Coconut Shrimp: Delicious and crunchy coconut crusted shrimp, and a delicious yogurt dipping sauce.
If you’re needing an island getaway but can’t quite make it there, bring the islands to you with this coconut shrimp recipe. These coconut shrimp are an air fryer recipe which means shrimp perfectly cooked to crispy coconut perfection. And, it’s so easy that it’s like having a mini vacation in your kitchen.
Served alongside a sauce made with yogurt, pineapple, lime, and coconut; this creamy, zingy, fruity dip is simply delicious. These flavors combine to create a light flavor that is perfect for a summer dish or brighten up the dark days of winter.
Health benefits of shrimp
Shrimp alone are jam packed with nutrition. They are a good source of:
- Vitamin D
- And Iron
The breading and the oil in a fried coconut shrimp recipe can add a lot of fat and carbs. However, here are a few ways to make healthy coconut shrimp:
- Baked coconut shrimp – Baking instead of frying!
- Grilled coconut shrimp – Grilling instead of frying
- And air fryer coconut shrimp – My favorite method because you get the same results as frying without the addition of oil!
All of these use less oil, but the air fryer is hands down the best at cooking and crisping to perfection. You get the same crunchy, crispy, coconut shrimp.
Where did coconut shrimp originate?
There’s a lot of debate about where coconut shrimp originated. So many tropical coast locations have shrimp in their cuisine. The mixing of shrimp and coconut probably originated in the south pacific specifically South East Asia where coconut is a common flavor.
So, while we have no idea of the true origins, to whoever invented it, lets just give a collective thank you for the culinary yumminess.
And let’s thank whoever invented the air fryer too, so that we can make crispy fried dishes like coconut shrimp with less effort, mess, and oil.
The air fryer works with the same technology as a convection oven. The air is circulated, and the moisture is evaporated. Which means, you get the same crispy crunchiness as frying with oil, without the added calories.
How do you make beer battered coconut shrimp?
I am obsessed with coconut shrimp, and the most popular version is a beer battered coconut shrimp. Where you take shrimp, and dip it in a batter made with beer, roll it in coconut, and fry it. Then dip it in a sweet or savory dipping sauce.
This air fryer coconut shrimp uses the same basic method, only instead of a beer batter, I keep it simple with an egg and flour or corn starch wash. This is easy, requires only pantry ingredients, and allows the flavors of the sweet coconut and meaty shrimp to shine through.
Tips for Coconut Shrimp:
- Use jumbo shrimp for the best results. You want those big, succulent shrimp so you aren’t getting all batter.
- Keep things cold. You want your shrimp defrosted but chilled. Same with the batter. If things get too warm the batter won’t stick to the shrimp.
- Use separate bowls for:
- Cornstarch + salt
- Egg whites
- Coconut flakes
- Have a great dipping sauce that compliments the flavor of the shrimp and coconut instead of overpowering it. For me that is this fantastic yogurt dipping sauce. It utilizes a lime yogurt, mixed with fresh pineapple, and more coconut for a truly tropical treat.
Instead of flour and whole eggs I use corn starch and egg whites. With the egg whites I find that this cuts down on fat and calorie without compromising the flavor or texture. And corn starch requires a thinner coat for the crispy finish, which I simply like better than the flour.
How do you air fry coconut shrimp?
Cooking coconut shrimp in the air fryer couldn’t be easier. The air fryer does all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is:
- Batter the shrimp
- Add the shrimp to the fryer basket without overcrowding, there has to be room for the air to flow around the shrimp if you want to get the fried like textures.
- Set the air fryer for 330℉ for 15 min and let it do its thing.
- Repeat until you’ve got all the shrimp you want.
It really is that simple. The air fryer is your best friend. With it you’ll be able to make coconut shrimp food network would be proud to showcase.
It starts like this:
Then after the air fryer does its magic, it looks like this:
I love serving this coconut shrimp with:
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup flakes sweetened coconut
- 1/2 pound large raw shrimp
- In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and salt.
- In a second shallow bowl, add the egg whites
- In a third shallow bowl, add the coconut
- Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge in the cornstarch mixture, then egg whites, then coconut.
- Add shrimp to air fryer basket without over-crowding
- Select the shrimp setting, 330 degrees, for 15 minutes.
- Repeat until all shrimp are cooked.
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