Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

I’ve always loved coconut shrimp. They’re golden crispy, savory, and a little sweet all at once. Fresh shrimp, crispy panko crumbs, shredded coconut, and a sweet dipping sauce deliver the perfect recipe that brings together the natural sweetness of shrimp with the tropical notes of coconut.

Not only is air fryer coconut shrimp a healthier alternative to deep-fried shrimp, but it’s also incredibly easy to make at home. Plus you don’t have to deal with cleaning up or disposing of a gallon of hot cooking oil afterwards!

If you liked this recipe, also try my crab rangoons (which can also be made in the air fryer!). I’ve also perfected a dry rub for air fryer chicken wings. If you still haven’t picked up an air fryer, then roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven is a close second.

How to Cook Coconut Shrimp in an Air Fryer

  1. Combine panko crumbs and shredded coconut in a shallow dish or bowl. Mix and set aside. Add flour to a second bowl and whisked eggs to a third bowl.
  2. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and season all over with salt.
  3. Dredge each shrimp in flour, shaking off excess, then in egg, and then in the panko/coconut mixture. Gently press down to ensure the breading adheres.
  4. Arrange shrimp in the air fryer in layers with minimal overlap as possible. I typically fit 1 pound with some overlap in a 5 qt air fryer.
  5. Air fry for 10-12 minutes tossing/flipping halfway through until golden and crispy.

Tips & Tricks

  • I’ve tested air fryer coconut shrimp with both raw and precooked shrimp. Precooked shrimp tends to dry out in the air fryer. If you end up using precooked shrimp you only need 2-3 minutes per side in the fryer (essentially a flash cook). Raw shrimp gives you the chance to get a nice crispy golden exterior without overcooking the shrimp.
  • Pat the shrimp dry to remove any excess moisture before coating. This will help the toppings stick better and make the shrimp more crispy.
  • Panko crumbs make the best breading. I would strongly recommend against using traditional breadcrumbs as they’re too bready and granular and lack the much-needed crunch. Panko crumbs are light and mainly add texture that goes well with coconut.
  • Don’t be afraid to use ample shredded coconut. I recommend a ratio of about 1 cup of shredded coconut to 3/4 cup of panko crumbs. This adds aromatic toasted coconut flavor.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Best Dipping Sauce for Coconut Shrimp

Finding the right dipping sauce for coconut shrimp has always been the most challenging part for me personally. Coconut shrimp demand a sauce that is a little sweet and spicy and won’t entirely take over. Sure you could eat coconut shrimp plain but they’re just screaming for a complementary sauce.

I really like hot pepper jelly as it offers a perfect balance of flavor, spice, and sweetness. Not to mention I just absolutely love the taste of it and it’s easy to find. I’ve tried variations of orange marmalade and I’m personally not a fan.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
A healthier spin on classic coconut shrimp. Thanks to an air fryer, they’re crispy, savory, a little sweet, and really easy to make right at home.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound peeled, deveined, raw shrimp (can also use precooked – see note)
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • salt, to taste
  • Hot pepper jelly, for dipping
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Instructions 

  • Combine panko crumbs and shredded coconut in a shallow dish or bowl. Mix and set aside. Add flour to a second bowl and whisked eggs to a third bowl.
  • Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and season all over with salt.
  • Dredge each shrimp in flour, shaking off excess, then in egg, and then in the panko/coconut mixture. Gently press down to ensure the breading adheres. Set aside on a plate.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Arrange shrimp in the air fryer in layers. I was able to fit 1 pound with some overlap in a 5 qt air fryer.
  • Air fry for 10-12 minutes tossing/flipping halfway through. Smaller shrimp may cook faster so watch carefully.

Notes

If you use precooked shrimp, I would recommend cooking for 2-3 minutes per side to avoid drying out the shrimp. Raw shrimp are just as easy to prep and taste much better in this recipe.
You can remove the tails if you prefer or leave them on for presentation.

Nutrition

Serving: 2-3 shrimp (no sauce)Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 28.2gProtein: 28.7gFat: 12.8gSaturated Fat: 9.7gCholesterol: 305mgSodium: 503mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 12.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Asian
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow… it looks tasty! I’ve never seen the coconut shrimp before. Your dipping sauce makes me salivate.