How Do I Choose the Best Coconut Shrimp Dipping Sauce?

Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

The best coconut shrimp dipping sauce pairs well with the sweet flavors of the coconut flakes, and adds a slight hint of heat. Orange sauce is typically served with this type of food in restaurants, and can be easily prepared at home. Chefs who feel inspired to try new flavor combinations may prefer to trade the oranges for pineapples and create a unique new dipping sauce that still satisfies their palate. Jalapenos and red chili peppers may be used to flavor or form the base of the sauce.

Jalapeno peppers can be used to make a chile coconut sauce for shrimp.
Jalapeno peppers can be used to make a chile coconut sauce for shrimp.

Shrimp are rolled in bread crumbs and coconut flakes and then deep fried to create coconut shrimp. Japanese panko crumbs may be substituted for bread crumbs to create a lighter, crispier frying batter. Beer is frequently used in this type of recipe as a dipping batter to coat the shrimp and provide a thick medium to which the bread crumbs and coconut flakes may be adhered. Dipping sauces for this type of food may be mixed together at home or purchased at a local grocery store.

The most commonly used type of coconut shrimp dipping sauce is an orange chutney. This type of sauce utilizes orange marmalade, brown sugar, and dijon mustard to produce a sweet and tangy flavor. The sugar and marmalade should be reduced in a sauce pot over a hot stove before the dijon mustard is added. All ingredients can be blended together evenly and removed from the heat to cool prior to serving. The sweet and savory nature of this type of sauce pairs well with the sugary flavor of the coconut flakes and fermented taste of the beer batter.

Any type of sweet fruit flavor tends to pair well with this version of fried fish. Pineapple can be substituted for the orange chutney to put a new twist on the traditional coconut shrimp dipping sauce. Heat can be added to this flavor combination by adding red pepper flakes and chopped, seeded jalapenos. Unlike the marmalade based recipes, this type of sauce can be mixed together in a bowl and refrigerated immediately without reducing the ingredients first over a stove top.

Individuals who enjoy the combination of hot and spicy with their sweet foods may prefer to use a Thai based sweet chili sauce as their coconut shrimp dipping sauce. This sauce is made using hot red peppers that have been chopped. Much of the heat associated with this type of food is located in the seeds of the pepper. Chefs preparing this sauce at home can choose to use the seeds in their recipe for an eye-watering version, or discard them for a more mild flavor. The chopped peppers are combined with garlic, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in water, and reduced over a stove top until a thick and slightly red liquid has been formed.

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Discussion Comments


@Pippinwhite -- You made me laugh when I read the bit about the Nilsson song -- because I started singing it about the same time. Catchy little song.

I also like just good old cocktail sauce with coconut shrimp. I use ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and a little hot sauce. It's probably not the ideal palate complement, but hey -- it's easy.


One chain restaurant has what they call a pina colada dipping sauce for their coconut shrimp. It's a coconut milk-based sauce and has lime in it, as well as bits of coconut. I think it's a great sauce.

Going on that theme, I really like anything lime-flavored with coconut. Pineapple is good, but lime really works. I guess there's some sense behind the "lime in the coconut" song by Nilsson. It's a pretty good flavor combination.

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    • Jalapeno peppers can be used to make a chile coconut sauce for shrimp.
      Jalapeno peppers can be used to make a chile coconut sauce for shrimp.