This recipe for Air-Fried Coconut Shrimp is such a fun & tasty tropical dish! It makes a great appetizer, or you can serve it as a main meal with some fries. Don’t forget the sweet chili sauce on the side for dipping!
You guys know I love all things shrimp. Pappadeaux used to have this coconut shrimp appetizer on their menu that was amazing! There’s actually a funny story where I went to go see Avengers: Endgame in theaters and my group snuck in an order of coconut shrimp and an order of Pasta Mardi-Gras to eat during the 3-hour show. Not my proudest moment, but I did get retweeted by Pappadeaux so it was kind of worth it.
Unfortunately, I don’t think they serve it anymore. I had to put my creativity into gear and come up with something I can whip up at home… and these air-fried coconut shrimp came out so well!
- Large Shrimp: We want large or jumbo-sized shrimp for this recipe. Be sure to defrost, clean, and pat them dry!
- Shredded Coconut: I typically use unsweetened, shredded coconut for this recipe. However, the last time we accidentally got the sweetened kind! You can make the latter work with a little salt + savory seasoning to cut down on the sweetness.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: A mix of shredded coconut + panko bread crumbs gives the perfect crunch to these coconut shrimp. I get the unseasoned kind so I can customize the flavor.
- Egg: We’re going to dip the shrimp in flour, then a couple of whisked eggs, followed by the coating. The egg makes everything stick perfectly!
- Sweet Chili Sauce: This is a non-negotiable when it comes to coconut shrimp, in my opinion! You can find this in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store.
How to Air Fry Coconut Shrimp
We’re going to create 3 different dredge mixtures for the shrimp. First, a simple seasoned flour. Then, a couple of whisked eggs. And finally, the coconut + panko combination. You want to make sure that you pat your shrimp dry, then dip in this order: flour, egg, and coconut. When you get to the coconut breading step, be sure to press it into the shrimp so every side is fully covered.
I recommend that you use Panko bread crumbs instead of normal ones. Those bread crumbs are light and fluffy and they keep the breading extra crispy. Also, I like to only season the breading & the flour (and leave the shrimp unseasoned) since I also dip my shrimp in a sauce that contains salt.
I included instructions for air-frying and regular frying. Air-frying is definitely more hands-off (just set the timer and go) while regular frying is a little more involved, but still not difficult at all. If you fry these in oil, be sure to let them drain on a paper towel before serving. Serve these air-fried coconut shrimp with french fries and your favorite dipping sauce.
What’s a dish that you used to love that a restaurant discontinued? Have you tried re-creating it at home? Let me know in the comments.
Easy Air Fried Appetizers You’ll Love!
Air-Fried Coconut Shrimp
- ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 ct. eggs
- ½ ct. lime
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 25 ct. large shrimp defrosted
- In a large and shallow bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, shredded coconut, and garlic powder.
- In another bowl, whisk eggs until beaten. Squeeze 1/2 of the lime juice into the eggs.
- In one more bowl, add the flour. Season with salt + pepper + smoked paprika.
- Dredge the shrimp in flour, then dunk into the egg mixture, then dredge in the coconut mixture. Be sure to press the coconut mixture fully onto the shrimp so it's covered completely.
- Add your shrimp to the air fryer and spray with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook in batches according to your air fryer instructions. My air fryer worked best at 350°F for about 5 minutes. You want your shrimp to be golden brown. Don't have an air fryer? You can fry normally – heat some vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Fry until golden brown, for 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce – I love a good sweet chili sauce with this. Enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per serving: $5.58
- Total Cost (2 servings): $11.15
- Those Other Guys: $14.99 per serving