Do you love ordering coconut shrimp at a restaurant and want to make them at home? This easy coconut shrimp recipe will be your new favorite! Just a few steps and 7 minutes in the air fryer is all it takes to make this simple air fryer coconut shrimp recipe.
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While deep fried coconut shrimp from a restaurant tastes great, they are rather unhealthy. Air fryer coconut shrimp is a much healthier option and great for making at home in your air fryer.
This coconut shrimp recipe comes together in just a few simple steps and makes for a fantastic healthy dinner option.
In this post I’ll break down the easy steps to coconut shrimp in the air fryer and tell you exactly what you need to make this amazing shrimp recipe.
What do I need to make coconut shrimp in the air fryer?
- Extra-Large or Jumbo Shrimp, raw, preferably WITH tails. (The tails are helpful in handling the shrimp when adding the coconut breading.)
- All-purpose flour
- Reduced-Fat or Light coconut milk
- Panko or seasoned bread crumbs
- Unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
- Salt and Pepper
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
Ingredient Substitutions and Recommendations:
- Shrimp – I DO NOT recommend buying pre-cooked shrimp. Pre-cooked shrimp will result in being tough and rubbery after being cooked again. For best results, look for fresh or frozen RAW shrimp, preferably with the tail. (The tail is helpful with the breading process.)
- Coconut – I used unsweetened, flaked coconut. This rendered the perfect golden brown shrimp. Sweetened coconut can be used, however, because of the sugar this coconut tends to over-brown (or burn) rather quickly.
- Panko or seasoned bread crumbs – when developing this recipe I had a very difficult time finding panko. (Current supply-chain issues.) With this in mind, I tested with seasoned bread crumbs and had great results.
- Coconut milk – I opted for a reduced-fat coconut milk (Goya brand) to keep the calories lower in this recipe. You can use regular coconut milk, regular dairy milk or the plant-based milk of your choice. Coconut water is not a good substitution for this recipe.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
How do I make coconut shrimp air fryer?
- If you’ve purchased frozen shrimp, make sure it is fully thawed. Place the raw shrimp on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. This will help the coconut breading stick to the shrimp.
- In three separate bowls, create a flour/salt/pepper mixture. This will be the first “dip”. Next, in the second bowl, whisk together the egg and coconut milk. This will be the second “dip”. In the third bowl, stir together the panko/bread crumbs and the coconut. This will be the third and last “dip”.
- Dip/coat each shrimp in the three bowls – 1. flour mixture, 2. egg/milk mixture, 3. coconut mixture. Once each shrimp is coated, place on a dry sheet pan or plate.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees – my Ninja-Max XL Air Fryer needs just three minutes to preheat. Double check your owners manual to see how long you need to preheat your air fryer.
- You’ll need to cook the shrimp in batches, as they’ll need to cook in a single layer in the air fryer. Cook at 350 for 7-8 minutes, or until shrimp is golden brown.
- With the amount of shrimp I had, I needed to cook three separate batches in the air fryer. Keep your first batches warm in the oven while the other shrimp cook. I placed the coconut shrimp on a clean sheet pan in the oven at 275 degrees.
Frequently asked questions about making air fryer coconut shrimp:
When making homemade coconut shrimp, they will need 7-8 minutes at 350 degrees in the air fryer. No flipping or tossing is necessary.
For best results, cook frozen coconut shrimp in the air fryer for 6-8 minutes at 370 degrees.
Most restaurant versions of coconut shrimp are not healthy, as they are deep-fat fried and often served with sugary sauces. Making coconut shrimp at home using an air fryer, without the extra fat any oils of deep fat-frying is a much healthier option.
The best way to reheat coconut shrimp is in your air-fryer, toaster oven or traditional oven. Heat at 300 degrees and warm for 7-10 minutes until shrimp is fully hot and breading is toasted. Using the microwave is not recommended, as the breading will become very soggy and the shrimp will overcook, becoming tough and rubbery.
What goes with coconut shrimp?
My pineapple mango salsa is a great option to serve with coconut shrimp. Serving them along with tortillas, cabbage slaw and fresh lime wedges makes for fantastic coconut shrimp tacos!
Here are some other sides and drinks that would be great served with coconut shrimp:
- Coconut Margaritas
- Pineapple Margaritas
- Pina Colada Champagne Punch
- Pineapple Daiquiris
- Garlic Herb Roasted Red Potatoes
- Roasted Carrot Salad with Apples and Pistachios
- Healthy Broccoli Salad with Apples and Cherries
Inspired to make more shrimp recipes? Check out some of my other popular recipes featuring shrimp:
- 1 lb. extra-large or jumbo shrimp, raw, with tails, peeled & deveined
- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. light coconut milk
- 3/4 c. panko or seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 c. unsweetened, flaked coconut
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Place raw shrimp on a sheet pan and pat try with paper towels.
- Create three bowls for dredging the shrimp: first bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Second bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and egg. Third bowl, combine the bread crumbs and coconut.
- Holding on to the tail of a shrimp, first dip into the flour mixture and coat fully. Next, dip into the milk mixture. Lastly, dip into the coconut/bread crumb mixture, coating the shrimp, and leaving the tail uncoated.
- Place each coated shrimp on a clean pan or plate.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. (I have a Ninja Max XL Air-Fryer which needs just three minutes to preheat. Be sure to check the owners manual of your air fryer to see how long it needs to preheat.)
- Placing 6-8 shrimp into the bottom of your air fryer in a single layer, cook at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until shrimp are golden brown. You'll likely need to cook 3 batches (given the size and number of shrimp you have). As you cook the later batches, keep your cooked shrimp warm on a sheet pan in your oven at 275 degrees, or eat right away.
Coconut shrimp are best enjoyed when first cooked. However, should you need to reheat later, rewarm in your air fryer at 300 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until hot and breading is crisp.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 6 shrimp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 1850mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 37g