Coconut shrimp are one of those things on the menu that people just gravitate towards. Theres something about their crispy exterior with their succulent interior that earn them a cult-like following. They are the ultimate appetizer and party food that is sure to satisfy a crowd.
Part of the appeal of coconut shrimp is their crunchy texture, however, that often comes with extra calories and fat due to being submerged in hot oil. I tried to replicate that old, familiar texture while keeping them as healthy as I possibly could. So I used an air fryer to cook these shrimp to get them crispy and golden brown without all the extra fat that comes with frying them traditionally. The air fryer does a great job with keeping the shrimp juicy and plump on the outside and crispy, crunchy on the outside.
The other star of this dish that works in tandem with the shrimp to create a delicious pairing is my sweet & spicy pineapple sauce. It is kind of similar to a sweet chili sauce but with the important addition of pineapple to add a fruity, tropical flavor. The sauce is extremely easy to make and comes together within 5 minutes and complements the golden, crispy coconut shrimp perfectly.
This appetizer is so easy to make and incredibly succulent and delicious. It is sure to be a hit at any gathering, party or dinner you serve it at!
Coconut Shrimp with Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Sauce
- 1 lb. Shrimp peeled, devained, tails on
- 1 Cup Gluten Free Flour
- 1 Cup Shredded Coconut
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- 1/2 Tsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 Tsp Sriracha
- 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 1/2 Tsp Cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1/2 Cup Crushed Pineapple
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Start by setting up a dredging station by placing the flour on a plate with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Then crack the egg into a bowl with 1/4 tsp salt and whisk. Next add the shredded coconut to another plate with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- Dip the shrimp in the flour, then the egg, and finally the shredded coconut. Repeat the process with all of the shrimp. Place the breaded shrimp into the airfryer (I recommend spraying the shrimp with olive oil spray). Cook the shrimp in the airfryer for 10 minutes.
- While the shrimp are cooking add the white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, honey, sriracha, salt, and pepper flakes to a small saucepot over med-low heat. Once the mixture begins to boil add the cornstarch slurry (1 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp water) and whisk until the sauce thickens. Shut off the heat and add the pineapple to the pot. Stir everything together until fully combined.
- Serve the coconut shrimp with the sauce. Enjoy!