Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing […] The post Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

Talk about addictive! Once you try one of these crispy Coconut Chicken strips dipped in tangy sweet chili sauce you’re going to want to make them on a weekly basis. Because the chicken is sliced nice and thin and then cooked quickly in hot oil, the chicken stays juicy and tender on the inside, while developing a perfectly golden brown and crispy exterior. Pair that with a bowl of cool, sweet, and tangy Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping and I’m in absolute heaven. So if you love chicken tenders, chicken strips, boneless wings, or anything along those lines, I think you’re going to love these Coconut Chicken Strips.

Originally posted 1-18-2010, updated 5-10-2021.

What Kind of Chicken to Use

I’ve tried this recipe with both chicken breast (boneless, skinless) and chicken tenders. Chicken tenders ended up being too large when used whole, so while they are an option you’ll probably still want to slice them into thinner pieces before breading and cooking. 

Another option would be to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into chunks, so you’ll have something more along the lines of coconut chicken “bites” than strips. I think that would be awesome! The dark meat of chicken thighs will be extra tender and juicy.

Cooking Options

Frying – I chose to shallow fry my coconut chicken strips in a skillet because I don’t have a deep fryer and I don’t deep fry often enough to warrant using as much oil as deep-frying requires. Shallow frying will still get you that great super crispy exterior without allowing the inside to dry out.

Baking – While you can bake these, the results won’t be as awesome as frying. Baking takes longer and the hot air causes more evaporation, which results in drier chicken. You also won’t get as much browning as you will with frying. To help the browning issue, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut breading mixture, similar to the technique used in my Homemade Chicken Nuggets. I suggest using the baking temperature and technique used for the chicken nuggets as well, but increasing the bake time by a few minutes.

Air Frying – I do not own an air fryer, so unfortunately I can’t offer suggestions for cooking times and temperature, but I suspect these chicken strips would be a good candidate for air frying. Because this appliance uses hot air, similar to an oven, I would suggest either spritzing the strips with a little spray oil or mixing a tablespoon or two of oil into the panko and coconut mixture to help with browning.

What to Serve with Coconut Chicken Strips

Don’t skip that sweet chili sauce! You can find sweet chili sauce in the international aisle of most major grocery stores, or you can try making your own with my Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce recipe. For side dishes, you can pair this with something like Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, Cucumber Mango Salad, or Savory Coconut Rice. 

What Oil is Good For Frying?

It’s really important to use the right kind of cooking oil for frying. Every type of cooking oil has a different “smoke point,” which is the temperature that the oil begins to smoke and burn. And obviously, we want to avoid that because burned oil does not taste good (and it’s a fire hazard!). So, you’ll want to choose an oil that can withstand the high temperature of frying and an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own. Some good oils to choose from are canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil.

Close up of a coconut chicken strip being dipped into sweet chili sauce

A plate of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center, a hand dipping one chicken strip into the sauce

Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce

These tender and crispy homemade Coconut Chicken Strips are perfect for dipping in a tangy and sweet chili sauce.
Total Cost $10.95 recipe / $2.73 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 4 strips each
Calories 873.13kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $7.70
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk $0.25
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs $0.22
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut $0.56
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, divided* $0.32
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce $1.43

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch wide strips, slicing diagonally to maintain a more even length among the strips.
  • Sprinkle the salt and flour over top of the sliced chicken. Toss the chicken until they're evenly coated.
  • Whisk together the eggs and coconut milk in a bowl. In a separate wide shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and flaked coconut.
  • To bread the chicken, dip each chicken strip into the egg wash, allow the excess to drip off, then dip it into the breadcrumb mixture until it's fully coated. Place the breaded chicken strips on a clean plate or tray until they're all breaded.
  • Once they're all breaded, it's time to fry. Heat ¼ cup cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. To test the heat of the oil, drop a breadcrumb into the oil. It should begin to sizzle immediately. If the oil begins to smoke at anytime, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken strips, several at a time, leaving a little space between each one. Cook the chicken strips for about three minutes on on each side, or until they're deeply golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain, then repeat with another batch of chicken. Remove any burned pieces of coconut before beginning the next batch, and add more oil as needed, making sure to wait until it is hot before adding more chicken.
  • After frying all of the chicken, it's time to serve! Serve hot with a bowl of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Notes

*Use a high heat cooking oil. Good options include: canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, refined coconut oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, refined olive oil, or refined avocado oil. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 873.13kcal | Carbohydrates: 82.7g | Protein: 39.45g | Fat: 42.1g | Sodium: 1313.3mg | Fiber: 3.15g

Close up of coconut chicken strips on a plate with a bowl of thai sweet chili sauce

How to Make Coconut Chicken Strips – Step by Step Photos

Sliced chicken breasts

Start with about 1.3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cut them into ½-inch wide strips. I like to do this sort of on a diagonal to keep them more even in length. If your chicken breasts are very large, you might want to cut the length of the strip in half as well. Cutting the chicken strips thin enough is important because this allows it to cook through quickly. 

Chicken strips coated in flour and salt

Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp flour over the chicken strips, then toss until they’re evenly coated.

Egg and coconut milk mixed in a bowl

Whisk together two large eggs and ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk in a bowl. Make sure to use the type of coconut milk that is in a can, not the type in a carton that is meant to be a dairy milk substitute.

Coconut and panko breadcrumbs mixed together in a bowl

Combine 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs in a wide, shallow bowl.

Breading station with chicken, egg wash, coconut and breadcrumbs

Set up your breading station with the bowl of coconut egg wash, the bowl with coconut and breadcrumbs, and a plate or tray for the breaded chicken. I’m using a parchment lined baking sheet to hold the breaded chicken just for easy cleanup. Dip each chicken strip first into the eggwash (let excess drip off), then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the breadcrumbs and coconut fully coat all sides, then place the chicken strip on your holding tray.

Breaded chicken strips on a baking tray

Once all of the chicken strips are breaded, it’s time to start cooking. Add ¼ cup cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Wait until the oil is very hot, but not smoking. If you drop one of the panko breadcrumbs into the hot oil, it should immediately begin sizzling. If it doesn’t sizzle right away, the oil is not hot enough. If at any point during the cooking process the oil begins to smoke, remove it from the heat immediately and wait for it to cool down. 

Browned chicken strips in the skillet

Once the oil is good and hot, add several of the chicken strips, leaving a little space between each. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are deeply golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Scoop out any loose pieces of coconut, add a little more oil if needed, wait for it to get hot again, and then cook a second batch of chicken strips. You should be able to cook them all in 2-3 batches. 

Finished Coconut Chicken Strips on a paper towel lined plate

Once they’re all cooked, it’s time to serve! 

Overhead view of a plate full of coconut chicken strips with a bowl of sweet chili sauce in the center

Pour about one cup of sweet chili sauce into a bowl and place that in the center of the coconut chicken strips. I sprinkled the chicken strips with a little cilantro for color, but that’s not needed for flavor. Sliced green onions are another optional garnish idea. Enjoy!

The post Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Chili Sauce appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops

Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops are going to change the way you eat scallops! These are chock full of flavor, tender, juicy and succulent! Scallops are a favorite, they are mild in flavor so they take on your seasonings beautifully. Try these scallops in Tuscan Garlic, Grilled Lemon, and Pan Seared, all insanely delicious recipes!…

Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops

Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops are going to change the way you eat scallops! These are chock full of flavor, tender, juicy and succulent!

Scallops are a favorite, they are mild in flavor so they take on your seasonings beautifully. Try these scallops in Tuscan Garlic, Grilled Lemon, and Pan Seared, all insanely delicious recipes!

Tender scallops cooked in an air fryer with lemon and dill.

Air Fryer Scallops

These scallops done in the air fryer are going to blow your tastebuds. The air fryer just infuses the lemon and dill into the scallops which creates a deep rich yet bright and zingy dish. Perfect for summer. Air Fryers are a cook’s dream come true! They are fast, healthier, and cook everything to perfection! Plus dishes are reduced and you do not have to heat up the kitchen to cook. Perfect for those hot days. Now you can have incredible luscious meals, save time, stay cool and eat like a king!

Some of our favorite air fryer dishes include Steak, Chicken, and Potatoes. And now you can add these scallops to those favorites. They come out impeccable, your whole family is going to love these. Pair them with a side salad, some pasta or vegetables. Keep in mind scallops do not keep well so only make what you will eat that night for best results. I tend to serve 4-6 per person. You have to try these!

Lemon and Dill Scallop Ingredients

These air fryer scallops are so full of flavor, they are going to wow your taste buds!

  • Scallops: Fresh, rinsed, and patted dry.
  • Olive Oil: This will coat the scallops and help the flavorings stick.
  • Butter: Melt your butter to stir in the mix.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic
  • Lemon: Freshly squeezed for zing and tartness.
  • Dill chopped: I used freshly chopped dill, but you can use dried, see my tips.
  • Salt and pepper: Add to taste.

How to Make Scallops in the Air Fryer

Using the air fryer makes these scallops almost effortless, and so insanely delicious.

  1. Mix the Flavor: In a medium-sized bowl combine scallops, olive oil, butter, garlic juice of one lemon, dill, and salt and pepper.
  2. Scallops: Add the scallops in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer.
  3. Air Fry: Cook at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees.
Mixing the seasonings together with the scallops and placing them in an air fryer.

How to Cook Scallops

Air Fryer Scallops are a delicate slightly sweet tasting shellfish. They are absolutely divine when cooked properly. So here is all you need to know.

  • Buying: There are two ways to buy scallops, fresh and frozen. Both will work for this recipe. Be sure to thaw frozen scallops overnight in the fridge. Do not use a microwave to thaw.
  • Frozen: Look for wild-caught scallops without the roe for ease. The roe is a bright orange or coral-colored crescent shape that can still be attached. It can taste a bit bitter. If that is all you can find simply remove it before cooking.  Whole scallops will also come with the roe and the muscle that attaches it to the shell, which too will need to be removed.
  • Fresh: When you go to find fresh, they will either come packed in water, which is preservatives, or dry-packed. Whichever kind you buy, look for scallops that are a uniform pearly white color with firm, slightly moist flesh. Make sure they don’t look mangled or shredded and off in color.
  • Cleaning: Scallops are a breeze to clean and prepare for cooking. Simply rinse under cool running water and then pat them dry. If you feel a tag of tissue on the side of the muscle that is a bit tougher than the rest, that’s the side muscle and needs to be removed. Just pinch and tear and it will come away easily. If you do not find one, no worries, most of the time they come off in the harvesting process.
  • Do NOT overcook: If people like shellfish, but not scallops, it’s often because they have had ones that are overcooked. They will become tough and rubbery so cook just till they are done, 120 degrees, they will continue to cook when removed reaching the optimal 130 degrees inside.

Air Frying Scallop Tips

Air Frying makes these super easy and absolutely divine, every single time!

  • Do not overcrowd: When you place them in the air fryer be sure to not overcrowd them or they will not cook evenly.
  • Every Air Fryer is Different: The number one rule when trying out a new recipe in your air fryer is to check your food often, some air fryers are more powerful than others and you do not want food that is undercooked or overcooked, so check it!
  • Do not use Cooking Spray: Cooking spray has additives that can ruin the basket. If you feel like you need to oil your basket do it with an oil pump instead.
  • These will not brown like pan searing: Do not wait for these to turn brown to know if they are done. You will need an internal thermometer.
  • Dill: If you cannot find fresh dill, you can use dried. Use half the amount called for as dried herbs are potent than fresh.
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Print

Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops

Air Fryer Lemon Dill Scallops are going to change the way you eat scallops! These are chock full of flavor, tender, juicy and succulent!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer scallops
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 163kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoons dill chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl combine scallops, olive oil, butter, garlic juice of one lemon, dill, and salt and pepper.
  • Add the scallops in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer.
  • Cook at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Source : The Recipe Critic More   

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