Skip to main content

Coconut Shrimp

This dish, plus some Jimmy Buffett, takes to my own personal Shangri-la every time.
Coconut Shrimp with Green Goddess dipping sauce

Coconut Shrimp with Green Goddess dipping sauce

I love, love, love coconut shrimp. Anything that reminds me of a tropical getaway and an easy steel drum is bliss in my book.

These shrimp are crispy on the outside with succulent, juicy meat inside. They taste like vacation, especially when paired with the Caribbean dipping sauce. I can’t say enough about that dipping sauce. It’s ridiculously good.

I use 1 pound of medium-size, 36- to 40-count shrimp. It’s the ideal size for coconut shrimp to get them perfectly cooked in the center and golden on the outside. Smaller shrimp overcook quickly, and larger shrimp tend to burn before the center cooks through.

I also use shrimp that are peeled and deveined with tails left on. The tails are optional, but they make it easier to bread the shrimp, and they act as a natural handle for eating the shrimp. I like to use Baker’s Angel Flake sweetened coconut flakes. Using a sweetened coconut gives the shrimp a pronounced tropical flavor.

Coconut shrimp are a golden, sweet, crispy, crave-worthy party appetizer that everyone will love. Serve this to guests, and I guarantee the tray will be the first one that’s empty.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled with tails intact
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning, optional
  • 2-3 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying


  • Rinse and pat-dry the shrimp.Sprinkle with salt. On a large plate, mix coconut and flour (and seasoning, if using). Dip each shrimp into egg whites, then roll in the coconut mixture.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add about ¼-inch oil. When oil is sizzling, carefully add three to four shrimp at a time. Cook until coconut is golden brown, about two minutes per side.
  • Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Serves four as a starter.




  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or
  • 1-2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and jalapeño pepper; cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add marmalade, lime juice, mustard, horseradish and salt. Simmer for five minutes, stirring frequently. Serve warm.

This recipe was featured in the September 2021 issue of Passagemaker. 

Find more galley-friendly recipes like this one in LaDonna Gundersen's My Tiny Alaskan Oven cookbook, available at and more.