Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

You’re in for a tropical treat with this irresistible recipe for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp! Picture this: succulent shrimp coated in a crispy and golden coconut crust, all cooked to perfection in an air fryer. With just the right amount of crunch and a hint of sweetness, these Coconut Shrimp are sure to transport your taste buds to a beachside paradise. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a delicious snack, this dish is bound to impress. So grab your apron and prepare for a culinary adventure with these 15 delectable Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp!

Ingredients

Fresh shrimp

To make air fryer coconut shrimp, the first ingredient you will need is fresh shrimp. Look for large or jumbo-sized shrimp, as they will yield a more substantial appetizer. Make sure to peel and devein the shrimp before starting the preparation process.

Egg

Eggs will serve as the binding agent in the breading process. You’ll need a couple of eggs to create an egg wash that will help the other ingredients adhere to the shrimp.

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All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour will be used to coat the shrimp before dipping them into the egg wash. It provides a smooth surface for the next layers of breading to stick to.

Shredded coconut

The star of the show, shredded coconut, is what gives these coconut shrimp their tropical flavor and crispy texture. Opt for sweetened shredded coconut for a touch of sweetness in every bite.

Panko breadcrumbs

Panko breadcrumbs will add an extra crunch to the coconut shrimp. They are lighter and crispier than regular breadcrumbs, making them perfect for coating and air frying.

Salt and pepper

Don’t forget to season your shrimp with salt and pepper to enhance their natural flavors. A sprinkle of salt and a dash of black pepper will do the trick.

Cooking spray

To ensure your coconut shrimp don’t stick to the air fryer basket, use cooking spray to coat it. This will also help achieve a crispy exterior without the need for excessive oil.

Preparation

Peel and devein the shrimp

Begin by peeling and deveining the shrimp. Remove the shells and tails, then make a shallow cut along the back of each shrimp to remove the dark vein. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Prepare the breading station

Set up a breading station with three bowls. In the first bowl, place the all-purpose flour. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs to create an egg wash. In the third bowl, combine the shredded coconut and panko breadcrumbs.

Dip the shrimp in the flour

One by one, dip the peeled and deveined shrimp into the all-purpose flour. Ensure each shrimp is fully coated with flour, shaking off any excess before proceeding to the next step.

Coat the shrimp in egg wash

After coating the shrimp with flour, dip each one into the bowl of whisked eggs. The egg wash will act as a glue, allowing the coconut mixture to stick to the shrimp.

Dredge the shrimp in the coconut mixture

Once the shrimp are coated in the egg wash, transfer them to the bowl with the coconut and panko breadcrumb mixture. Gently press the coating onto the shrimp to ensure even coverage, giving them that irresistible crunch.

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Preheat the air fryer

Before placing the shrimp in the air fryer, preheat it to the recommended temperature. This will help the shrimp cook evenly and achieve that golden brown crust.

Place the shrimp in the air fryer basket

Once the air fryer has reached the desired temperature, carefully place the coated shrimp in the air fryer basket. Be mindful not to overcrowd the basket, as this can affect the even cooking of the shrimp.

Cook the shrimp in the air fryer

Set the cooking time and temperature according to the air fryer’s instructions. Cook the shrimp until they are golden brown and crispy, flipping them halfway through to ensure even browning on both sides.

Serve hot with dipping sauce

Once the shrimp are cooked to perfection, remove them from the air fryer and serve them hot. Pair them with a delicious dipping sauce of your choice for an added flavor boost. Sweet and spicy dipping sauces are particularly popular with coconut shrimp.

Tips and Variations

Use jumbo shrimp for a more substantial appetizer

If you want to make the coconut shrimp more satisfying as an appetizer, opt for jumbo-sized shrimp. These larger shrimp will provide a more substantial bite and make for an impressive presentation.

Add spices or herbs to the flour mixture for extra flavor

To elevate the flavor profile of your coconut shrimp, consider adding spices or herbs to the all-purpose flour. Garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, or dried herbs like thyme or parsley can add an extra layer of taste and aroma.

Serve the coconut shrimp with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce

Coconut shrimp pairs beautifully with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Combine sweet chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, and a touch of sriracha for a tantalizing dip that complements the crispy coconut coating.

Try using different coatings like almond flour or crushed cornflakes

For a creative twist, experiment with different coatings for your shrimp. Almond flour can add a nutty flavor, while crushed cornflakes can provide an excellent crunch. Explore various options to find your favorite combination.

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Health Benefits

Lower in calories than traditional deep-fried shrimp

Air frying coconut shrimp offers a healthier alternative to traditional deep-frying. By utilizing the air fryer’s circulation of hot air, you can achieve a crispy exterior without the need for excessive oil. This results in a lower calorie content compared to deep-fried shrimp, making it a guilt-free option.

Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids

Shrimp is a great source of protein, essential for building and repairing body tissues. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and reducing inflammation in the body. Enjoying air fryer coconut shrimp allows you to indulge while still incorporating these nutritional benefits into your diet.

Coconut provides essential nutrients and promotes digestion

Coconut, the star ingredient in this recipe, offers various health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron and potassium. Additionally, coconut contains dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a healthy gut.

Serving Suggestions

As an appetizer at parties or gatherings

Air fryer coconut shrimp is an ideal appetizer choice for parties or gatherings. Its crispy exterior, succulent shrimp, and tropical flavor will be a hit with your guests. Arrange them on a platter, garnish with fresh herbs or lime wedges, and watch them disappear in no time.

As a main course with steamed rice and vegetables

If you’re looking for a satisfying main course, serve the coconut shrimp alongside steamed rice and a vibrant array of vegetables. This combination creates a well-rounded meal that is both delicious and nutritious. Drizzle some of the sweet and spicy dipping sauce over the shrimp, rice, and vegetables for an extra burst of flavor.

As a topping for salads or tacos

Give your salads or tacos a tropical twist by adding air fryer coconut shrimp as a topping. The crispy shrimp paired with fresh greens, vibrant vegetables, and tangy dressing will take your salads or tacos to the next level. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures for a refreshing meal.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftover coconut shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator

If you have any leftover coconut shrimp, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly sealed, they can stay fresh for up to two days. It’s worth noting that reheated coconut shrimp may not retain their initial crispiness but will still taste delicious.

Reheat the shrimp in the air fryer or oven for a few minutes until heated through

To reheat the coconut shrimp, you can use either the air fryer or oven. Preheat either appliance and place the shrimp in a single layer. Cook them for a few minutes, or until they are heated through. This method will help regain some of the shrimp’s crunchiness, making them enjoyable once again.

Conclusion

Air fryer coconut shrimp is a delightful and healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried shrimp. By utilizing the air fryer’s technology, you can achieve a crispy and flavorful dish without the need for excessive oil. With the combination of fresh shrimp, shredded coconut, and a crunchy coating, this appetizer or main course option is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So go ahead and give this recipe a try—you won’t be disappointed!