the shrimp. The oil should be between 325 and 350 degrees F. Use a thermometer to test the oil temperature, if possible. Otherwise, you should stick the end of a wooden spoon into the hot oil. If small bubbles immediately form around the spoon, the oil is likely hot enough.
You want to fry the shrimp in batches so the temperature of the oil stays consistent. If the oil becomes too cool, the coconut shrimp will begin soaking up the oil instead of frying in it.
Once you’ve fried the shrimp, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil while you finish frying the rest.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes:
- Easy Shrimp Cakes — Easy, ready in 10 minutes, and they taste better than from a fancy restaurant!! A CRISPY exterior with JUICY and tender pieces of shrimp on the inside, with spicy mayo on the side!
- 10-Minute Honey Barbecue Grilled Shrimp — Fast, EASY, healthy, ready in 10 minutes, and the perfect way to enjoy shrimp!! Tender, juicy, and full of such great FLAVOR from the barbecue sauce and honey!!
- Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice — There’s garlic, ginger, green onions, sesame oil, and soy sauce for layers of flavor while peas, carrots, corn, and bits of egg add texture. It’s a perfect weeknight meal when you’re in a rush want a break from the usual chicken dinner.
- Roasted Shrimp with Green Goddess Dip — Dipping the warm, sweet, plump shrimp into the cool, creamy dip is a perfect flavor and texture contrast!
- Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta — Buttery noodles with juicy plump shrimp, flavored with lemon and garlic!! A family-friendly dinner recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes and it’s so EASY!!
- 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
- 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
Make the Shrimp
- Clean the shrimp; set aside.
- To a small bowl, add the flour, salt and pepper, stir to combine; set aside.
- To a separate small bowl, add the eggs and beat; set aside.
- To a separate medium bowl, add the coconut, Panko, stir to combine; set aside.
- To a Dutch oven or large skillet, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. While oil heats up, begin the battering process.
- 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 between 325F to 350F is recommended for best results; wait to fry until your oil is hot enough to ensure a crispy coating.
- 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.
Make the 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 111mg Sodium: 590mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 13g Protein: 12g
Even More Shrimp Recipes:
Sweet-and-Sour Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry – Big juicy shrimp and crunchy veggies coated in tangy sauce are a hit with everyone!! Easy, healthy, ready in 20 minutes, and way better than takeout!
Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice (GF) – Packed with flavor, healthy, and so easy! Who needs takeout when you can DIY in 15 minutes!