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Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp are always a crowd pleaser when added to an appetizer platter. These plump shrimp are coated in coconut and air fried until golden and crispy. Cooked in the air fryer they are quick and easy. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and watch them disappear.

Fried coconut shrimp on a plate with a dish of sweet chili sauce for dipping.
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I love shrimp. Whether done in garlic butter, breaded, or just steamed, I’ve never turned down shrimp.

Coconut shrimp happen to be one of my favourites. The crispy, slightly sweet coconut goes perfectly with the plump, salty shrimp. They can be served as an appetizer or meal and go well with a variety of dips or sauces.

They are a popular menu item in many restaurants and an easy item to find in the frozen aisle of most grocery stores. Often they are deep fried.

However, these tasty shrimp are really simple to make from scratch and when cooked in the air fryer they are quick, easy and a healthier option than the deep fried version.

Unlike many coconut shrimp recipes there are no bread crumbs in this recipe so it is lower carb and can be made gluten free by swapping the all-purpose flour for a gluten free blend.

Coconut shrimp in two paper baskets served with chili sauce and dill dip.

Why We Love This Recipe

Minimal ingredients – You don’t need a lot of ingredients in order to make these delicious coconut shrimp. Everything you need in likely in your pantry or fridge already.

It’s easy – Other than an air fryer, you don’t need any special equipment for this recipe and you don’t need to know any fancy techniques. It’s as easy as dipping the shrimp in a few ingredients and tossing them in the air fryer.

It’s quick – These shrimp are made easily with just a few steps, and take less than 10 minutes to cook, making them a quick and easy appetizer or meal.

Ingredients

To make these coconut coated shrimp you will need:

  • 1 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  • Flour
  • Corn starch
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Medium shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

Pro Tip – You can easily make these shrimp gluten free by using a gluten free all-purpose flour.

Ingredients to make coconut coated shrimp.

You can leave the tail on the shrimp, or remove it depending on your preference.

Instructions

Before you begin, give the shrimp a rinse and make sure all the shell is removed and they are deveined. Then blot them dry on a paper towel.

Start by mixing the flour, corn starch, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Then place the shrimp in a bowl, add the flour mixture and toss to coat.

Next, dip the flour coated shrimp in the egg and turn to make sure they are fully coated in egg wash.

Four image collage. Top left, shrimp in a bowl coated in flour. Top right, shrimp dipped in egg wash. Bottom left, egg washed shrimp dipped in shredded coconut. Bottom right, coconut coated shrimp in air fryer basket.

Remove the shrimp from the egg wash and toss in the shredded coconut.

Then add the coated shrimp to the air fryer basket in a single layer. A little bit of overlap is ok, but you don’t want to stack it in layers.

Lightly spray the shrimp with olive oil spray, then place the basket into the air fryer.

Set the air fryer to 370°F for 8 minutes. Give the basket a gentle shake at the half way mark.

Shrimp are done when they are golden brown and feel firm.

Air fried coconut shrimp in an air fryer basket.

You can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut for this recipe depending on your preference. The sweetened coconut goes well with the salty shrimp and works well when serving with dips such as sweet Thai chili. Unsweetened works well when serving with dill dip or as part of a main meal. Sweetened coconut tends to brown a bit more due to the sugar content.

Serving Suggestions

These coconut shrimp are great served as an appetizer with your favourite dip, such as dill dip, sweet Thai chili sauce, or spicy sriracha mayonnaise.

They make a great addition to any appetizer platter.

Sometimes we like to serve them for our main meal along with a side of creamy risotto, or steamed rice. They are also great on top of a salad.

Shrimp being dipped in Thai sweet chili sauce.

FAQS

Can I prepare the shrimp ahead of time?

Yes you can. If you want to do the prep work ahead of time you can coat them in the coconut and place them on a baking sheet or plate in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them in the air fryer.

Can I use frozen shrimp to make coconut shrimp?

You can use frozen shrimp, but you need to thaw them first. Shrimp thaw very quickly. You can just place them in a colander or strainer and rinse under cool water until they are thawed. This generally only takes a few minutes.

Are coconut shrimp gluten free?

Because this recipe has no breadcrumbs in the coating it is easy to keep it gluten free. Simply replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten free all purpose blend.

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Recipe

Fried coconut shrimp on a plate with a dish of sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

These plump shrimp are coated in coconut and air fried until golden and crispy. Cooked in the air fryer they are quick and easy. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and watch them disappear.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound raw medium size shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ Cups medium shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened

Instructions

  • Begin by rinsing the shrimp under cool water and checking to make sure all the bits of shell are removed and that the shrimp are deveined. After rinsing, blot them dry on a paper towel lined plate.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, corn starch, garlic powder and salt.
  • Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the flour mixutre. Toss to coat all the shrimp in the flour.
  • Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl and place the coconut in a shallow bowl or plate. You may want to start with only half as you may not need it all depending on the size of the shrimp.
  • Working in small batches, dip the shrimp in the egg wash and turn to make sure they are fully coated, then toss the egg washed shrimp in the coconut.
  • Place the coconut coated shrimp into the air fryer basket. Try to keep them in a single layer. A bit of overlap is ok, but don’t stack the basket full.
  • Lightly spray the shrimp with olive oil spray then place the basket into the air fryer.
  • Set the fryer to 370°F for 8 minutes. At the half way mark, give the basket a gentle shake.
  • Shrimp are done when they are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. If using larger shrimp you may need to add 1-2 minutes.

Notes

You can use either tail on or tail off shrimp depending on your preference.
If you are using frozen shrimp, rinse them under cool water in a colander or strainer until they are thawed before beginning.
You do not need to preheat the air fryer for this recipe.
If you need to keep the recipe gluten free you can use gluten free all purpose flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 284mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g
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