Coconut Shrimp With Sweet Chili Mayo

Chinese coconut shrimp, shrimp coated in coconut flakes and panko, fried and served with a sweet chili mayo sauce.

Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo
Jaden Hair

Please welcome guest author Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen as she treats us to fabulous shrimp coated with panko and coconut flakes. ~Elise

In my kitchen, there are a handful of Asian ingredients that I’m never out of. There’s the usual like soy sauce, oyster sauce and ginger, of course. But, there’s the other category of foods that are so versatile, they can be used in any style of cooking, whether Asian, Italian or Greek.

What is Panko?

And at the top of that list is panko bread crumbs. Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb that really shouldn’t be named “crumb” but rather bread “flakes.” It’s incredibly light, airy and crisp/crunchy when fried.

What I like about panko is that it doesn’t absorb as much oil or grease as regular breadcrumbs and its super-thin flakes create an airy, lacy coating that you can’t achieve with regular breadcrumbs.

Making crab cakes? Use panko for a lighter, delicate result. Baked fried chicken is ten times crisper with a panko coating.

In this recipe, the coconut shrimp is coated in flour, egg/coconut milk and then a panko/coconut flake mixture.

How To Get Panko to Stick to Shrimp

Do you know why we have to coat the shrimp in all of those ingredients, in exactly that order? Well let’s work backwards. If you want a crunchy coating, whether it’s panko, breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips or crushed saltines – you gotta get it to stick to the food. Try taking a naked shrimp and patting panko on the surface. It doesn’t stick well. If you try to fry it, all the coating will come off into the oil.

But guess what? Panko sticks to egg!

So does egg stick to shrimp? Nope. It slides right off.

And hey, egg sticks to flour! Flour sticks to shrimp!

Now you get it?

Coconut Shrimp With Sweet Chili Mayo

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings

If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost by placing in a bowl of ice water. Raw shrimp should always be kept chilled. Safety note regarding frying, always keep a lid for the pan close by, as well as ice.


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic hot sauce (optional)

  • 1 pound tail-on shrimp, shelled but leave tail on

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or regular milk)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

  • Oil, for frying


  1. Make the sauce:

    In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce and the chili-garlic hot sauce (optional). Set aside.

  2. Devein the shrimp:

    With a paring knife, slice down deep at the middle of the back of the shrimp, but do not cut all the way through. Discard the black vein/tract.

  3. Set up the breading station:

    Set three shallow bowls side by side. Place flour in the first bowl; whisk the egg and coconut milk in the second; and combine the panko and coconut flakes in the third.

  4. Heat the oil:

    Heat 2 inches of oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat until thermometer registers 350°F.

  5. Bread the shrimp:

    As the oil is heating, bread the shrimp by dipping the shrimp on both sides in the flour and shaking excess off. Next dip in the egg/coconut milk mixture and then in the panko/coconut flakes, patting to ensure the coating sticks well.

  6. Fry:

    Fry the shrimp in small batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown on both sides.

    Serve with Sweet Chili Mayo for dipping.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
468 Calories
22g Fat
34g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 468
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 292mg 97%
Sodium 1385mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 142mg 11%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 313mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.