Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce is a Thai inspired 30-minute meal guaranteed to be a huge success.
coconut chicken with sweet chili sauce
This Coconut Chicken is a variation of the more common Thai coconut shrimp. I say it all the time but I love cooking with chicken tenders and chicken cutlets as opposed to using the whole breast. When you cook them right they’re almost as delicate as fish, and their mild flavor can take on so many personalities, from a rich Marsala to this crunchy dish. When I buy chicken, though, I ‘m always extra careful to buy humanely raised meat. I’d much rather pay a little more and eat a little less.
what you’ll need for coconut chicken
The coconut flour adds a beautiful layer of flavor to the chicken, but you don’t have to use it. The Japanese Panko crumbs, on the other hand, are pretty necessary to the texture of this chicken, they add a crispness to the coating.
- chicken tenders
- coconut flour (you can use regular flour if you prefer)
- Panko bread crumbs
- shredded unsweetened coconut
- oil for frying, I use peanut oil for its high smoke point
sweet chili sauce ingredients
Dippable food is fun food, and I love dipping sauces and salsas of all kinds. It just makes a meal more festive. This sweet chili sauce is a classic and is so easy to make. It’s basically a spicy sweet and sour sauce. (I also have a stand alone recipe for sweet chili sauce thats slightly different from this one.)
- rice wine vinegar
- fresh lime
- dried red chili peppers, or you can use fresh ones
- red bell pepper
- fresh garlic
- Thai red chili paste
- Thai fish sauce
tips for making coconut chicken with sweet chili sauce
- If you are making this for kids you can leave out the hot peppers and just use the bell pepper in the sauce.
I saw many recipes for coconut chicken online that called for the sweetened coconut that you find in the baking aisle. I tried it both ways and the unsweetened is definitely best. It has a natural sweetness to it and a smaller shred which makes a better crust. The sweetened is too sweet and has a tendency to burn.
- If you want to use chicken breasts instead of tenders, you can brown them in the pan first and then transfer to the oven to finish the cooking.
This is going on my recipe hall of fame, whenever I get around to creating one. It’s great.
Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup coconut flour, you can use regular flour as well.
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- oil for frying, I use peanut
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 3 dried red chili peppers, or you can use fresh ones
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut in chunks
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp Thai red chili paste
- 1 Tbsp honey
- a dash Thai fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- For the chicken: In a series of 3 plates or wide shallow bowls, set out the flour in one, the beaten eggs in another, and the bread crumbs mixed with the shredded coconut in the third.
- Coat all the tenders in the flour and set aside on a plate while you begin heating the oil in a wide bottomed frying pan. You should have about 1/8 inch of oil and it should be nice and hot before you begin cooking.
- When the oil is hot, dip the tenders in the egg, coating them completely, and then into the crumb/coconut mixture. Make sure you get them completely coated with the coconut crumbs. Shake off the excess.
- Saute the chicken until golden on both sides, which will take about 4 minutes total, depending on the thickness of your tenders and the temperature of your oil. Do this in batches so the tenders have space between them and the oil stays hot. Replenish with more oil if you need to between batches, but let it come up to temperature before adding more chicken.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime and the Chili Sauce.
sweet chili sauce
- Mix the cornstarch and the 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Put all the rest of the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blend until pureed.
- Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch paste, stir and let simmer for another minute. The sauce will thicken and turn glossy.
- Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.
Questions and Reviews
i love coconut breading! covering shrimp in coconut is the only way i’ll deign to eat it. 🙂 this chicken looks outstanding, and the sauce ain’t too shabby either!
oooooh, I am in love with that coconut panko breading! It looks fantastic. That sauce sounds pretty incredible too. I need to add this dish to my list now as well.
Where do I start with this post… 1st of all, I’ve never seen coconut flour, I’ll have to search that out my next trip to Whole Foods. I’ve got coconut oil…someone told me it was a fabulous oil for popcorn. They were right. Couldn’t agree more about those chicken tenders. Such a wonderful and easy food. And chili sauce????? omg. And last, I love how you served that dipping sauce in the jar. Really nice idea.
This is gorgeous, Sue! And allow me to say that your sweet chili sauce looks delicious!
I just love it when you can use all those ingredients you already have on hand! It is definitely the season for coconut. I’ve been craving it every day.
Rock on girlfriend this looks amazing! Cheers to unprocessed coconut oil too. Velva