Honey-Pepper Coconut Shrimp


Although his breading technique at Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack in Asheville, North Carolina is top secret, chef Rich Cundiff was kind enough to create this special riff on his coconut shrimp exclusively for us. A drizzle of syrupy honey glaze, infused with black pepper and lemon, adds a tart-sweet bite.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 12 3/4 ounces), divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 cups panko

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined tail-on raw medium shrimp

  • Vegetable oil

  • Mango-Habanero Aioli


  1. Combine honey, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

  2. Stir together 2 cups flour, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk together eggs, 1 cup water, baking powder, and remaining 1 cup flour in a separate bowl until just combined. Stir together coconut and panko in a third bowl.

  3. Dredge 1 shrimp in salted flour mixture; shake off excess. Dip into egg batter; let excess drip off. Dredge in coconut mixture, pressing lightly to adhere. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process using remaining shrimp. Freeze shrimp until firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat over high to 325°F. Working in about 3 batches, fry shrimp in hot oil until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Let cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with honey mixture. Serve with mango-habanero aioli.

    Honey Pepper Coconut Shrimp Recipe
    Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

Suggested Pairing

Lightly off-dry white.

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