Quick Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Of all the ways shrimp can be served, preparing a batch of coconut shrimp is one of the absolute best. There's juicy, fresh, tender shrimp on the inside with a crispy, slightly sweet, fried shell on the outside. How does it get better than that? And with the right dipping sauce, coconut shrimp is an enticing appetizer for nearly any occasion.

Many people often only enjoy coconut shrimp when they go out to a restaurant, without realizing that the dish is super easy to make at home — and it will probably taste even better when made from scratch, too! Recipe developer Kit Hondrum from Kit's Kitchen has crafted a coconut shrimp recipe that is just as easy to make as it is enjoyable to eat. The best part of all is that this recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, and thanks to the use of an air fryer for cooking, your shrimp will come out unbelievably crispy and crunchy.

While it's easy to rave about the outer layer of coconut shrimp, what's inside is just as important — so it's worthwhile to get top-quality shrimp. "I always suggest sourcing wild-caught shrimp from a sustainable fishery," Hondrum explains. "Wild-caught shrimp are healthier and almost always a more sustainable option." So grab your shrimp, get your air fryer ready, and queue up this air fryer coconut shrimp recipe for a delightful, homemade take on the classic appetizer.

Gather the ingredients to prepare air fryer coconut shrimp

Before you can start making air fryer coconut shrimp, you'll have to gather the right ingredients. Of course, you'll need peeled shrimp, and you'll also need flour, salt, cayenne pepper, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut oil spray, and Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping. Hondrum notes that the cayenne pepper doesn't make the shrimp spicy, but instead adds depth of flavor to the batter. If you want your coconut shrimp spicy, you can always add more. Finally, you'll need your trusty air fryer to help your coconut shrimp get nice and crispy on the outside.

Start by preparing the batter for your shrimp

Once you've gathered all of your ingredients, you can get started on the recipe by preparing the batter for your coconut shrimp. Start by setting out four bowls: one with the shrimp, and then three in which you'll prepare the batter ingredients. In one of the bowls, add the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Give these ingredients a good stir so they're evenly mixed together. In the next bowl, go ahead and crack the two eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork, or whisk until the yolks and the whites are completely combined, forming a yellow egg wash.

Mix the ingredients for the shrimp's coconut breading

The one thing that sets coconut shrimp aside from other shrimp varieties is the crunchy coating on the outside — so you can get that ready to go now. Luckily, it's pretty easy to achieve that crunch, so all you need to do is add the panko breadcrumbs and unsweetened coconut flakes into the third bowl. Give these ingredients a stir. Panko breadcrumbs have a natural crunch, but coconut flakes are also pretty crunchy as well. Together, they create a perfectly simple outside layer for shrimp — and there's really nothing better than the subtle hint of coconut in every single bite.

Coat your shrimp in the flour mixture, eggs, and coconut mixture

After you've finished mixing the panko breadcrumbs and coconut flakes, you're ready to dunk the shrimp. Grab a single shrimp, and dunk it into each of the three bowls in this order: flour, then egg, then coconut mixture. Be sure to shake off any excess flour before moving on to the egg, and then allow excess egg to drip off before finally coating the shrimp in the coconut mixture, ensuring that any excess shakes off. Repeat this process with each of the shrimp until all of them are coated and ready for cooking.

Place the coated shrimp in the air fryer basket, and cook

Now that all of your shrimp are coated, you can go ahead and line them up in the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do multiple batches to cook all the shrimp. Just be sure that you aren't overlapping any shrimp in the air fryer — single layers only. 

Be sure to spray both sides of the shrimp with coconut oil to help get that fried taste and feel. Then, pop the air fryer tray or basket in, and cook the shrimp at 400 F for eight to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Serve the coconut shrimp with Thai sweet chili sauce, and enjoy

As soon as you've finished cooking all of the shrimp, you're ready to enjoy! Serve the coconut shrimp with Thai sweet chili sauce, cocktail sauce, or whatever sauce you'd like. You'll notice that each bite has perfectly moist shrimp along with an irresistibly crunchy outer layer. This air fryer coconut shrimp recipe makes it much easier to enjoy the classic appetizer without spending too much time or energy cooking. Thanks to the air fryer, you don't need worry about deep-frying the shrimp, but you'll still get that crunchy texture that we all know and love. 

Quick Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe
4.9 from 16 ratings
With the right dipping sauce, this crispy air fryer coconut shrimp is an enticing appetizer for nearly any occasion.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
8
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
dipping coconut shrimp into sauce
Total time: 13 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup unflavored panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled
  • coconut oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce, for dipping
Directions
  1. Place the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl, and mix.
  2. Place the eggs in a shallow bowl, and beat.
  3. Place the coconut and panko in a shallow bowl, and mix.
  4. One by one, dip the shrimp into the flour, shake off excess, then dunk into the egg, allow excess to drip off, then coat with the coconut mixture. Shake off any excess.
  5. Place the shrimp in the air fryer basket, and spray both sides with coconut oil spray.
  6. Air fry at 400 F for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  7. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 531
Total Fat 43.7 g
Saturated Fat 36.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 222.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Total Sugars 2.7 g
Sodium 799.9 mg
Protein 21.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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