Turn your crispy coconut shrimp into a seafood feast with these quick and easy side dishes.
Whoever decided to combine coconut with shrimp is a genius, and we would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts. These little bites of heaven are golden, sweet, and perfectly crispy.
To make this tropical dish, you simply coat the shrimp in a batter of coconut flakes and breadcrumbs, which is then deep-fried until golden brown. But the flavor combination works like magic.
With this dish, you get a bite of crisp and mildly sweet coating followed by plump, juicy, and flavorful shrimp. Together, the elements form a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures.
But while coconut shrimp tastes oh so delectable, it’s hardly a complete meal. Pair it with a few complementary sides for a true seafood feast. Crispy fries, coleslaw, and fried rice are some of my personal favorites. But I’ll let you choose your own adventure.
Here are some quick and easy side dishes that pair perfectly with the star of your meal: coconut shrimp!
Pasta dishes work well for this dish because they are filling. Plus, you can top it off with a mild sauce that complements the flavors of the coconut shrimp.
My personal favorite is fettuccine alfredo. I know, it sounds a little strange, but it works! The creamy sauce, garlicky shrimp, and sweet coconut make for a heavenly combo.
Another fantastic option is to make orzo, a type of rice-shaped pasta. Cook it in chicken broth and flavor with onion and garlic. Top it with mushrooms and Voila – a perfect pasta dish with subtle flavors. If you don’t have orzo on hand, couscous work as a good alternative.
If you’re not a fan of rice-shaped pasta, go for macaroni pasta instead! It’s very easy to make – just combine the elbow macaroni noodles with mayonnaise and chopped celery. Add some chopped pimiento, bacon, green onions, and cheese for more flavor.
Coconut shrimp is a protein-loaded dish, which is always great with rice. While a cup of plain white rice is great with this dish, I like to kick things up a notch by making fried rice instead. Mix your fried rice with your choice of protein, veggies, seeds, and nuts to suit your preference.
Or, you can give your rice an Italian flair by making Risotto, instead. Risotto has a nice creamy texture that pairs fabulously with coconut shrimp.
Finally, if you want a tropical twist to your meal, add some pineapple bits to your rice. Take it one step further by serving the rice in a hollowed-out pineapple – what a nice touch! You’ll feel like you’re on a Hawaiian vacation.
Coleslaw has a nice tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with coconut shrimp. Plus, if you use red and green cabbage to make it, you’ll get a vibrant and colorful slaw that will look oh so good on the dinner table. Opt for a vinegar-based instead of mayo dressing so that the flavors aren’t so heavy, though.
4. Veggie Spring Rolls
Picture this: crispy vegetables and rich avocados embraced by a thin and gelatinous rice paper wrapper and then dipped in a sweet Thai mango sauce. Now that sounds like a lip-smackingly good side dish! It’s light and refreshing flavors balance out the richness of the deep-fried shrimp too, so they’re perfect together.
5. French Fries
Because you can never go wrong with a classic side dish. Think about it – deep-fried coconut shrimp plus French fries? They’re a match made in heaven. Both are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Plus, it reminds me of being at a seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean and watching the waves roll in. Paradise.
Oh, and here’s a great alternative: sweet potato fries! The potato’s sweet cousin also pairs well with coconut shrimp because both have a combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Okay, we know dips are technically not side dishes, but it’s important we talk about it because what is a deep-fried dish without a dipping sauce? Keep it simple or get as creative as you like.
You can’t go wrong with the classics, such as tartar sauce and mango sauce, but here are some suggestions we also highly recommend.
Orange-chili dip. It’s sweet, tangy, and refreshing. It’s a great way to balance out the heaviness of the battered and deep-fried shrimp.
Pineapple-cilantro dip. Pineapple is sweet and tangy, cilantro is herby, and together – they are perfect.
Sticking with our tropical theme here, no seafood feast is complete without a fruity drink.
I’m partial to frozen daiquiris – especially when you make them with mango’s. Some other excellent combos include Piña Colada’s, Mojitos, and the Bahama Mama! And of course, you can never go wrong with a long island iced tea.
Put a paper umbrella on top and you’ll soon be swimming in paradise.
No seafood feast is complete without a little something sweet to finish it off.
Chocolate is my personal guilty pleasure. You can never go wrong with chocolate, whether it’s chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, or a classic brownie with ice cream on top.
This decadent delight makes the perfect ending to almost any meal.
If you’re looking for something tart and refreshing, key lime pie will certainly satisfy your taste buds. Or you can keep it super simple with some fresh mango and a little mango sauce poured on top. Yum.
Looking for something sweet but light? Cheesecake or creme brulee fit the bill perfectly. You can even share a piece with the entire table. That way – you get a little something sweet without getting overly full.