Air Fryer Shrimp

air fryer coconut shrimp served with dipping sauce

 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 31 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 16 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Yields: 18 shrimp

Coconut-crusted air fryer shrimp is the perfect party appetizer. You don’t have to feel guilty about popping five (or 10) of these delicious shrimp since they're not deep fried. Make them for game day, a dinner party, or just a fun addition to your weeknight dinner rotation.

With most air fryers, the shrimp will need to be cooked in two batches. If the first batch isn't being devoured right away, keep them warm in a 300 F oven and serve as soon as the second batch is finished.

We made a super simple dipping sauce that packs so much flavor and is so easy to whip together. You can find sweet chili sauce in most grocery stores in the Asian aisle or you can try making your own.

Ingredients

  • For the Shrimp:
  • 1 pound 21/25 count shrimp (peeled and deveined with tails left on)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (divided)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil spray
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Optional: chopped scallions, fresh lime

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for air fryer shrimp on a marble baord
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  2. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels until they are as dry as possible. Salt and pepper generously.

    shrimp dried on a paper towel
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Dredge the shrimp in the flour, coating both sides. Shake off the excess.

    shrimp dredged in flour
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  4. In another dish whisk together the eggs and the soy sauce. Dip the flour-coated shrimp in the beaten egg mixture, coating both sides completely so you can’t see any flour. 

    shrimp dipped in egg mixture
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  5. In a third shallow dish, mix the shredded coconut and the panko breadcrumbs together until they are evenly dispersed. Add the rest of the salt and pepper to this mixture.

    Then dip the shrimp into the coconut mixture. Press the mixture onto the shrimp to help stick as much as possible.

    shrimp coated in coconut and panko breadcrumbs
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  6. Transfer the shrimp to a baking sheet while you continue to bread the rest of the shrimp.

    breaded coconut shrimp on a cooling rack
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. Add the shrimp in an even layer to the bottom of your air fryer. Coat with olive oil spray and cook on 400 F for 8 minutes, flipping them halfway through. You will need to cook them in two batches.

    coconut shrimp in air fryer
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  8. While the shrimp are air frying, prepare the sauce. Whisk together the sweet chili sauce, apricot preserves, and mayonnaise in a small bowl.

    coconut shrimp sauce
      The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  9. Remove the shrimp from the air fryer once they are golden brown.

    cooked shrimp in air fryer
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  10. Serve the shrimp with the sauce immediately. Top with chopped scallions and a squeeze of lime juice if you wish.

Recipe Variations

  • You can make these shrimp spicier by adding Sriracha to the dipping sauce and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne when you are salt and peppering the shrimp.
  • You can simply serve the shrimp with sweet chili sauce if you're looking for something even easier.