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  • Maddie LaBerge

Toasted Coconut Tempura Shrimp with Tropical Slaw, Zesty Rice & Sweet ’n’ Spicy Sauce

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

If you’re a fan of the light and crispy texture of tempura-fried dishes, then you’ll love this recipe. With classic Japanese-style batter and added toasted coconut, it has a sweet and savory crunch that pairs perfectly with quick-fried shrimp. These crispy delights are then piled over zesty lime rice and served with a refreshing tropical slaw. To finish it off, everything is drizzled with a deliciously tangy, sweet and spicy sauce that will tantalize your taste buds.

Keep in mind that this recipe contains allergens such as tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, milk, and wheat.

Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice

  • Salt

  • 1 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch of cilantro

  • 1 can of pineapple chunks

  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise

  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup of cashews, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup of pineapple jam

  • Lime juice

  • Sriracha

  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup of tempura mix

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon of butter


1. Cook the rice.

In a medium pot, combine the rice, 1 1/4 cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, until the rice is tender. Keep covered off heat until ready to serve. I used my rice cooker to save myself a timer, since it stops cooking after a set time and keeps the rice warm.

2. Make the slaw.

Wash and dry the produce, roughly chop the cilantro, and drain the pineapple chunks over a small bowl, reserving the juice. Zest and halve the lime. In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, cilantro, pineapple chunks, mayonnaise, juice from half the lime, half the pineapple juice, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cashews and toss to combine.

3. Make the sauce and toast the coconut.

To the bowl with the remaining pineapple juice, stir in the jam, a squeeze of lime juice, and Sriracha to taste. Set aside. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed (preferably nonstick) pan over medium heat. Add the shredded coconut and sugar, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, which should take about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the coconut to a second small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

4. Make the batter and coat the shrimp.

Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with salt. In a large bowl, combine the tempura mix, half of the toasted coconut, salt, and 1/3 cup of cold water. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a pancake-batter-like consistency. Heat a 1/4-inch layer of oil in the pan used for the coconut over medium-high heat. Stir the shrimp into the batter until fully coated.

5. Fry the shrimp.

Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles when added to the pan, add the coated shrimp in a single layer. Cook in batches until golden brown and cooked through, which should take about 2-3 minutes on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second side. Add more oil as needed between batches, allowing it time to heat back up before frying more shrimp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to paper-towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt and pepper.

6. Finish & Serve Fluff rice with a fork; stir in 1 TBSP butter and lime zest to taste. Season with salt. Divide rice, shrimp, and slaw between plates. Sprinkle shrimp and rice with remaining toasted coconut. Drizzle shrimp with sauce (or serve on the side for dipping) and serve.

Shrimp is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 145º.

And there you have it – a dish that is sure to impress with its combination of flavors, textures, and colors. The toasted coconut tempura shrimp add a unique twist to a classic Japanese-style batter, resulting in a light and crispy crunch that is hard to resist. The sweet and savory slaw with a tropical touch adds a refreshing contrast to the shrimp and rice, while the sweet 'n' spicy sauce ties everything together with its tangy notes.

This dish is perfect for a special occasion or a cozy night in with loved ones. I hope you enjoy making and savoring this dish as much as my boyfriend and I did!


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