These Crispy Coconut Shrimp are the perfect low carb appetizer or meal, serve them with pina colada dipping sauce for the perfect combination!
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I love seafood and shrimp is my all time favorite. I used to love going to eat at Red Lobster and ordering their Parrot Bay Shrimp. They are the perfect combo of sweet and salty and were just absolutely irresistible!
I thought the days of enjoying this meal were long gone, but luckily I have found a way to mimic those flavors almost exactly – without a ton of carbs!
Pan Frying vs. Air Frying
This recipe can be made in an air fryer or pan fried. I initially intended to only air fry them, but midway through my second batch a storm rolled through and knocked out my power. I have a gas stove – so I moved to plan B. 😂😂
Honestly, I think it may have been divine intervention because I much preferred the pan-fried shrimp. Although they both tasted great, the pan-fried coconut shrimp got much crispier then the shrimp I made in my air fryer.
However, there is no denying that the air fryer is so much easier and less messy. So, I have included directions for both methods in the recipe card.
What is the best oil for frying?
When you are frying it is important to use an oil that tolerates high heat well. Most restaurants use vegetable oils which aren’t great for you.
I prefer to use avocado oil or Lard. Both will tolerate high temperatures really well and they also have little to no taste so you can use them to fry just about anything.
Ingredients in Keto Coconut Shrimp:
- The first and most important ingredient is the shrimp. I like to use Jumbo shrimp, but any large shrimp will work fine. Be sure to get raw shrimp and remove the shells before cooking. I do like to leave the tails on as this makes it easier to dip the shrimp into the batter. If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure that they are completely thawed before cooking.
- Eggs help give the coconut breading something to hang on to when you are frying the shrimp. Without them, most of the breading will fall off while pan or air frying.
- Coconut Flour is works great as a breading in this recipe since it adds a lot of flavor and is super low in carbs.
- Crushed pork rinds may seem odd, but i solemnly swear that you can not taste them but they do make these coconut shrimp super crisp!
- Coconut flakes are a staple in all coconut shrimp recipes. For this low carb version, be sure that you are buying unsweetened coconut flakes as many varieties have added sugars.
Ingredients in the Pina Colada Dipping Sauce:
- Sour cream and mayonnaise serve as the base of this recipe, although neither adds much flavor they do give the sauce a great base.
- Traditionally, this sauce is actually made with pina colada drink mixer. Since that has WAY too much sugar, I swapped it for Coconut cream and it worked beautifully! Be sure to look for coconut cream and not coconut milk. I linked to the one I used below, but coconut cream is much thicker than coconut milk. In a pinch, you can simply use the solid part of canned coconut milk.
- Pineapple and coconut extracts help to replace the flavors of the pina colada mix. I have found that the potency of flavor extracts can vary quite a bit from brand to brand, so you may wish to add half of the recommended amount then taste and adjust accordingly. I have linked to the brands that I used below.
- Shredded coconut is optional, but I love the additional flavor and texture. Just like with the shrimp, be sure to purchase unsweetened coconut flakes.
- To sweeten the sauce I use Lakanto powdered monk fruit sweetener. You could also use swerve confectioners or liquid stevia.
What should I do with the leftover coconut cream?
Note that this recipe only uses a few tablespoons of the coconut cream. You can freeze the remainder for later use or, check out these other great keto recipes that all call for coconut cream:
- Coconut Cheesecake from Low Carb Yum
- Low Carb Coconut Cream with Berries from Diet Doctor
- Keto Coconut Bars from Sugar Free Londoner
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Keto Coconut Chip Ice Cream
- Shrimp and Grits | Keto, Gluten Free
- Jambalaya Kabobs | Keto, Gluten Free
- Low Carb Coleslaw
Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Dipping Sauce | Keto, Gluten Free
For the Pina Colada Sauce:
- Combine all of the ingredients for the Pina Colada Dipping sauce in a small bowl. Mix well, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the Shrimp:
- Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl, then combine the Coconut flour, coconut flakes, crushed pork rinds, salt, and pepper in a separate shallow bowl.
- One at a time, dip the shrimp into the beaten eggs, then into the coconut flour mixture. Set them aside on a clean plate or place them on the basket of your air fryer.
For Air Frying:
- Place prepared shrimp in a single layer on the basket of your air fryer. Spritz the shrimp with oil and cook at 360° F for 8-10 minutes flipping halfway through.
For Pan Frying:
- Add lard or avocado oil to a heavy bottomed skillet to about ¼ inch deep. Heat over Medium High.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully and slowly add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the shrimp is golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate until ready to eat.