Coconut crunch chicken strips, lightly coated in shredded coconut, are my wonderfully crispy, fun, and extra delicious take on traditional chicken strips! With a creamy and mildly sweet and spicy honey-mango sauce for dipping, these strips are a finger-licking favorite for both kids and adults alike!
A Crispy and Delicious Take on Classic Chicken Strips
Crispy chicken strips with a delicious dipping sauce are one of those simple indulgences that always bring out the kid in me, and I find myself craving them more often than I'd probably like to admit. 😉
Golden-brown and crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, chicken strips have always been one of my favorite snacks to prepare at home, because they're so quick and easy, and deliciously filling.
And because I like to play around with classic staples, I came up with my own tasty spin on traditional chicken strips. Before frying, I roll them in shredded coconut for extra crunch and flavor, then serve with a creamy, honey mango dipping sauce on the side.
So these strips savory with a hint of sweet, and totally finger-licking good for “kids” of all ages to enjoy!
How to Make Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips with Honey Mango Dipping Sauce
While most chicken strips recipes call for a light dusting of flour, then a dunk in egg wash or buttermilk, and then a dip back into the flour again (or even breadcrumbs), I take these strips-with-a-twist in a coconut-y direction instead.
Since chicken is as versatile as it is when it comes to various flavor profiles, coating strips of marinated chicken in sweetened shredded coconut and lightly frying until golden is absolutely scrumptious.
The flavor is sort of nutty and slightly sweet-savory, and the texture is light, crispy and irresistibly crunchy!
And to bring out the mild coconut flavor in these chicken strips even more, I whip up a creamy and delicious honey-mango dipping sauce to plunge these into, flavored with a hint of sriracha and curry.
Here's a sneak peek at my coconut crunch chicken strips recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- I begin by prepping the creamy honey-mango dipping sauce, adding all the ingredients to my food processor and processing until smooth. Then, I keep the sauce chilled until I'm ready to serve with my strips.
- While my frying oil heats up, I do a quick marination of the chicken by tossing it with a touch of salt, pepper, and curry powder.
- Next, I coat my strips in lightly seasoned flour, some whisked eggs, then the shredded coconut, and fry in batches until golden.
- I serve hot with a sprinkle of chives and lots of dipping sauce on the side.
Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 760 calories (with about 2 tablespoons of dipping sauce)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips Ingredients:
- Peanut (or vegetable) oil, for frying
- 2 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless), sliced length-wise into 4 strips, then those strips sliced length-wise in half, making a total of 8 strips per breast
- Pinch curry powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
Creamy Honey-Mango Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks, thawed
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Pinch (small) curry powder
- 3 to 4 drops sriracha sauce (add more if you like it a bit more spicy)
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preparing your dipping sauce by adding all of the sauce ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and processing until completely combined and well-blended; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
- To prepare the strips, fill a medium-sized pot about half-way with the peanut oil (roughly 6-8 cups), and bring the temperature of the oil slowly up to 360° while you prepare the strips.
- Place the chicken strips into a bowl, and add the pinch of curry powder, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, to the strips; toss the strips to coat them in the seasoning, and set them aside for a moment.
- Set up your “coating” station by adding the flour, along with another couple of pinches of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, into a medium-sized bowl and blending to combine; have the whisked eggs in another medium-sized bowl, and add the sweetened shredded coconut into a third medium-sized bowl.
- To coat the chicken strips, dredge one strip at a time in the seasoned flour and coat it well; next, dip it into the whisked eggs, and then into the shredded coconut; press the strips into the coconut very well to coat them thoroughly, and place the coated strips onto a plate to hold until all strips have been coated.
- To fry the strips, work in batches by adding about 4-5 strips into the hot oil, and allow them to fry for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes, moving them very gently with tongs every now and then, until they are a deep, golden color.
- Remove from oil and place onto a paper towel-lined platter to drain, and sprinkle each batch with a pinch of salt and pepper while they're still hot; repeat the process until all strips have been fried.
- Serve the strips hot, garnished with a sprinkle of the minced chives and a side of the honey-mango dipping sauce.
Tips & Tidbits for my Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips:
- Marinate for better flavor: If you have a little extra time, marinate the chicken strips longer to help create more flavor. If you can marinate the chicken overnight, that's ideal, but try to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Go bold: For spicier chicken strips, geared towards a more adult palette, add more curry and cayenne to the marinade, plus a touch more after frying. You can even add a bit more sriracha to the dipping sauce as well!
- Clip on the thermometer for perfect oil temp: To make sure your oil is the right temp (it should be at least 360° or even 365°), it's best to use a clip-on digital thermometer while frying. You want your strips nice and crisp and golden, and not soggy (from oil not being hot enough), or burned (when the oil is too hot).
- Sweetened or unsweetened, it's your choice: Sweetened shredded coconut is what is called for in this recipe, but unsweetened is a perfectly fine substitute as well. And be sure to press the egg-washed strips very firmly into the shredded coconut to help it adhere as much as possible. Some coconut will fall off during the frying, which is normal, but you don't want to lose all of your coating.
- Keep the crowd under control: It's best to work in batches when frying tenders as to not overcrowd the pot and bring the oil temp down too rapidly. I like to add about 4 strips at a time, but it'll depend on the size of your pot.
- Finishing flavor flourish: Season the tenders with a dusting of salt and pepper when they're fresh out of the fryer, to help the seasoning stick. This would also be the time to add a pinch more curry or cayenne for an extra kick, if desired.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!