Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo

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.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 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)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Japanese panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Oil, for frying


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

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

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5 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 the shrimp in small batches for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Serve with Sweet Chili Mayo for dipping.

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  • Jeniece

    THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING! Yes, I had to capitalise that. The shrimp are so easy to munch on the the sweet chilli mayo is my new favourite condiment. I could not stop eating this! I will make this again and again!


  • Jeniece

    This recipe is the bomb! SO good! The sweet chill mayo is now one of my top favourite dipping sauces and the shrimp are just so, so good. I served it with healthier rice and broccoli to feel less terrible about the calories but trust me when I say that the flavour is worth it!


  • rumgirl

    I made this tonight to go with my roasted tilapia and baby bok choy with a citrus sauce served over white rice. I used Pampered Chef’s spicy pineapple rum sauce to dip the shrimp in! We rarely fry anything but I thought I would make this as a special treat for the hubby tonight. I thought I made too much but somehow we devoured it all! This was a fantastic and easy recipe! Hubby wants me to make this for his mother!!! Thank you!


  • Arielle

    WOW! I loved this recipe! The panko is so amazing. I had been making coconut shrimp with a beer batter and it was also good, but been wanting to try panko. I decided to combine 2 recipes. I used the beer batter and then dipped them in the coconut/panko mixture. It was delicious. I was very impressed with the dipping sauce! I usually use sweet chili sauce/pineapple/honey, but the mayo and chili sauce was so much better! Love IT !


  • Seon-Joo Yang

    I made the shrimp dish for my daughter’s birthday party (buffet) today, and it was the first dish that disappeared in less than 10 minutes! Oh it was so good! Thanks so much for your wonderful recipe. I am a big fan of your site, by the way. Happy New Year!


  • Paul

    I made this recipe last night and it was excellent!
    I followed the instructions except I used an electric wok.
    Thank you for introducing me to panko; I am eager to try it as breading in other recipes.


  • Omeghan

    For me the trick in using Panko as a breading is to do all of the dipping, flour, eggs, panko, etc…..

    Then, place the dipped items to set up a bit or the Panko tends to fall off in frying. Set the Panko items, covered, in the fridge 1/2 hour to an hour, at least, and then return items to room temperature before cooking. (works for shrimp, chicken, etc)

    The Panko absorbs the moisture from the egg and sets up and adheres better to the “food”. Less loss of crunch when cooking !!!. Enjoy !

  • shellsea cortes

    I made this recipe minus the panko breadcrumbs substitute with seasoned fish fry breadcrumbs and it came out A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!! And the spicey mayo… i added a little crushed pineapples and juice… amazing… thats all my husband could say :)

  • heather

    I am new to the world of frying and this was my first real projects.

    Turned out very well! This is going in the favorites file.

    The prep was tedious but worth it.

  • Ben

    These turned out great. I did have a slight problem with the coconut flakes. I went for unsweetened/organic as opposed to the sweetened/nonorganic. Unfortunately, they turned out rather large and did not stick as well to the coating. I also couldn’t find any organic sweet chili sauce, but the traditional type tasted great.

    Does anybody know any good tricks to devein shrimp quicker? That is a chore.

  • Gastylin

    Oh my- these were AMAZING! I prepared the shrimp exactly as written with perfect results- light, crispy and only slightly sweet- a plus as my man will shun anything he “thinks” to be too sweet.

    On the sauce, I had to improvise a touch. Without having sweet chili sauce on hand, I used Sriracha toned down with a bit of sweet rice wine vinegar. We had some extra garlic chopped so I added that as well. Perfection. It was a nice bite to the gentle shrimp. We cooked 2# for 4 people and I managed to save 2 for my lunch today. What a great way to start the week,

    Thanks for your great site!

  • Chad

    Does anyone have a favorite sweet chili sauce brand you like? I’m dying to make this, but don’t have the sweet chili sauce (i do have the hot garlic-chili).

    Suggestions on brand?

    I like Mae Ploy brand. ~jaden

  • Kelly

    This looks yummy! Any suggestions for a gluten-free version?

    You can use GF breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs. Are there GF saltine crackers? Those would work great. Pulse in food processor.~jaden

  • Andi

    These were great – I baked them instead of frying (didn’t want to make a mess) and they turned out just fine, served with coconut scented jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. Loved the sauce – will def make these again, thanks for the great recipe.

  • Angela

    I made this for New Years Eve, and it was so delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Grace

    I bake almost exclusively so please excuse my ignorance. This caught my eye and I’d love to try it since I love shrimp, but I’m allergic to coconut. In the comments someone said that the coconut milk could be switched out for skim milk, but what about the coconut flakes? Would it ruin the shrimp to take them out entirely and just use a full cup of panko? Would it even be worth it to try?

    Why not switch out the coconut for something like sesame seeds? ~Elise

  • Diana

    Where can I find Sweetened Coconut Flakes? I’ve only seen the unsweetened kind in Whole Foods.

    WF might have it in their baking section, but if not, try a regular grocery store. I seem to recall having difficulty finding this in WF. BTW, the unsweetened version won’t taste nearly as good. Something to do with the chemistry, and how the sugar helps preserve the volatile coconut flavor elements. Was explained to me once by a pastry chef friend of mine. (One of those things that went in one ear, rattled around the brain for a while and then made a quick exit.) ~Elise

  • CRJ

    I made this tonight, but used regular coconut as opposed to the sweetened. I think that if the dish had more of a coconut flavor, I would probably not have liked it as much. I also put a little bit of white pepper into the egg mixture for the hell of it. It was very very good. I used salted butter, red onion, coconut milk, and chicken stock in the rice that I made to go with it. It came out nicely. Still trying to figure out a veg to go with it all. Any ideas?

    A great veg side dish would be something simple, like vegetable skewers. Marinate chunks of red bell, zucchini, tomatoes in a store bought gingery or miso salad dressing. Skewer and grill ~jaden

  • Sherihan

    Could you please tell me what I can substitute for panko bread crumbs? I can’t find it here in Egypt.

    You can substitute regular bread crumbs. ~Elise

  • Janet

    Yesterday I defrosted 2lbs. of shrimp for our “left-over Christmas ham jambalaya” and only used 1 1/2lbs. I saw this recipe this a.m. and had almost everything on hand I so made this for an appetizer this evening (yeah, diets all around next week) for my husband and myself. I didn’t have coconut milk or chili sauce. I used skim milk and improvised on the dipping sauce with just mayo and cocktail sauce. I don’t think it mattered. THE SHRIMP WAS TO DIE FOR! I’ll be anxious to try it with the proper sauce but the compromise wasn’t bad! We’ve decided to have it again Wednesday evening for our New Year’s Eve supper. Thank you so much for such an easy, delicious recipe!


  • Home with Mandy

    This does look really great! if these were to be made as a party appetizer do you think the crispy panko would get soggy sitting out? Should they be consumed right away? What about adding sweetened coconut to the panko?

    The shrimp should stay crispy for a couple of hours ~jaden

  • Lynn

    Sounds great. I have been making coconut shrimp for some time and love the idea of adding the panko bread crumbs. I have been looking around for a good dipping sauce, yours sounds great. One thing I do is prepare my shrimp a day ahead to save time. I let it sit in the fridge overnight and that will set the coconut from falling off. I also saw a great idea for presentation. I cut a pineapple in half and core out the center and fill it with the dipping sauce, my friends are always impressed and it takes no time.

  • jonathan

    Yum-a-licious. I like serving coconut shrimp with a pineapple salsa with a few finely minced Thai chilis thrown in for good measure. Just to remind everyone that life isn’t always so sweet.

    As far as breading, the rule of thumb I was taught was that to best make panko/batter/bread crumbs stick to your “protein” — fish, beef, poultry — never use a protein on another protein as a glue, e.g., chiken strips, then flour, then egg (protein) wash, then crumbs, etc.