These 5-Ingredient Coconut Shrimp Will Transport You To The Beach

I admire my dad for many reasons, but chief among them is how fully committed he is to his vacation concept. He’s a man who’s usually pretty buttoned up (he worked in finance for decades and called the patterned socks “flashy”), but the night before we left for our annual beach trip, he was starting to to let go. Gone are the ties and spreadsheets, make way for Tommy Bahama shirts and his multi-hour Jimmy Buffet playlist.

Once there, he’s always aware of wanting to eat certain foods that our family doesn’t necessarily eat every day at home: boozy slushies, specialty desserts, and hearty amounts of seafood. One of our shared favorites is the coconut shrimp.

Related: Travel South to the “Seafood Capital of Alabama” With These Delicious and Punchy Marinated Shrimp

For the uninitiated, it’s a simple dish: shelled and deveined shrimp coated in toasted breadcrumbs and shredded coconut, then fried. Often it’s served as an appetizer with a sweet-sticky sauce, although I once had a coconut shrimp taco filled with avocado salsa and coleslaw and it changed my life.

However, the pandemic has obviously put a cramp on vacation planning for a few years now and I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately: for the trips, for the routine, and for, as my siblings and I have said, “Vacation Dad “. To feed those feelings, I started experimenting with this coconut shrimp recipe.

It’s very simple: only five ingredients and 12 minutes of cooking time. It’s amazing how something so easy to put together is so transporting. One bite and I’m basically on the edge of the beach.


Recipe: Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp


1 pound raw, large, peeled and deveined shrimp with tails attached

¼ cup seasoned all-purpose flour (feel free to season with salt and pepper, but additional possibilities like paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, or onion powder would be delicious)

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ panko breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. It’s time to set up an assembly line: place the seasoned flour in one bowl, the beaten eggs in another bowl, and the grated coconut and breadcrumbs in a final bowl. Dredge the shrimp, one by one, in the flour, then the egg, then the coconut and breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Place the prepared shrimp in the preheated air fryer, making sure they don’t overlap too much in the basket. Air fry for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.