I once read that something like 70% of people strongly dislike coconut. It seems to be one of those polarizing ingredients like fish or vegemite. When it comes to coconut in desserts, I'm in the "love" camp, and I've recently started using it in savory dishes, like Indian and Thai curries. But this is a simple coconut-crusted chicken for those who are just wanting to dip their toes into the savory coconut world.

There's not much more to say about it—it's essentially just shnitzel but with coconut instead of breadcrumbs. Enjoy!


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 oz. shredded coconut (approximately 2 cups)
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. Cut each chicken breast into several long strips (approximately 6 each).
  2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add the garlic, paprika, and salt.
  3. Coat each piece of chicken in flour, then dip it into the eggs, and then into the coconut. Place on a plate or piece of parchment paper.
  4. Heat about an inch of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the chicken tenders for a few minutes on each side until golden on the outside and cooked through. If the oil gets too hot, the coconut will burn and the inside will stay raw. If that happens, lower the temperature by adding more oil to the pan, or taking the pan off the fire for a couple of minutes.
  5. When the chicken tenders are ready, remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels, or on a cooling rack, to drain.
  6. Serve with the sauce of your choice, like plum sauce, peanut sauce, a chutney, or mango salsa.

Yields: 12 tenders