Coconut Prawns are a quick and easy recipe to make! With simple ingredients and succulent juicy prawns we create a crispy coating. Perfect to use as an appetizer, party starter, lunch or dinner you will love the versatility of how you can serve these delightful seafood. These panko prawns are going to be right up your alley and tick a number of boxes along the way!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the crispy coconut prawns recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: everything that you need to make the recipe can be sought from you local grocery store. They are year round available ingredients which are easy to get your hands on.
- Taste and texture: there is the crunchy panko crumb coating and the succulent juicy prawns. It is a winning combination that when combined they tick a lot of the taste and texture boxes 😉👍.
- Alternative protein: some popular choices are chicken, beef, pork or lamb when thinking of dinner ideas. Prawns are a great option that let us get a bit diverse across the 7 days and add a bit of variety into the meals we bring together.
- Homemade takeout: prawns are one of those delightful choices you see on take away menus across a wide variety of cuisines such as Asian, Western, Thai and Vietnamese.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper in the panko crumb for seasoning.
- Water: we add a small amount of water to the whisk eggs.
- Eggs: fresh free range eggs are always best to use. We whisk these together and they are one of the steps in the dredging process of coating the prawns.
- Garlic powder: added for a little flavor in the crumb mix.
- Sriracha powder: this gives a little more oomph to the panko breadcrumb than without it. It also allows them to become chilli coconut prawns with a little lift about them.
- Prawns: fresh prawns that we peel and prepare ourselves are best to use. They deliver the best juicy results.
- Panko: these bright white bread crumbs will be found in the Asian foods aisle. They are excellent to use when crumbing foods and are hugely popular in Japanese cooking.
- Coconut: this is shredded coconut, which is different to the short style known as dessicated coconut. We also use it in the Coconut Fudge and Coconut Bark recipes.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by preparing the prawns.
- Peel the prawns (Photo 1)
- Then devein them (Photo 2)
- Whisk the eggs (Photo 3)
- Add the water into the egg mix (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Coconut Prawns
To make the coconut prawns, start by peeling and deveining them. To do this twist the head off the prawn, then peel the shell off, leaving the tail intact.
Once done use a sharp knife to cut along the back of the prawns and then remove the digestive tract. Next, repeat this process for each of the prawns.
Next crack the eggs into a small bowl, use a fork to whisk them, add the water and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour to a bowl (Photo 5)
- Then add sriracha powder (Photo 6)
- Add the garlic powder (Photo 7)
- Add the salt (Photo 8)
Next start to make the flour mixture. Add the flour to a bowl, then transfer in the sriracha powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once done use a spoon to gently combine.
- Add the pepper (Photo 9)
- Stir to combine (Photo 10)
- Coat in the flour mixture (Photo 11)
- Repeat for each prawn (Photo 12)
Next work one by one and hold the prawns by the tail and dip them into the flour mixture. Repeat for all prawns as you see in the photo above.
- Add panko to bowl (Photo 13)
- Then add the coconut (Photo 14)
- Stir to combine (Photo 15)
- Dip prawns into the egg mix (Photo 16)
Next start to make the panko mixture by adding the breadcrumbs and shredded coconut to a bowl and using a spoon to stir together.
Once done, grab the tail of one of the prawns and dip it into the egg mix, allow any excess to drip off, switch it into your other hand and coat it in the panko crumb.
- Place the crumbed prawns into the fridge (Photo 17)
- Work in batches and add them to the hot oil (Photo 18)
- Scoop them out (Photo 19)
- Transfer them to a paper towel lined bowl (Photo 20)
Once all of the prawns are coated in the panko mixture, we want to put them in the fridge for around 30 minutes to allow the crumb to stick and set.
Then add the oil to a large wok or sauce pan. Once the oil is hot work in batches of around 5-6 prawns to gently place them into the hot oil and cook them.
You will see that the prawns change colour to bright orange and the panko mixture turns a lovely golden brown shade.
Once cooked (4-5 minutes) use a slotted spoon to lift the prawns up and out of the pan and transfer them to a paper towel lined bowl. Then repeat this process to cook the rest of the prawns.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
When it comes to sauces, store bought sweet chilli sauce is quick and convenient. Or you can make a homemade sauce such as the Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce, Lime Yogurt Sauce, Parsley Yogurt Sauce or the Mustard Yogurt Sauce (this is the pale yellow sauce shown in the photo above).
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover prawns in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge. They can be kept for 2-3 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
I don't recommend freezing leftovers of the panko prawns as they loose the crispness and don't bring the same joy when the texture changes. However, as a means to being organised you can purchase and freeze the prawns and then thaw them when ready to make the recipe.
How to Reheat
Whilst you can use the microwave to reheat the prawns (on a plate with cling wrap), the air fryer or oven will give you the best results. This is because the microwave will heat them but both the air fryer and oven will allow to coating to crisp again which is a better tasting experience.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can omit the sriracha powder completely if you are not a fan of any heat/spice in your food.
- Or you can use the equivalent of regular chilli powder or paprika.
- You can use regular breadcrumbs in place of the panko bread crumbs if you wish too.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Yes, it takes take a little bit of hands on work to prepare the prawns, but your efforts will reward you when you taste the succulent juicy results.
- Keeping the tail on the prawns means that they have a handle that can be used to hold them when eating. It is optional and you can remove the tail if you wish too.
- When you are ready to cook the prawns, hold your hand above the wok or sauce pan and feel for heat. We want to add them to the pan when the oil is hot so that they will start cooking straight away.
- The biggest indicators that the panko prawns are cooked is visual colour changes both to the crumb and to the prawns themselves. The prawns will turn bright orange with no visible see through flesh. The panko crumb will turn golden brown and crisp up.
- Once the prawns are cooked, you can use a slotted turner to lift them up and out of the pan. Then place them into a paper towel lined bowl so that any excess oil can be absorbed before serving them.
- If crumbed foods are your favorite then you might also like the Crumbed Mushrooms, Crumbed Lamb Cutlets or the Panko Pork Chops.
- Or if its the prawns that get your mouth watering you might also like the Creamy Garlic Prawns, Prawn Chorizo Risotto, Prawn Chorizo Skewers, Prawn Fettuccine or the Prawn Pesto Pasta 😉👌.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What are coconut prawns made of?
Coconut prawns are made of a panko breadcrumb coating that is fried in oil until the prawns are cooked and the coating crisps up.
Do you taste the coconut in coconut shrimp?
Yes. You do taste the coconut in coconut shrimp. It is not however, an over the top flavor and blends in subtly with the other ingredients in the recipe.
Do you eat the tail of coconut shrimp?
This comes down to personal preference. Whilst many people would prefer to not eat the head or tail of prawns, some people do enjoy these parts of the prawns
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you need more ideas for the inevitable 'What's for dinner?' question that can be asked many times a day then I have some more options for you. These recipes offer diversity through taste, texture and cooking methods:
- Thai Minced Pork
- Baked Ziti With Meatballs
- Chicken Pesto Linguine
- Chorizo Pasta Bake
- Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza
- Meatball Rigatoni
- Black Olive Pizza
- Gluten Free Zucchini Slice
- Bacon and Egg Slice
- Salmon Linguine
- 500 grams/ 1 pound prawns Note 1
- 3 large eggs free range
- 3 tablespoon water
- ¾ cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tsp sriracha seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded coconut Note 2
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs Note 3
- 3 cups peanut oil
Mustard Yoghurt Sauce (optional):
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- sweet chilli sauce
- 2 limes chopped into wedges
- parsley finely chopped and sprinkled over the top
- Prepare the prawns: use a chopping board and start by twisting and removing the heads from the prawns. Then peel the shell, leaving the tail intact. Next take a small knife and cut down the backbone of the prawns and remove the digestive tract.
- Eggs: crack each egg into a small bowl and then use a fork to whisk them. Add the water and then whisk again to combine.
- Flour mixture: in a separate bowl add the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Coconut and panko: in a separate bowl add the coconut and panko breadcrumbs and use a spoon to stir and combine.
- Work space: line a cutting board with baking paper and place the flour, egg and breadcrumb bowls alongside it.
- Dredging: working one at at time, hold the prawns by the tail and dip into the flour mix. Once coated in the flour mix place onto the baking paper and then repeat this process for the rest of the prawns. Next hold the prawns by the tail and dip them into the egg mix, gently shake off any excess egg before switching hands and dunking the prawns into the panko mixture. Once done lay the prawns onto a chopping board. Then repeat to coat all of the prawns.
- Fridge: place the prawns into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the coating to stick and stay.
- Oil: pour the peanut oil into a wok or large sauce pan and turn to a medium heat (setting 3-4). Once bubbles start to form and heat can be felt when holding hand above wok begin to fry prawns in batches. Use a slotted spoon to remove prawns when they have risen to the top of the oil and the coating is a nice golden light brown colour (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towel and continue to cook raw coated prawns until all are cooked. Note 5
- Combine yoghurt and mustard in small bowl and stir till consistently mixed together.
- Serve with sweet chilli sauce and mustard yoghurt sauce with fresh lime wedges and chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.
- Note 1 - Prawns: I use banana prawns for this recipe. You can also use tiger prawns or king prawns. You will find that medium to large prawns are better than small prawns as they are easier to work with.
- Note 2 - Shredded coconut: this is a larger type of coconut to traditional desiccated coconut. The pieces are longer and thicker. It will be in the same area of the store though and labelled 'shredded coconut'.
- Note 3 Panko breadcrumbs: these bright white breadcrumbs are usually in the Asian section of the supermarket. They are much bigger than standard breadcrumbs and hugely popular in Japanese cooking.
- Note 4 - Baking paper: I change the paper for my tray after the flour coating before the coconut mix, so keep the prawns clean and so that any excess flour does not stick to outside of coconut mix.
- Note 5 - Batches: 5-6 prawns at at time to give them each space so they don't stick together is a good amount to work with.
- Note 6 - Serving size: serving size is for 2 prawns per person as an appetizer, aim for 6-8 for a main meal.
Recipe published September 2020, updated in October 2023 with a rewrite to offer you more tasty tips 😉👍!