Take a weekday vacation to paradise with a batch of these crunchy, juicy, golden Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp! This popular restaurant appetizer is so easy to make at home, and using your air fryer to cook it is a much healthier alternative.
Is there really anything more basically Floridian than a basket of hot, crunchy fried shrimp?
I guess I can think of a ton of things, but for some reason any time I travel to the Southern part of the state, I get this craving for shrimp that I can’t explain.
And if it’s covered in toasty coconut, oh my. Someone passing the dipping sauce, ’cause I’m about to ruin my “diet.”
Making them at home, though – calorie problem solved. Out comes the air fryer!
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
If you’re looking for a tropical and light appetizer, you’ll love these air fryer coconut shrimp! They’re deliciously crunchy. You won’t even know they’re not fried!
Ingredients to make coconut shrimp
- uncooked jumbo shrimp
- egg white
- coconut milk
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- Panko bread crumbs
- Lime wedges
Ingredients for homemade Yum Yum Sauce
- sour cream
- sweet chili sauce
- kosher salt
This air fryer now sits on top of my refrigerator when it’s not in use. Which, honestly, is not often – I’ve been an air frying fiend for months. We love to whip up easy chicken wings and air fryer popcorn chicken when our friends come over to watch soccer.
I can’t wait to share all these lower fat, equally delicious “fried” recipes with you! But let’s start with this shrimp!
If you don’t want to make the homemade Yum Yum Sauce for this recipe, you can use your favorite store bought dipping sauce. If you want to dip in something a little more spicy, whip up a batch of this sriracha aioli! You can also go simple and just serve them with cocktail sauce or ketchup.
How to make Coconut Shrimp In The Air Fryer
- First, preheat your Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Next, prepare three medium bowls. Whisk the egg white and coconut milk together in one bowl until it’s frothy. In the second bowl, whisk the flour, salt and pepper together. Add the coconut flakes and Panko in the third bowl and mix well.
- Then, peel the shrimp, leaving the tails intact.
- Dredge the shrimp, one by one, first in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the shrimp into the coconut-egg mixture, then press them into the coconut-Panko mixture, coating both sides completely.
- Transfer prepared shrimp to a large plate or baking sheet. Carefully spray them well with (coconut oil!) cooking spray.
- Finally, add the shrimp in multiple single layer batches to the Air Fryer basket. Cook them for 3-4 minutes on each side, opening the basket and flipping.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges and Yum Yum Sauce.
What is coconut shrimp?
Coconut shrimp is a popular shrimp appetizer in Florida and the Caribbean. Jumbo shrimp, dredged in flour and egg and dipped in a coconut and bread crumb mixture, is then deep fried, pan-fried or baked.
Another sautéed or grilled variation involves a coconut milk marinade, and is often served on skewers. This variety of coconut shrimp is made in the air fryer, cutting down on calories and fat by trading out the deep frying oil. The ingredients, however, are the same, as are the flavors!
What to serve with coconut shrimp
If you’re serving this air fried shrimp as an appetizer, there are so many options for dipping sauces! Try sweet & sour sauce, sweet chili sauce, a marmalade, or Yum Yum Sauce. Provide a bowl of lime wedges on the side for those with simpler tastes (like Abe).
If you’re making this your main course, a nice steamed white rice or fried rice would be an ideal base. French fries or onion rings will complete the seafood restaurant vibes these shrimp give off. If you’re looking to keep carbs low, try a cauliflower rice or steamed vegetables.
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Air Fryer Crunchy Coconut Shrimp
- 1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined, tails left intact
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped
- Lime wedges for serving
Yum Yum Sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- Pinch kosher salt
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare three medium bowls; whisk the egg white and coconut milk together in one bowl until frothy and combined. Whisk flour, salt and pepper together in a second bowl. Add the coconut flakes and Panko in the third bowl and mix well to combine.
- Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Dredge shrimp one by one in flour and shake off excess. Dip shrimp into egg-coconut mixture, then press shrimp into coconut-Panko mixture, coating on both sides.
- Transfer shrimp to a large plate or baking sheet. Carefully spray shrimp well with cooking spray.
- Add the shrimp in single layer batches to the Air Fryer basket. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then open the basket and flip. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until crispy to your liking.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and Yum Yum Sauce.
Yum Yum Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.