Oven Fried Coconut Shrimp with Thai Pineapple Chili Sauce.
Switching up the average weeknight meal with Oven Fried Coconut Shrimp with Thai Pineapple Chili Sauce. This coconut “popcorn” shrimp is breaded in sweet coconut, sesame seeds, oven-baked, then dipped in a spicy, tangy Thai chili lime sauce made with sweet, juicy pineapple chunks. Add fresh limes and Thai basil for a finishing touch. This is what I call at-home takeout. And yes, these popcorn shrimp bites are even healthier than ordering out…because they’re baked, not fried…plus so much tastier. Serve with veggies, steamed rice, or oven-baked french fries for an easy family dinner that’s different, sweet, spicy, and full-of-flavor.
Tuesday night coconut shrimp anyone? I’m feeling like we could use a fun, low key style recipe to livin’ up the week. Enter this coconut shrimp. We might not be relaxing on an Island, but we can pretend and at least have a fun dinner…right?
I’ve been wanting to post a good coconut shrimp recipe for a while now. Ever since our last family vacation to the Caribbean a few years back. I wanted to recreate the coconut shrimp we had almost every night. It was deep-fried, extra-crisp, and served with an array of different sauces and dips.
And you guys? It was delicious. So delicious that honestly some nights it just turned into dinner.
It’s been a couple of years since that family trip. I’d forgotten how good a simple coconut fried shrimp is. That is until I made this coconut popcorn chicken in the spring. I was then reminded of just how good the flavor of coconut can be when used in a savory way. After posting the popcorn chicken, so many of you requested a recipe for coconut shrimp. But yet, I still hesitated.
Why? Simply because I didn’t want to fry all that shrimp in hot oil. Just too much of a pain, you know? But then I got to thinking. I’ve certainly baked shrimp before, and I’ve certainly made many “oven fried” chicken recipes, so why couldn’t I do the same with shrimp? I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I figured it was worth trying.
The verdict? It works! And it’s easy, so easy, and it tastes delicious. Think about your favorite crispy fried coconut shrimp, but ditch all the oil. It’s not exactly the same because you don’t have that deep-fried flavor, but personally…I actually like this better. Instead of an oily taste, you can actually taste the sweet coconut and those sesame seeds add a little nutty Thai flare too.
So here’s how to make oven fried coconut shrimp.
As with all of my oven fried recipes, this one is pretty easy too. I will say that breading each little shrimp does take a minute. But it’s much, much easier, cleaner, and healthier than frying.
The coconut breading is a mix of sweet shredded coconut, Panko breadcrumbs, and sesame seeds. The shredded coconut is the KEY flavor here. As the shrimp bake in the oven, the coconut becomes “fried” turning extra sweet, nutty, and crisp. What’s amazing is that since we’re not frying, you don’t get any of that oily flavor, just coconut flavor.
Once the shrimp are all breaded, bake until the shrimp are crispy all over.
Three tips for getting perfectly crisp shrimp.
The first tip, pulse the coconut in the food processor to really break the shreds down into a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor, try to find this brand of shredded coconut, which comes very finely shredded. This step is not a must, but I do find that the shrimp cooks up nicer with finely shredded coconut than it does with the shredded coconut that’s more common in store-bought brands.
Second tip, do not overcrowd your baking sheet. If you have too many shrimp on one pan, the shrimp with steam instead of crisp. We want crispy coconut shrimp, so make sure to leave room for the shrimp to really crisp up in the oven.
Tip three? Use olive oil to help the breading crisp up nicely. This is also key. You can use an olive oil mister or just drizzle the shrimp with oil. Both work, but don’t skip this step.
Now, on to that pineapple chili sauce?
As you would expect…it’s my favorite part. You guys know how much I love a sweet and spicy sauce, but add pineapple to the mix?
My absolute favorite.
I made things easy and used this sauce as my base. To the sauce, I added a couple tablespoons of ketchup, garlic, and plenty of fresh lime juice and zest. I then stirred in fresh, finely chopped pineapple. It takes seconds to put together and is truly what I call, an addicting sauce.
Think sweet, tangy, and just a touch spicy with small chunks of pineapple throughout.
It is SO GOOD!
And finally…put the shrimp with the sweet sauce and serve um up…YUM. Think crispy, coconutty, and very addicting. The sauce is spicy, yet sweet and tangy, with pineapple chunks. The most delicious flavors.
The shrimp only takes minutes to cook up, so it makes for a fast dinner any night of the week. You could also make this as a fun weekend appetizer.
During the week, I will serve the crispy shrimp over steamed coconut rice or noodles, or serve with oven baked fries. I also like to add lime and plenty of fresh Thai basil from the garden. Then just add a summer salad to round out the meal. But on the weekends…I like to serve this as an appetizer along with a favorite tropical drink.
You can’t go wrong either way, delicious. Have fun with this one and enjoy!
Looking for other easy shrimp recipes? Here are a few ideas:
Lastly, if you make this oven fried coconut shrimp with Thai pineapple chili sauce be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Oven Fried Coconut Shrimp with Thai Pineapple Chili Sauce
Healthier than take-out, these shrimp are baked, not fried…and so much tastier!
Pineapple Chili Sauce
1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub 2 baking sheets with oil.
3. To a medium-sized bowl, add the coconut, Panko, flour, sesame seeds, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
4. Remove each shrimp from the egg, and dredge through the crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the shrimp have been used. Make sure not to crowd your pan, if necessary use two baking sheets. Lightly brush/drizzle the shrimp with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked and the breading crisp.
5. Meanwhile, make the chili sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
6. Serve the shrimp topped with Thai basil, limes, and the pineapple chili sauce for dipping. Add creamy honey mustard or aioli for a little double-dip action. Enjoy!
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