Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce ~ this 30-minute family meal is guaranteed to be a huge success. Serve it as an appetizer, too!

Ever since my ALMOND JOY BARS I’ve had coconut on the brain. At this point I think I’ve got it in all forms— both sweetened and unsweetened coconut meat, coconut milk, oil and flour, and I’m planning to use all of it. My favorite is the flour, the smell  is intoxicating. If you still think coconut oil is bad for you, you’re behind the times. Like so many other foods that were once blacklisted as unhealthy, the unique fat found in unprocessed coconut oil has been found to be unbelievably healthy. It’s up there with olive oil.

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.

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 used the fish sauce and chili paste that I had leftover from making my THAI COCONUT SOUP, you can find them in your regular store.

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.

This is going on my recipe hall of fame, whenever I get around to creating one. It’s great.

3.50 from 4 votes

Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Course Chicken, Dinner Recipes, Favorites, KIds, Sauces and Pestos
Yield 4
Author Sue Moran



  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour you can use regular
  • 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.
  • To make the 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • 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 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.



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    This is a beauty – I must re-discover coconut (daughter hated it so never cooked with it). The beauty of cooking is you know everything that’s in it!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Rock on girlfriend this looks amazing! Cheers to unprocessed coconut oil too.


  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    April 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Coconut shrimp are delicious and these tenders look just as yummy. The dipping sauce looks wonderful also.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    This looks so good…of course! I agree about using chicken tenders. I’m going to make this as soon as I get home for my kids.

    Facebook…I’m so bad at Face book…but I’ll click on “like”… I need to get better with facebook.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    April 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Loving the coconut theme and the chilli sauce looks great.

  • Reply
    Rosa's Yummy Yums
    April 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Mmmmhhh, delicious! That crispy chicken looks very tempting and the chili sauce is just perfect.



  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I love coconut chicken and coconut shrimp – that sauce!!! It’s killin’ me, it looks amazing. I think I’ll be making this sooner rather than later.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    April 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I think I love everything about this recipe! Sounds great – hall of fame recipe? I’m giving it a try!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I MUST make this. It look scrumptious!

    I agree with you. As far as meat goes for me, it’s organic or I’d rather do without. If more people knew what was in the regular animal feed, they’d stop eating it.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I love those bold and vibrant colors in this dish. It really sounds wonderful and I know my gang would enjoy it. I also like the dipping sauce you’ve created. I can’t wait to try this one. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

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