One of the things I always order whenever I get Thai food from my favourite Toronto spot is the fried shrimp. They make a delicious dish called Kung Tawt Garlic Shrimp and I love them for that. It's served alongside a spicy Thai chili sauce and I can't decide what I like better, the shrimp or the sauce. I wanted to make my own version of it at home. And so, this air fryer coconut shrimp was born! Served alongside a spicy Thai sweet chili sauce, it's the perfect appetizer to snack on. The best part is that this is made in your air fryer, so you don't need to use tons of oil to enjoy this comfort food classic.
These crispy air fryer coconut shrimp are a favourite appetizer over here. The crunchy and crispy exterior of panko and shredded coconut is love at first bite. If you have doubts about how crispy these can get without frying, rest assured, your air fryer can do it. And the best part (besides no frying) is that you only need a handful of ingredients and about 30 minutes (total!)
You'll need 1lb large raw shrimp. Frozen shrimp is fine, just be sure to let them fully defrost before making them. To defrost them quickly, place them in a plastic ziploc bag and let them soak in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes or so, making sure to move them around so they can all fully defrost.
You'll need two large eggs for these crispy coconut shrimp. This helps the coating stick to the shrimp.
Feel free to use regular all purpose flour or a gluten free all purpose flour if needed.
I like Bob's Red Mill 1-1 GF all purpose flour.
I love the texture and crunch from panko and highly recommend using this in addition to the coconut for that crispy coating. If you need these to be gluten-free, use a gluten-free panko mix.
For the delicious coconut taste, you'll need some shredded unsweetened coconut. I really love the coconut flavour, so I use more coconut than panko.
This recipe for air fryer coconut shrimp really couldn't be any easier. Here's what you need to do!
Set up your breading station. Start by, adding your flour and salt to one shallow bowl, the panko and the coconut to another shallow bowl and then whisk your egg in the third shallow bowl.
Now, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Preheating it makes sure that your shrimp all cook evenly and quickly.
Use one hand to take your shrimp and dip it in the flour first and shake off any excess flour. Then, using a different hand, dip it in the egg. Use your dry hand to then dip it in the panko/coconut mixture.
Press the panko/coconut mix into the shrimp to make sure it adheres. This is why it's important to use one hand for dry and one hand for wet, it just keeps things clean and organized. Place the coated shrimp on a plate, while you coat the remaining shrimp.
Spray your air fryer with some avocado oil first. Then add your shrimp to the air fryer compartment. Make sure you leave some space between the shrimp so they aren't all overlapping. Spray the coconut shrimp with avocado oil.
Set your timer for 6 minutes, then open, and flip them over and spray them again lightly with avocado oil. Continue baking for an additional 5 to 6 minutes, until just golden brown and crunchy.
Check on them: the beauty of an air fryer is that you can open it up at any time to check on your food. I recommend taking a peek to see how they're cooking to avoid any burning. This goes for any recipe you're making in an air fryer.
Space them out: you want to ensure these coconut shrimp get crispy, so try and space them out a bit. Don't layer them, they should all be in one single layer.
Keep the tails on: this makes it easier for dipping, plus it also looks better too! Just don't eat them ;)
Use larger shrimp: I recommend using large shrimp for this recipe as they taste the best for this type of recipe.
Pat your shrimp dry: this will help to ensure that your shrimp can adhere to the coating and will get them extra crispy.
Use avocado oil spray: I like avocado oil spray because it's great for higher heat cooking and has a neutral taste. You can use another spray if you like, but be sure to give them a spray as this helps them get extra crispy.
Storing: air fried coconut shrimp will last in your fridge (cooked) for up to three days.
Reheating: to reheat cooked air fried coconut shrimp, simply place in your oven to heat through. I'd recommend heating around 375 degrees for about eight to ten minutes, flipping halfway through.
What to serve with it: I love serving these air fryer coconut shrimp with a spicy Thai sweet chili sauce. I have a homemade version, which you can find over here. You can of course use a bottled version of your own favourite Thai sweet chili sauce.
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The air fryer I use and really enjoy and recommend is this T-Fal Easy Air Fryer. I like the size of it for cooking for 1 to 2 people. Plus, I think it's fairly affordable as well and doesn't take up too much room.
If you make these air fryer coconut shrimp, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.
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Delicious air fryer coconut shrimp made with only a small handful of ingredients in about 30 minutes.
Check on them: the beauty of an air fryer is that you can open it up at any time to check on your food. I recommend taking a peek to see how they’re cooking to avoid any burning. This goes for any recipe you’re making in an air fryer.
Space them out: you want to ensure these coconut shrimp get crispy, so try and space them out a bit. Don’t layer them, they should all be in one single layer.
Keep the tails on: this makes it easier for dipping, plus it also looks better too!
Pat the shrimp dry: this will help to ensure that your shrimp can adhere to the coating and will get the extra crispy.
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