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Hand dipping breaded vegan shrimp into cocktail sauce.
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5 from 2 votes

Fried vegan shrimp

If fancy to you is a platter of shrimp with cocktail sauce for dipping, you're going to love this vegan version. It's made with hearts of palm that's cut into bite-sized portions, breaded with panko, and fried until crisp. Great for romantic dinners or parties as an appetizer or main course.
Serve with homemade cocktail sauce.
Prep Time16 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: finger food, party food, starter
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson


  • 14 ounce can hearts of palm drained (7.7 ounces drained weight)
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour divided
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning plus a couple shakes more
  • Organic canola oil for shallow frying


  • Put the drained hearts of palm on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
  • Move the hearts of palm to a cutting board. Cut them into ¾ to 1-inch long pieces.
    From a standard can, you'll get 3 to 5 "shrimp" per each stick of hearts of palm, depending on the thickness of each one.*
  • Now it's time to make a breading station. Put 2 Tablespoons of flour on a dinner plate.
    Put the remaining Tablespoon of flour in a small bowl with non-dairy milk. Use a fork or whisk to evenly combine it and get out any lumps.
    Finally, put ¼ cup of panko breadcrumbs on a plate with ½ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. Use your fingers to evenly combine the seasoning throughout the breadcrumbs.
  • Before you begin breading the hearts of palm, bring a non-stick skillet to a medium high heat with about a half inch of organic canola oil (or your preferred neutral-flavored high-heat oil).
  • While the oil heats, bread the hearts of palm. One at a time, roll a piece of heart of palm in the flour until it's covered. Tap it on the side of the plate to remove any excess.
    Then dip it into the milk mixture. Tap it on the side to remove any excess.
    Finally, roll it in the seasoned panko breadcrumbs. (As you're breading the hearts of palm, if you run out of breadcrumbs, put another ¼ cup on the plate, along with an additional ½ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.)
    Set the breaded heart of palm on a clean plate, and continue until all of the pieces are breaded.
  • Once all of the hearts of palm are breaded, drop a breadcrumb into the oil in the skillet. If oil immediately bubbles around it, it’s ready for frying.
  • Put the hearts of palm into the oil (working in batches, if necessary, so as to not overcrowd). Fry for about 4 minutes, rotating the hearts of palm as they brown, so that every part is fried.
    If you're working in batches, the oil will continue to get hotter as you cook. So subsequent rounds may not take quite as long to cook. Lower the heat, if needed. Once they are brown all over, they are done.
  • Once the hearts of palm are brown all over, move them to a clean, towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Shake more Old Bay seasoning on the breaded hearts of palm while it's still hot. Serve with cocktail sauce for dipping.
  • Optional: If you’d like to serve the vegan shrimp on the side of a cocktail glass, carefully make a small cut into the side of a few of the breaded & fried hearts of palm. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Then put cocktail sauce into the glass, and place the vegan shrimp on the side through the slits.



*Canned hearts of palm varies in its thickness. Some are a little wider than a pencil, while others are the width of a Persian cucumber. So you'll need to use your best judgment when cutting bite-sized pieces.
For skinny hearts of palm, I recommend cutting 1-inch pieces. For thicker hearts of palm, ½ to ¾ inch pieces works for the best vegetable to breading ratio. If necessary, you can slice very thick hearts of palm in half length-wise before cutting into pieces. However, the interior rings may come apart a bit in the process.
I highly recommend panko breadcrumbs over other breadcrumbs for this recipe. This Japanese breadcrumb gives a crisper, lighter texture that is ideal.
To reheat leftovers, I recommend air frying. Reheat at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, stopping once to carefully turn.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 1021mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg