I absolutely love shrimp however it’s prepared, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try making coconut shrimp at home. I’ve had it when eating out, and you get these huge shrimp that have been butterflied and have this nice crispy coating—delicious stuff. Living in Iowa, however, I don’t always have access to those huge shrimp, or if they are available, they are outside my food budget, so I just drool and dream. That said, Hy-Vee will have occasional sales on seafood, especially around the holidays, so I usually stock up. While my go-to recipe for shrimp is shrimp scampi, I decided to try my hand at coconut shrimp, and my family thought the results were great. I used roughly 2 pounds of shrimp in my recipe (we’re big eaters and absolutely love shrimp), but you can definitely pare this back and use only 1 pound.
Some coconut shrimp is fried, but I wanted to keep my recipe as healthy as possible, so I baked mine. I also made this recipe gluten-free, so here is one more recipe for those of you who have celiac disease or wheat sensitivities. Of course, if you don’t have these medical problems, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the coconut flour.
A lot of recipes I looked at for coconut shrimp had a fruity and/or spicy dipping sauce that accompanies the shrimp. I saw one that had pineapple marmalade and one that used apricot preserves. I had neither of these items in my pantry, but I did have a bunch of homemade peach jam sitting on the shelves, so that was the inspiration for my dipping sauce. Feel free to experiment with whatever jams and preserves you may have. We each tried the shrimp first by itself and then with the dipping sauce, and we all agreed that the dipping sauce made the dish perfect.
Baked Coconut Shrimp
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 can coconut milk (or enough to make a thick batter)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs
1-1/2 cups coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Peachy Dipping Sauce
8 ounces peach jam
2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl, combining thoroughly. Refrigerate to let flavors marry together until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside (for my 2 pounds of shrimp, I needed 2 baking sheets).
In one bowl, combine all the batter ingredients, whisking them together to thoroughly combine. You’re looking for a pancake batter consistency, so keep adding the coconut milk until you reach a thick batter. You may or may not need a full can of coconut milk.
In a separate bowl, combine all the coating ingredients, and thoroughly mix.
Dip the prepared shrimp in the batter and then into the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess coating, and place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheets. Bake shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.