A Crunchy New Year's Eve Appetizer

Dec 31, 2019

Credit Jennifer Chandler

Looking for a quick and easy appetizer to wow your guests tonight when you ring in the New Year?

I have one for you - Crunchy Coconut Shrimp!

Coconut Shrimp has always been a favorite of mine at restaurants. One night, my daughter asked me to make this treat for her at home so I started brainstorming about how to make a baked version so I didn’t have to deal with the mess of frying.  

In the past, I had used panko bread crumbs, French fried onions, and even crushed corn flakes when making oven-fried chicken, so I decided to try that same technique with shrimp.

I was thrilled to discover how well this oven-fried trick worked with shrimp. This new baked version was easy and tasty.  The panko bread crumbs give this coconut shrimp the desired crunchy coating without deep frying.

Simply mix panko bread crumbs and flaked sweetened coconut in a large plastic bag.

In another bag, place some all-purpose flour. Dredge the shrimp first in the flour, shaking off any excess.  Then dip the shrimp in beaten egg whites to coat completely.  These two steps work like glue for the crunchy coconut topping.

The third and final prep step is to them evenly coat the shrimp in the coconut topping.

Bake at 400 degrees until the shrimp are fully cooked and crispy – that’s just about 10 minutes.

A yummy dipping sauce would be a great addition. I always have good quality condiments on hand to dress up my meals. For this shrimp dish, I’d probably serve a ramekin of a sweet & sour chili sauce or a honey mustard dipping sauce.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy New Year!

Crunchy Coconut Shrimp

  • 1 1/3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the bread crumbs and coconut in a plastic bag. Lightly crush the mixture with your hands or a rolling pin. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place the beaten egg whites in another shallow bowl.

Place the flour in a clean plastic bag. Add the shrimp and shake to coat.

Dip the shrimp in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. Then dredge the shrimp through the coconut mixture evenly coating on all sides and pressing firmly to adhere. Place the shrimp on the lined baking sheet.

Bake until the shrimp are fully cooked and crispy, about 10 minutes.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Serves 4.

Cooking tip: And if you didn’t know it, coconut stores beautifully in the freezer.  I keep a stash primarily to throw in muffins or seven layer bars or for dishes like this.