19 Best ideas for what to serve with Coconut Shrimp that contrast with the tropical coconut flavor and crunchy texture perfectly!
In this tropical-style recipe, shrimp is coated in sweet coconut flakes and breadcrumbs then fried till crispy and golden. (I suggest using Panko for extra crunch!) These days, they're often baked or air-fried for health reasons and can be served as both a starter or entree.
Although delicious, they need to be served with other dishes to make a complete meal, preferably ones with more fibre since shrimp is protein-heavy. Also, I recommend staying away from fried dishes such as French Fries, because everything in moderation: too much fried food in 1 meal makes for quite a dry meal.
Scroll down for the best coconut shrimp sides!
Note: Remember not to take off the tails of the shrimp, as that's their classic look!
A fresh salad, whether it's cucumber or leafy greens, will make a perfect refreshing contrast to the fried shrimp.
I particularly like tropical fruit salads made of mango, pineapple, avocado and crabsticks! Pair it with Thai Mango Sauce or a Sweet chili sauce!
The flavors of this zesty salsa go superbly with the fried coconut shrimp! If you don't have pineapple, substitute with sweet mango.
Tip: for extra flavor, use grilled pineapple.
A deliciously easy cranberry apple slaw goes with almost everything!
If you want to have a fusion feast, you can even go for a pasta dish like Gochujang Spaghetti!
Rice goes well with almost anything, whether it's white rice, brown rice, jasmine long grain, basmati or even sushi rice! To jazz up a bowl of plain. rice, add some sliced scallions, cilantro, Japanese furikake, toasted sesame seeds or lime juice for extra flavor.
Instead of plain white rice, why not try some of these Asian rice dishes below?
Pandan and coconut are a marriage made in heaven in Southeast Asian cooking. Just don't forget to include a dish with gravy or sauce so that the meal won't be too dry!
Cilantro Lime Rice
This Chipotle Copycat is a great side dish for a tropical party!
Fried rice is so versatile, any type goes with the sweet shrimp really. You can pair it with the Korean spicy fried rice below or a more neutral Chinese egg fried rice.
Tip: Leftover rice makes the best fried rice. (Click through for more fried rice recipes.) If you need to use freshly cooked, at least make sure it's cooled before stir-frying to prevent the grains from being mushy.
Veggie Spring Rolls are a great start to any meal. They're usually fried but I recommend the fresh Vietnamese ones here (also known as summer rolls), since the shrimp is already deep-fried.
Not only does the squash make it a more nutritious meal, you can also dip the shrimp into the spicy gochujang dressing! The recipe calls for butternut squash but yellow squash or grilled summer squash work too.
Note: The gochujang sauce is also delicious over baked potato or sweet potato fries!
Grilled or Steamed Vegetables
Vegetables make a versatile healthy and tasty side dish. You can steam green beans and carrots or grill zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and asparagus.
If you don't want to grill your vegetables, you can also stir-fry them. Bok Choy or broccoli is the most typical option but you can choose any veg that you like. Just don't forget the ginger, garlic and soy sauce for extra flavor!
Because Coconut Shrimp is fried, it can be a bit dry, so I recommend pairing it with a creamy dip. However, it also goes well with tangy sauces, thanks to the acidity of the lime and/ or tamarind.
Or if kimchi is not your thing, try this Gochujang Aioli!
Lime & Soy Sauce
If you can't get Calamansi, here are some good substitutes for this citrus fruit.
Continuing the tropical theme, why not end the meal with a fresh fruit salad? I've included konjac jelly in my recipe to make it more diet-friendly, in case anyone was feeling guilty about indulging in fried food!
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