Air fryer fried shrimp are going to become one of your new favorites to make in your air fryer. The shrimp come out crispy on the outside and they stay juicy on the inside. The process of making them is also quick and simple.
Air Fryer Fried Shrimp
I am definitely excited to show you this recipe because this is one of the recipes that I think comes out as good being cooked in the air fryer as its restaurant versions.
Not only are they delicious but you can have this dish on the table in about 20 minutes total. A lot of shrimp can be fit in the air fryer basket making this a great dinner recipe for families as well.
Can I Use Frozen Shrimp in the Air Fryer?
Yes, you can cook frozen shrimp can be used as long as they are defrosted before hand. I defrosted the shrimp above in a bowl with water for about 20 minutes and dry them well before breading and cooking.
Even though I always would recommend using fresh shrimp I always use the Trader Joe’s wild Argentinian shrimp and this recipe comes out great every time. The shrimp are crunchy and juicy and not rubbery at all.
Ingredients Needed for Air Fryer Shrimp
- Panko Breadcrumbs (Seasoned or Plain)
- Olive Oil
- Ranch Dressing, Tartar Sauce or Cocktail Sauce
Full Ingredients List and Directions in Recipe Card Below
How to Make Fried Shrimp in Air Fryer
I am going to walk you through making this recipe step-by-step. I will make this a quick and simple process and shortly you will be enjoying these fried shrimp made in your air fryer.
Don’t forget the condiments like cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or the way I like it which is ranch dressing. The shrimp are pretty much good with any dipping sauce to be honest.
Step 1 – Defrost the Shrimp
If you are using frozen shrimp you were going to want to defrost them in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes. You are going to want to make sure that they are completely defrosted before moving forward to the next step.
If you are using fresh shrimp of course you are going to need to make sure they are peeled and deveined. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area their wild frozen shrimp are great for this recipe.
Step 2 – Breading the Shrimp
The next step is the process of breading the shrimp. This is an easy process. The best way to do this is by setting up what I call a “dredge station.” This is done by setting up an assembly line of the process in the order of flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs.
Place each in a separate bowl. In the order of flour, egg wash and then breadcrumbs. I like my shrimp Panko breaded and that is what I used for this recipe.
Season the flour with some salt and black pepper and if using plain Panko breadcrumbs season them with some salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. If you want exact measurements they are in the recipe card below.
Beat the eggs and add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it a bit. Once that is done we are ready to proceed.
Breading Process for the Shrimp
Make sure that the shrimp fairly dry. A bit damp is fine and we want the flour to stick to the shrimp well.
Coat the shrimp in flour and then give them a shake to get off the excess and then dip the shrimp into the egg wash. After the egg wash go right to the bread crumbs and coat them well. Repeat untill all the shrimp are coated and look like the image below.
It helps to have a piece of parchment paper or a plate nearby to place the breaded shrimp. When all the shrimp are complete I like to place them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so. This makes the breading stick to the shrimp even better.
Step 3 – Cooking the Shrimp
Cooking the shrimp in the air fryer it’s a quick and easy process. Play your breaded shrimp in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees for 5 minutes.
Place the breaded shrimp in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for two minutes. After 2 minutes open the air fryer and spray the shrimp with cooking spray or olive oil spray. I find the results are better if you let the shrimp cook for a couple minutes before spraying them with oil.
How Long to Cook Shrimp in the Air Fryer
Cook the shrimp a few minutes more until they start to turn golden brown. Then flip the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. I find that in my air fryer for medium sized shrimp it takes 7 to 8 minutes total and the shrimp are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Of course, if your shrimp are bigger or smaller adjust the time accordingly by 1 or 2 minutes total cooking time. Popcorn shrimp cook quicker. The shrimp in the image below had a total cooking time of 8 minutes flipping them halfway through. These shrimp are fantastic. I think they are as good as deep frying.
Can I Reheat Shrimp in the Air Fryer?
Yes, shrimp can be reheated in the air fryer. Set the air fryer to 375° and reheat the shrimp into minute increments until they are hot. Of course shrimp are best served right after they’re cooked but they are also delicious reheated.
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Kitchen Essentials and Items Used
Air Fryer Fried Shrimp (Crunchy)
- 1/2 Pound Medium Shrimp Peeled and Deveined
- 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (Plain or Seasoned)
- 2 Eggs Beaten with 2 Tbsp. Water
- 2 tsp Salt (Divided)
- 1 tsp Black Pepper (Divided)
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Olive Oil or Cooking Spray
Breading the Shrimp
- It helps to have three separate bowls. In the bowls do you want to place flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs in that order.
- Season the flower with half the salt and pepper. Season the breadcrumbs with the other half of the salt and pepper and also the garlic and smoked paprika.
- Make sure that your shrimp are fairly dry. Dredgeneach shrimp and flour and then dip in the egg wash and then the Panko breadcrumbs. Coat each shrimp liberally with Panko.Repeat until all shrimp are done. Place completed shrimp on a plate.
- Place shrimp in refrigerator for 10 minutes. This makes the breading adhere better.
Cooking the Shrimp
- Preheat air fryer 5 minutes 390 Degrees
- Place shrimp in air fryer in single layer. Cook 2 minutes
- Open air fryer and spray shrimp with cooking spray or olive oil spray. Cook 3 minutes more.
- Flip Shrimp and cook remaining 3 minutes or until preferred doneness.