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Jun 17, 2022

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp

This coconut shrimp, made in the air fryer, is super crunchy and crispy, and is just as tasty as the deep-fried version you might order for an appetizer at your favorite bar or restaurant. 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp on a plate with greens.

Making coconut shrimp in the air fryer results in an amazingly crispy yet moist and juicy appetizer, snack, or dinner. Making these takes about 45 minutes, start to finish, and you're pretty much guaranteed success. 

While an air fryer can't always be used to recreate the deliciousness of some deep fried food, in this case, it comes super close. In fact, you might just be able to convince your taste testers that you did deep fry these coconut shrimp. 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp on a black plate.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp:


If you can find it, use extra-jumbo shrimp (about 24 per pound). You can use either fresh or frozen. I used frozen-on-the-dock Argentinian shrimp, which, when thawed, tastes super fresh and almost like lobster. 

Plus, unless you live on a coast where shrimp is regularly harvested from the sea, the "fresh" shrimp available in stores has often been previously frozen and then thawed. Buying frozen lets you control when the shrimp is thawed. 

I bought peeled and deveined shrimp where the tails had been removed. If you prefer that the tail be left on, you can buy easy-peel shrimp and make sure to leave the tail attached. It makes a great little "handle" for eating the shrimp. 

On the flip side, if you remove the tail, your guests won't have to figure out what to do with the tail when eating the shrimp! 

Crunchy Coating:

For the coating, you will need to "bread" the shrimp just like you would most fried food, with three breading trays. I use eighth-sheet pans, which are actually mini baking sheets, 10 inches by 7 inches. They are also great for baking in toaster ovens or making individual sheet pan dinners. I have about six of them. 

In the first tray, you'll need a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. In the second tray, you will need whisked eggs. 

In the third tray, you will need a 50/50 mixture of sweetened coconut and panko bread crumbs. You can also add some dried herbs to this mixture if you like as well, such as parsley, cilantro, or basil. 

You will also need spray oil such as baking spray. 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp in a serving bowl with dipping sauce.

How to Make this Air Fryer Shrimp:

Step 1:

Make sure the shrimp is patted dry on the outside, and if you've defrosted it, that all icy pieces have been removed. Dip the shrimp in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Then dip the shrimp in the egg mixture. 

After that, dip and coat the shrimp in the panko and coconut mixture. Spread the coated shrimp out on a large plate and spray it with spray oil on both sides. 

Step 2:

Heat your oven to 200 degrees F and place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. This is for keeping the shrimp warm after air frying. If you are using the air fry feature of a toaster oven, you can skip this step. 

Next, heat your air fryer to 375 degrees F and then air fry the shrimp in batches, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp, until they are browned and crispy with an internal temperature of at least 120 degrees F. (this temperature will go up as the shrimp rests). Be sure to flip them over halfway through. 

Step 3:

Serve the shrimp with one or two (or more!) of your favorite dipping sauces. 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp on individual plates.

For the dipping sauce, I used a creamy sauce of a combination of mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, and Thai sweet chili sauce. You can play with the proportions to increase or decrease the heat of this sauce. 

You can also just dip the coconut shrimp in Thai sweet chili sauce or prepare a hot Chinese Mustard sauce. Or you can make all three! 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp on a bet of lettuce.

If you have a toaster oven with the air fryer function, you may be able to cook all of the shrimp at the same time, but it will take a little longer, maybe about five to ten minutes more. 

If you don't have an air fryer, you can bake the shrimp, preferably on an oiled rack in a baking sheet, turning it halfway through. If you have a convection oven, definitely use that function. The main thing is to keep an eye on the shrimp until it becomed browned and crispy. 

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp with sauce in an oval Asian bowl.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Crispy Shrimp:

You can serve these shrimp as part of a multi-course appetizer menu, including pancetta and asparagus mini tarts, salt and pepper squid, olive tapenade deviled eggs, cranberry glazed meatballs, and puff pastry tomato and goat cheese pizettes

This is a great menu for a cocktail party where you don't want your guests to drink on an empty stomach. 

You can also serve these shrimp over a bed of lettuce for a salad along with a bowl of tomato soup for a lunch or dinner. 

More Air Fryer Recipes: 

Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings

Chicken Nuggets

Honey Chipotle Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Korean-Style BBQ Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp with dipping sauce.

More Fabulous Shrimp Recipes:

Garlic Shrimp with Yuzu Kosho

Shrimp Rémoulade

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine

Shrimp Biryani

Crispy Snack Shack Tacos

This month, the Fish Friday Foodies group is posting recipes for battered and crusted seafood dishes. Our host is my friend Stacy of Food Lust People Love. Be sure to check out everyone's crunchy crust seafood recipes!

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp on a plate.

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp

Air Fryer Crispy Coconut Shrimp
Yield: 24 Shrimp
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 14 MinTotal time: 44 Min
This coconut shrimp, made in the air fryer, is super crunchy and crispy, and is just as tasty as the deep-fried version you might order for an appetizer at your favorite bar or restaurant.


For the Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
For the Shrimp
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Baking spray or olive oil spray


To Make the Dipping sauce
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sweet Thai chili sauce, and sriracha. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Make the Shrimp
  1. In a plate or eighth-sheet pan, combine the coconut, breadcrumbs, and 1/8 teaspoon salt
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and place them in a shallow bowl or breading tray/eighth-sheet pan.
  3. In another shallow pan, spread the flour and the pepper.
  4. Dry the shrimp and sprinkle it on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Dip each shrimp in the flour, then the eggs, and then the panko/coconut mixture. Once you've coated all of the shrimp, spray them on both sides with spray oil.
  5. Heat your air fryer to 375 degrees F. Fry the shrimp, in batches, for 10 to 15 minutes, turning it halfway through, until the shrimp is golden and cooked through. Make sure the shrimp is not overcrowded in the air fryer basket.


See blog post for information regarding using an air fryer toaster oven.

Nutrition Facts



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Shrimp, coconut
Air Fryer
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The dipping sauce recipe was adapted from Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook. It's also a great sauce for burgers and sandwiches. It also makes a great salad dressing. The shrimp recipe was inspired by multiple recipes. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. I still haven't caved on buying an air fryer but your shrimp are sorely tempting me to! They look fabulous!

    1. Thank you Stacy. I'm pretty sure these would be fine in the oven, especially convection.

  2. We are slated to start remodeling the kitchen in the fall....I am giving up my breyville but do have double wall ovens with the top one a smart oven that has the same features of my breryville. Fingers crossed that I am as happy with it. The Breyville will be kept in my garage until I'm sure LOL.

    1. I would love a double oven and am so envious!! I wouldn't give up the Breville because... you never know, right?

  3. I can gorge on these shrimps non stop.. to delicious!


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