Something happens when you learn to cook at home. You realize that all those tasty items you order out at restaurants are overpriced, and you can usually make them healthier at home. Healthier means you get to eat them more often — an obvious win.
Coconut shrimp was one of those appetizers for me. If it was on the menu, I was ordering it. But coconut is naturally high in fat, and who knows what other unspeakable ingredients get mixed in the batter — and fry oil is always frightening.
Enter: my healthy version of coconut shrimp. It’s baked, so right away you’re eliminating the scary fats from frying. The crispy coconut will still give that craveable crunch. Plus, the sauce is often the star of the show anyway. Thai chili sauce with a hint of apricot and brown sugar can make pretty much anything better.
So try this easy appetizer when feeding a crowd or as a simple dinner for one. It only takes about 20 minutes for the whole process, and I guarantee less than that for these little bits to disappear from your table.
Note: If you’re eating truly healthy, consider substituting the sauce for a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt and lime juice, or a sugar free jam with hot pepper flakes.
Healthy baked coconut shrimp
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (large work best)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 6 tbsp plain panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (or whatever flour suits your diet)
- 2 large egg whites + 1 egg yolk
- salt and pepper
For dipping sauce:
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- 2 tbsp thai chili sauce
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat over to 450ºF. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- For the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more or less water for desired sauce consistency.
- Combine the coconut, bread crumbs, and flour in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, add egg whites and egg yolk and beat until slightly frothy.
- Pat the shrimp dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to eggs bowl and toss to coat.
- Move shrimp one by one, letting the excess drip off, into the coconut mixture. Coat completely.
- Place the shrimp on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted brown and shrimp is pink.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
Also try, Honey mustard garlic shrimp.