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Coconut Shrimp

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Coconut Shrimp makes a terrific appetizer any time of year. Although I am more likely to be cooking something on the barbecue in the summer when it’s raining I’m cooking indoors.

We have had a lot of rain this summer.

Coconut adds a bit of a tropical flare and makes these coconut shrimp a change from the ordinary. Coconut is readily available in the baking aisle at grocery stores but unsweetened coconut is a little more difficult to find.

For this recipe finely shredded coconut gives a neat, clean look like you see in the photo here. I often prefer the less formal look you get from using flakes or fancy coconut as it is sometimes called. However, I can only find an unsweetened version at the health food store. Today I just used what I had on hand so go ahead and experiment to see what you like.

Breading for Coconut Shrimp

When you are breading any food, gluten or no gluten, the general guide to making a coating that sticks is DRY/WET/DRY and don’t rush it. Start with your wet food item then:

  • DRY – dredge it in some flour
  • WET – dip it in an egg wash
  • DRY – drop into the outer coating and pat the coating on until it sticks

Don’t rush. Once the food is coated it is helpful to let it sit for a several minutes. This allows the whole coating to dry a bit and adhere to the food. So for best results do this prep before your company arrives rather than throwing it all together at the last minute.

This breading method can be applied to anything from chicken strips or pork chops to these coconut shrimp. I wrote another post about my everyday breaded pork chops where I use a cornflake breading that also works for chicken strips. You can read that post HERE for some more tips.

So if you need a quick appetizer any time of year give these gluten free coconut shrimp a try and tell me in the comments below how you like to serve them.


1 lb large shrimp, peeled
Bowl #1 – DRY
½ cup sweet rice flour
salt & pepper
Bowl #2 – WET
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
vegetable oil for frying
SERVING – sweet chile sauce, optional


Prepare all three bowls as follows:
BOWL #1 – Combine flour with salt and pepper. Set aside.
BOWL #2 – Whisk egg and milk together. Set aside.
BOWL #3 – Place coconut in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
Place a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet or tray.
Lay shrimp on paper towel and pat dry.
Dip each shrimp into the bowls in order. When coated with coconut place them on the baking rack to dry. Can be done 1 hour in advance.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes, turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes until coconut is brown and shrimp are cooked through.
Serve with sauce.


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