Coconut Prawns with Panko Breadcrumbs

Coconut Prawns with Panko Breadcrumbs


My panko coated coconut prawns are impossible to resist. A crisp breadcrumb coating, subtle coconut flavour and prawny goodness. What’s not to like? Luckily you don’t have to go all the way to the Caribbean to try my crispy coconut prawns. With my simple recipe, you can rustle up a plate of breaded prawns in no time at all. And who doesn’t want to eat panko coated prawns? Not me. I want to eat all the prawns. All of them.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Lone Star in Barbados. While we were planning our trip to the Caribbean, a friend recommended the restaurant to us. I’m so glad they did. It was gorgeous, with candlelit tables and views out to the ocean. I had the crispy coconut prawns with mango sweet chilly sauce for starters. It was delicious. The panko coating was crisp and crunchy, with a nice coconut taste. The huge tiger prawns encased within, thick and juicy. I enjoyed it so much, I had to recreate it at home.

Panko coated prawns: a recipe for coconut prawns

Begin by preparing three bowls. The first should contain the plain flour. The second, the beaten eggs. Fill the third bowl with half of the panko breadcrumbs and desiccated coconut. Mix the panko crumbs and coconut together. The final bowl is often the messiest so you should hold back half the mixture, so you can refresh it later.

You will need raw and peeled king prawns for this recipe. Get the biggest ones you can. Grab them one by one and dip into the flour. Once coated, place the prawns in the beaten egg. This will help the breadcrumbs and coconut shards to stick. Finally, add each prawn to the panko and coconut mixture. Ensure it is completely coated.

In a large frying pan, heat the coconut butter until it melts and starts to bubble. Add the prawns one by one. Be careful to make sure that most of the coating stays on each prawn. Fry the prawns for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve with a sprinkling of sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon, or a sweet chilli sauce dip.
Coconut Prawns with Panko Breadcrumbs

Japanese panko breadcrumbs: what are panko crumbs and how are they produced?

Like breadcrumbs, but more interesting. Japanese panko crumbs are crispy flakes of crustless bread. They are great in recipes where you want a crunchy coating, such as fried chicken or veal escalope. And they are particularly delicious when deep-fried.

The Japanese bake panko bread with electrical current. Yes, you read that right. Ovens are not involved in making panko. Instead, they place the Panko dough between metal plates and use an electrical charge to cook it. It’s for this reason that panko bread doesn’t have a crust.

My research suggests that Japanese soldiers invented panko during the Second World War. Without an oven, they made the obvious choice to electrify their bread. Thank goodness they did. My yummy coconut prawns may never have existed without them!

Breaded prawns: how to make coconut prawns

Coconut Prawns with Panko Breadcrumbs
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Caribbean, Seafood
Servings: 2 people
  • 165 g raw peeled king prawns
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 50 g coconut butter
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • A wedge of lemon
  1. Prepare three bowls, with the plain flour, beaten eggs, and the panko breadcrumb and desiccated coconut mixture.

  2. Dip the prawns into the flour, eggs, and panko and coconut mixture one by one. Make sure that each prawn is completely coated.

  3. Heat the coconut butter in a large frying pan until it melts and starts to bubble. Add the prawns one by one. Fry the prawns for about 2-3 minutes on each side. 

  4. Serve with a sprinkling of sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon.

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