Crispy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp is a restaurant-quality appetizer that can be made in the comfort of your own home.
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Even better? This is a much healthier alternative to the traditional fried version.
One of our family’s favorite recipes is Crispy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp.
I personally adore the way the crispy breading contrasts with the juicy, plump shrimp on the inside. I like the air fryer because some of my family aren’t eating food that is drenched in oil.
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WHY COOK COCONUT SHRIMP WITH AN AIR FRYER?
Cooking with an air fryer is a great way to get that traditional fried-food flavor without all of the extra oil!
That is why I enjoy using my air fryer! It’s such a simple and easy way to keep the delicious flavor. Plus, because I don’t have to worry about oil splatters, clean-up is a breeze!
Did you know that using 1 tablespoon of cooking oil instead of a couple of cups of it to deep fry your recipe yields the same great results while using a fraction of the fat? It’s a no-lose situation!
I also like that when I use the air fryer, I don’t have to sacrifice flavor!
This air-fried coconut shrimp has the same golden, crispy texture on the outside as well as the same delicious, juicy shrimp on the inside.
Using the air fryer also allows me to concentrate on other tasks in the kitchen while the food is cooking. It eliminates the need for me to stand next to the stove and keep an eye on them the entire time.
That way, I can eat delicious coconut shrimp while focusing on other dishes because these are so simple to make once you pop them in and wait for them to finish!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- For this recipe, use large shrimp. If you’re using frozen, make sure they’re completely thawed. Peel and devein them, but leave their tails on to make them easier to pick up.
- For the coating, use all-purpose flour. If you have a wheat intolerance, use 1:1 GF flour or coconut flour.
- Eggs: To ensure that the coating adheres to the shrimp.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut can be substituted.
- Breadcrumbs: For a really crispy crust, I like to use panko breadcrumbs.
HOW TO MAKE THIS AIR FRYER SHRIMP RECIPE?
- Prepare your dredging station by putting the flour mix (flour and spices) in one bowl, the beaten eggs in another, and the panko and shredded coconut in a third. Make sure to thoroughly dry the shrimp but leave the tails on to make it easier to dip them when they’re finished cooking. They’re also cuter that way, haha.
- Dredge each shrimp in the flour, then the eggs, and finally the panko mixture. Push the panko mixture gently onto the shrimp to ensure it adheres. Place on a baking sheet until all of the shrimp are coated.
- You are now ready to place them in the air fryer. I found that working in two batches for a pound of shrimp ensured that the coconut shrimp did not touch in the basket. Cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through for extra crispy edges.
- They’ll be golden brown on the outside with crispy edges from the panko and coconut when they’re done. Shrimp does not require a long cooking time, but you should keep an eye on them if you use smaller shrimp. That’s the beauty of the air fryer you can check on the coconut shrimp at any time.
HOW TO DEFROST FROZEN SHRIMP
- Place frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. If you need to defrost frozen shrimp quickly, remove them from the bag and place them in a colander in the sink.
- Run cool water over the shrimp for 7-8 minutes, separating and tossing the shrimp every now and then. Before you start dredging and coating the shrimp, make sure there are no icey bits left on them.
FREEZING AND AIR FRYING
Simply follow the coating instructions and place your shrimps on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper if you’re meal prepping or making these coconut shrimps for later.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer so that each shrimp freezes evenly. Frozen shrimp will require an additional 3 to 3 12 minutes to air fry on each side.
STORING YOUR LEFTOVERS
Refrigerate any leftover shrimp in an airtight container. It can last up to three days.
Reheat them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or in a skillet over medium heat.
If you end up freezing your raw and breaded shrimps, they will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
CAN YOU COOK RAW SHRIMP IN AN AIR FRYER?
Yes. That’s what this recipe requires. I only use cooked shrimp in salad recipes like this Cold Seafood Salad.
However, for any recipe that calls for cooked shrimp, I recommend using raw shrimp. I use large defrosted peeled and deveined raw shrimp for this recipe.
TIPS FOR AIR FRYER SHRIMP
- Dry your shrimp with a towel. Remove any excess liquid from your shrimp to aid in breading adhesion.
- Use either fresh or thawed shrimp. Don’t try dredging and coating frozen shrimp. They simply will not eat the bread.
- Do not overcrowd the basket. Lay only one layer of shrimp in the air fryer basket at a time to ensure even cooking.
- There are so many shrimps and so little time. Any size shrimp will work, but large shrimp are preferred.
- Maintain the tail. Keep the tail on your shrimp to make dipping and coating easier.
- Always preheat your air fryer before using it. Allow your air fryer to fully preheat before adding the shrimp.
- Don’t forget to flip. Make sure to flip your shrimp halfway through cooking to ensure they are crispy on both sides.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does this shrimp last?
Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Before serving, reheat in the microwave, a skillet with a little olive oil, or an air fryer. Cooked shrimp can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Why air fry instead of deep fry?
My air fryer has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen tools. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite deep-fried foods without all of the oil. The shrimp are perfectly crispy and light, and they can hold their own against any restaurant dish!
How long does it take for shrimp to cook in an air fryer?
Depending on the size of your shrimp, cooking time in the air fryer ranges from 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure to flip them halfway through cooking so that they are crispy all the way around. When the shrimp reaches 165oF on an instant read thermometer, it is done.
What is bad about air fryers?
While air fryers reduce the likelihood of acrylamide formation, other potentially harmful compounds could still form. Air frying still has the risk of producing acrylamides, but all high-heat cooking with meat can produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines.