Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip is a healthy, tropical summer appetizer. Eat four or five of them paired with a side salad for a light meal. Air frying shaves off calories and fat, but you keeps the shrimp brown and crispy. And my version is gluten free.
There is nothing worse in my window unit Chicago apartment than turning on the oven in July. Except, perhaps, turning on the oven in August. The kitchen is the only room in my apartment without an AC unit and many a day you can find me foodblogging away over the oven or stove, droplets of sweat beading on my forehead and pooling right under my eyes. Because you gotta do what you gotta do for the blog, right?
Well, yes, or I could make smarter kitchen decisions and use my microwave, slow cooker, or AIR FRYER.
Yes. The return of the air fryer is today, friends. With Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip.
My Air Fryer Buffalo Wings were an absolute hit last month and I’ve been dying to crank out more air fryer recipes ever since. And in fact, this recipe idea came from an Instagram comment! I asked my Instafriends what they would make first if they won an air fryer and then I jotted down all the really awesome ideas (egg rolls, anyone?!) to save for later. I’m at my parent’s house on the North Carolina coast this week, so Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip was the clear choice.
OKAY. Let’s make a clear transition right here. I just
complained lamented over writer’s block, which really isn’t what is happening right now. What is happening is my (undiagnosed) ADHD is out of control. I can’t stop playing with my dog, staring at the boats going by (someone is out tubing!), watching the Air Force planes skyrocket, eating all the snacks (so many snacks at my parent’s). On top of it, I’m flipping back and forth between two different blog posts, editing photos, getting ingredients out for recipes, etc., etc., etc. What is wrong with me. I’m vibrating at too high a frequency right now.
Anyway. So my Mom gave me talking points. I’m so tempted to just bullet point them and, in fact, I think I will:
- I am at the Crystal Coast! (AKA the Southern Outer Banks, coined for its extremely clear waters and brilliant white beaches.)
- Here at the Crystal Coast, it’s “shrimp, shrimp, SHRIMP!”
- And they’re jumping! You can see them jumping around off my parent’s back dock.
- They are a little small now (although I found some JUMBO shrimp in my parent’s freezer), but, in the meantime, here is the recipe for Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip, READY AND WAITING.
(Oh my gah, don’t tell my mom that I talked about her talking points. I am very grateful that she wants to offer help/get me to hurry up so we can playyy.)
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip
Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Piña Colada Dip is a healthy, tropical summer appetizer. Air frying shaves off calories and fat and my version is gluten free. Get your air fryer here!
For the shrimp:
- 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup light coconut milk
- 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pineapple chunks drained
- 1/4 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper more to taste
- Toasted coconut for garnish*
Remove the shell from the shrimp, leaving the tail intact, if desired.
Place cornstarch in a gallon-size bag and add the shrimp. Toss to coat.
In a medium bowl, whisk coconut milk and honey until combined. In another medium bowl, combine coconut and panko. Remove shrimp from bag, gently knocking off any excess cornstarch. Dunk shrimp in the liquid mixture, then dredge in the coconut mixture. You may have to press loose coconut and panko gently onto the shrimp.
Transfer coated shrimp to the basket of your air fryer. (I fried mine in two batches since the coating is somewhat fragile.) Heat your fryer to 350 degrees F and cook 6-8 minutes, flipping shrimp once, until the coconut is golden brown and the shrimp are cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, yogurt, pineapple, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Top with toasted coconut.*
*To toast coconut, preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place coconut on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 5 minutes until some of the coconut has turned a golden brown.