This simple Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp recipe is a great appetizer or family snack. The crispy, tender shrimp are ready in less than 20 minutes and crusted with panko breadcrumbs and sweet coconut flakes. They’re just like an appetizer that you would order at a restaurant!
Table of Contents
- Quick and Easy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Shrimp Recipe
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Tips for Success
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Serving Suggestions
- How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Can I Freeze Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp?
- More Simple Shrimp Recipes
- Get the Recipe
Quick and Easy Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
We love to order crispy and sweet coconut shrimp when we are out at a restaurant. It’s the perfect snack and appetizer to share with friends and family. So, we set out to make our own Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp and the results are delicious!
The way the coconut flakes sort of caramelize when they are “fried” is incredible. That sweet, sugary flavor works so well with light and plump shrimp. Plus, we feel like it was a great way to introduce the kids to shrimp, as they can’t get enough of this recipe.
Thus, coconut shrimp is the perfect easy appetizer to serve when you’re entertaining friends and family. We promise that every last shrimp will be devoured! It’s also a great snack or light dinner option when you pair it with a salad or other easy finger foods.
If you don’t have an air fryer, but are still craving coconut shrimp, don’t worry! We have a classic fried version for Coconut Shrimp made on the stovetop with oil!
Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Shrimp Recipe
Not sure if you’re ready to bite yet on this air fryer coconut shrimp? Here are a few more reasons on why we think you’ll love it!
- Perfect Texture: The coconut-panko breading on this shrimp gives it a nice crisp crunch, but the shrimp itself is still plump and juicy. You won’t be able to stop popping them in your mouth! (If you’re looking for more juicy shrimp recipes that you can make in no time with the air fryer, try this Air Fryer Shrimp!)
- Quick and Easy: You can make this coconut shrimp in less than 20 minutes. When you’re entertaining, you don’t always have all the time in the world to pull appetizers together, so this recipe is a great one to have in your recipe box!
- Kid-Approved: Everybody will love this shrimp – even the kiddos! If you put out a plate of it, you can be sure that kids and adults alike will devour it. There’s no better compliment when you’re hosting.
Here is the list of ingredients that you need to make air fryer coconut shrimp. As usual, the exact amount that you need for each ingredient is in the recipe card below.
- Eggs: This is for the breading station and it helps the coating stick to the shrimp.
- Coconut Flakes: We like to use sweetened coconut flakes, but you can use whichever type of coconut flakes you prefer.
- All Purpose Flour: This type of flour works best for breading shrimp for frying.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Make sure that you find panko breadcrumbs and not traditional breadcrumbs. This type of breadcrumb has light and crispy flakes that are perfect for coconut shrimp.
- Garlic Salt and Black Pepper: Garlic salt adds a bit more flavor to the shrimp but using regular salt is okay, too.
- Large Shrimp: You can use small shrimp, too, but they will take longer to make simply because there is more of them. Make sure any shrimp that you use are cleaned and pealed.
How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
This is one of the best shrimp recipes out there because it’s so quick and easy. Here are the simple steps to making coconut fried shrimp with your air fryer. (Note that the full set of directions can be found below in the recipe card!)
- First, preheat the air fryer. Just like you don’t want to put something into cold oil before frying it, you don’t want to put food into a cold air fryer!
- Next, prepare the breading station. You need to set up two bowls: one with the beaten eggs and another with the dry ingredients tossed together.
- The shrimp go into the beaten eggs first. Make sure that they are dipped in completely and covered with egg.
- Then bread the shrimp. Dip the shrimp into the bowl with the coconut flakes a few at a time and coat them completely. You can place the shrimp that have been breaded on a sheet tray while you do the others.
- Place the shrimp in the air fryer basket. Make sure that they are not touching or overlapping or they won’t get completely crispy. And you may need to work in batches in order to make sure they are spaced out on the tray.
- Serve the coconut shrimp immediately! They taste the best when they are fresh out of the air fryer. Serve them with your favorite sweet chili sauce.
Tips for Success
And that’s all there is to it! Although, making air fryer coconut shrimp is even simpler when you follow these easy tips, too.
- Work with thawed and dried shrimp. You shouldn’t try to coat frozen shrimp with the coconut breading mixture, it just won’t stick as well. The best way to ensure that the breading sticks to the shrimp is to make sure that they are nice and dry before you begin the breading process.
- Any size shrimp will work. You can use whatever shrimp you can find, but we like to use large shrimp for the best results (and the recipe moves a lot quicker that way, too!).
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. The shrimp will not get crispy if there are too many in the air fryer.
- Use a cooking spray for extra crispy shrimp. You can mist the breaded shrimp with oil before frying if you prefer, but it is not necessary. We did not need to spray the shrimp and they came out golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can certainly use frozen shrimp for this recipe. Just make sure that you thaw it before you start the flouring process.
The best way to thaw shrimp is in the refrigerator overnight. Or, if you’re short on time, you can put them in a large colander and run cold water over the shrimp until they are thawed. Be sure to pat them dry before starting the breading process, otherwise the coating can fall off your shrimp.
For us, it took 8 minutes (flipping halfway through) to cook the shrimp all the way through at 375 degrees F. It may take you a little more time or a little less time, depending on your air fryer. (If you’re worried about telling whether the shrimp is done, make sure that the internal temperature gets to 120 degrees F with a meat thermometer, and you should be fine.)
We’ve got some great ideas as to what you can serve with this coconut fried shrimp.
- Serve it just like they do at the restaurant. All you need is some sweet chili sauce, fresh lemon wedges for garnish, and a bed of greens. It’s simple and makes a beautiful presentation.
- Add a little heat with our Bang Bang Sauce. This creamy and spicy sauce is great for dipping the coconut shrimp into.
- Use them as a taco filling. Instead of an appetizer, try them as a main course and use them as you would a seafood filling for tacos. You can use this Shrimp Taco recipe for inspiration.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Air fryer breaded shrimp tastes best when it is fresh out of the fryer. That said, you can save it for later pretty easily.
- To Store: You can keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- To Reheat: Then, you can reheat the shrimp in the air fryer at 375°F for 2 minutes and they’ll be crispy and delicious again!
Can I Freeze Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze cooked coconut shrimp. We suggest flash-freezing them on a sheet tray and then storing them in an air-tight container or freezer-friendly bag.
You can go ahead and cook them in the air fryer from a frozen state at 375°F for 4-5 minutes or until they are heated through again.
More Simple Shrimp Recipes
Can’t get enough when it comes to shrimp dinner ideas? Check out a few more, then!
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- The Best Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp Creole
- Best Fried Shrimp
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup panko Japanese breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and vein removed, with or without tail
- Preheat air fryer to 375°F.
- Place beaten eggs in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Using another medium size bowl, whisk to combine the coconut, flour, panko breadcrumbs, garlic salt and pepper.
- Dip shrimp, one at a time, into the egg and then coat the shrimp in the coconut mixture making sure to heavily coat each shrimp. Continue until all of the shrimp are breaded.
- Add breaded shrimp to the air fryer basket, careful not to overcrowd, you may need to do 2 batches. Cook on 375°F for 8 minutes, until golden, flipping the shrimp half way through cooking.
- Serve immediately!
- To Store: These coconut shrimp taste best when they are fresh out of the air fryer. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- To Reheat: Then you can reheat the shrimp in the air fryer at 375°F for 2 minutes and they're crispy and delicious again!
- To Freeze: We suggest flash-freezing the shrimp on a sheet tray and then storing them in an air-tight container or freezer-friendly bag. You can go ahead and cook them in the air fryer from a frozen state at 375°F for 4-5 minutes or until they are heated through again.