Crunchy coconut shrimp is an easy recipe you can make in your air fryer. Shrimp coated in panko breadcrumbs and coconut flakes is so delicious and healthier because you don’t need lots of oil to fry them. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce as a fun appetizer or light dinner.
We love crispy coconut shrimp but when you get them at a restaurant they’re usually deep-fried and not so healthy. So, now we make them at home in our air fryer! This air fryer coconut shrimp recipe is one of our favorite ways to cook shrimp. It’s so delicious.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Is the air fryer the best invention ever? I love that you can make crispy, crunchy dishes with hardly any oil. It’s also so much easier than frying on the stove – definitely less mess and less stress to deal with.
This coconut shrimp recipe is so easy and quick to make. The shrimp are coated in crispy panko and they cook really fast in the air fryer. We’ve made batches of these for parties, but we also love it as a light dinner.
What I love best about this recipe is that it’s not complicated at all. You only need a handful of ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Ground black pepper
- Flaked coconut
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Medium-sized shrimp
- Cooking spray
For the shrimp, we love to use frozen easy-to-peel shrimp that are already deveined. This makes the prep really easy!
Panko is a type of breadcrumb that is really light and crispy. You can usually find it near the regular dried breadcrumbs at the store.
How to Make Coconut Shrimp
The easiest way to bread the shrimp is to first set up a breading station. Use three shallow dishes (pie plates work great) and mix the flour and pepper in one, beat the eggs in another, and fill the last one with the panko and coconut.
Hold one shrimp by its tail and dredge it in the flour first. Shake of the excess and then dip it in the egg so that it’s evenly coated. Let the excess egg drip off before coating it evenly in the panko and coconut mixture.
Lightly press the coconut flakes onto the shrimp so they adhere and aren’t sticking out too far. That way the edges of the coconut flakes won’t burn while the shrimp cook.
Place the breaded shrimp on a baking sheet and repeat this process with the rest of the shrimp. Once you’ve breaded them all, lightly coat them with cooking spray.
Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and coat the basket with cooking spray. Place half of the shrimp in the tray and cook them for three to four minutes. Turn them over and cook them for another three to four minutes. Remove them from the basket and cook the other batch the same way.
Tip: Be sure the place the shrimp in an even layer. They should not be overlapping otherwise they won’t cook evenly and the breading won’t crisp up. We can fit 10 shrimp at a time in our air fryer, depending on how big yours is you may need reduce the amount you cook at a time.
What to Serve with Coconut Shrimp
We love to serve the crispy shrimp with sweet and sour sauce, but there are a lot of dipping sauce options you can find at the grocery store. Orange sauce with sweet chili is another popular sauce to serve them with.
If you’re serving them for dinner here are some side dish ideas to try:
- Serve them with brown or white rice along with a sauce that you like
- Add some steamed broccoli or snap peas
- Enjoy them with some vegetable spring rolls
- Sometimes we have them with French fries on the side
We love these crispy air fryer coconut shrimp – the combination of juicy shrimp with the tropical coconut flavor is so good! They’re great as a party app or as a meal but be warned - they tend to disappear quick!
Other Dinners You'll Enjoy
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp Recipe
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 pound easy peel medium shrimp peeled and deveined with tail left on
- Cooking spray
- Get three shallow glass dishes (pie plates work great). In the first one combine flour and pepper. In the second put in the two eggs beaten until smooth. In the third dish combine the coconut and panko bread crumbs.
- Holding the shrimp by the tail dredge in the flour coating the whole shrimp and gently shake off any excess. Then dip the shrimp into the egg coating the whole shrimp and gently shake off any excess. Finally dredge the shrimp in the coconut/panko bread crumb mixture pressing it to adhere to the shrimp. Try to ensure large pieces of coconut are not sticking out too far from the shrimp as it tends to burn. Place shrimp on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray the shrimp with cooking spray.
- Set air fryer at 400°. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray.. Place half the shrimp (approximately 10) in the tray and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook another 3-4 minutes. Then repeat with the other half of the shrimp.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- You can find many good off the shelf dipping sauces. We used a sweet and sour sauce with ours. There are a number of sauces that use orange marmalade that pairs nicely with the shrimp.
- We used frozen easy to peel shrimp that was already deveined. This saves a lot of prep time and still tastes great.
This Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp recipe is one of our favorite ways to cook shrimp. It’s so delicious, so easy and the shrimp cooks really fast in the air fryer!
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.