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Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp

This gluten-free coconut shrimp recipe is the perfect party appetizer. It’s so good you’d never even know it was gluten-free. No deep frying required!

These gluten free coconut shrimp taste like exactly what you’d get at a restaurant, but fresher. The best way to enjoy them is to serve them with some type of dipping sauce such as pineapple jam or spicy honey mustard.

Ingredients

You’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients for this healthy coconut shrimp recipe.

  • Jumbo shrimp – this recipe works best with fresh shrimp. You’ll want to peel and devein them and leave the tails on.
  • Tapioca starch – (also called tapioca flour). This helps the shrimp get nice and crispy.
  • Plantain chips – a great gluten-free substitute for panko bread crumbs due to the high starch content in plantains.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut – use these for the best results. They have a naturally sweet coconut flavor. Just make sure to not use unsweetened coconut flakes. Flakes (also called coconut chips) are too large and won’t adhere to the shrimp.
  • Eggs – help the plantain/coconut mixture bind to the shrimp.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Shallow frying oil – I recommend using coconut oil or avocado oil, but you can also use olive oil since we’re not cooking them over high heat.

How To Make Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp

Step 1. Put the plantain chips in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade and pulse until you have a coarse breadcrumb texture.

Step 2. Get three shallow bowls ready for the breading station. Combine the tapioca, salt, and pepper in the first shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in the second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the shredded coconut and crushed plantain chips.

Step 3. Dip the shrimp into the tapioca, then the eggs, then into the plantain and coconut mixture, keeping the tail exposed. Use your hands to gently press it in – each shrimp should be well-coated. Set the coated shrimp aside on a large plate or baking sheet as you coat the remaining shrimp.

Step 4. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut shrimp in a single layer but don’t crowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for 2-3 more minutes or until golden brown.

Step 5. Transfer the cooked coconut shrimp to a wire rack while you finish cooking the rest. You can pat off any excess oil with a paper towel, but the wire rack helps them stay crispy.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this gluten-free coconut shrimp using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No tapioca starch/flour? – sub cornstarch, rice flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • No plantain chips? – use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free crackers or chips.

Tools Needed

To make this recipe, a food processor is helpful to break down the plantain chips into a crumb. You’ll also need a large skillet or Dutch oven to cook the coconut shrimp. I prefer the Dutch oven for less splattering, but either will work. Tongs are the best tool for flipping over the crispy shrimp.

Top Tip

  • Leave the tails exposed. I accidentally breaded the tails of the batch I took photos of, but you want to leave them exposed so you don’t have any unpleasant bites.
  • How to store. Store leftover coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a toaster oven or oven at 400ºF for 7-8 minutes or under the broiler for a few minutes.

What Goes With Coconut Shrimp?

Serve coconut shrimp with side dishes such as blackened corn, quick sauteed broccoletti, warm potato asparagus salad, or coconut lime rice.

It would also be great with a massaged kale salad, roasted vegetables, or zucchini corn salad.

More Gluten Free Recipes

Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp

5 from 5 votes
An oval plate of homemade gluten free coconut shrimp served with pineapple jam.
This gluten-free coconut shrimp recipe is the perfect party appetizer. It's so good you'd never even know it was gluten-free. No deep frying required!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1 ⅓ cups plantain chips see notes
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut not flakes
  • cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • avocado or coconut oil for shallow frying

Instructions

  • Put the plantain chips in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade and pulse until you have a coarse breadcrumb texture.
  • Get three shallow bowls ready for the breading station. Combine the tapioca, salt, and pepper in the first shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in the second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the shredded coconut and crushed plantain chips.
  • Dip the shrimp into the tapioca, then the eggs, then into the plantain and coconut mixture, keeping the tail exposed. Use your hands to gently press it in – each shrimp should be well-coated. Set the coated shrimp aside on a large plate or baking sheet as you coat the remaining shrimp.
  • Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut shrimp in a single layer but don't crowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for 2-3 more minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer the cooked coconut shrimp to a wire rack while you finish cooking the rest. You can pat off any excess oil with a paper towel, but the wire rack helps them stay crispy.

Notes

Plantain chips: after you put the plantain chips in a food processor, you’ll have just over 3/4 cup, which is the amount you’ll need.
Leave the tails exposed. I accidentally breaded the tails of the batch I took photos of, but you want to leave them exposed so you don’t have any unpleasant bites.
How to store. Store leftover coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a toaster oven or oven at 400ºF for 7-8 minutes or under the broiler for a few minutes.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No tapioca starch/flour? – sub cornstarch, rice flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
No plantain chips? – use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free crackers or chips.
5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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