There’s no denying the appeal of coconut shrimp — crunchy, sweet, and easy to eat, like a meaty popcorn kernel. But they can be a mess to fry up, which makes them a perfect candidate for the air fryer. These shrimp are marinated in coconut milk, then coated in breadcrumbs and more coconut before getting cooked up to crispy perfection and served with a cooling-yet-spicy coconut yogurt. That’s three hits of coconut and none of the excess grease; I can’t think of a better sales pitch than that.
- ½ pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (tails intact)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 small or ½ medium cucumber, halved and seeded
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (or dairy yogurt)
- 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1. In a bowl, combine the shrimp, coconut milk, lime zest, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Let the shrimp stand for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and shredded coconut and season with salt and pepper.
3. A few at a time, add the shrimp to the breadcrumb mixture and toss to coat completely. Transfer the shrimp to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spray the shrimp all over with cooking spray.
4. Transfer the shrimp to the air fryer and cook at 400°F until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Move the shrimp to a serving platter and season with more salt.
5. Grate the cucumber into a small bowl. Stir in the coconut yogurt and chile and season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside the shrimp while they’re warm.
To make plain fried shrimp, omit the coconut milk, lime zest, and shredded coconut. Set up a breading station with 1 cup all-purpose flour, 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls, and season each with salt and pepper. Working one at a time, coat each shrimp in the flour, dip in the egg, and dredge in the breadcrumbs. Transfer the shrimp to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and continue with the recipe.
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Recipes and photographs reprinted from Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer. Copyright © 2018 by Ben Mims. Photographs by Denny Culbert. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.