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Breaded Shrimp in Air Fryer

This Breaded Shrimp in Air fryer is so easy, tender with a crispy Panko breadcrumb coating. Ready to serve in under 20 minutes they are made with almost no oil and delicious served with spicy sriracha mayo, remoulade, tartar, bang bang sauce or in sushi bowls.

air fryer shrimp in a white platter with sriracha sauce

Are you loving the air fryer as much as I do? I use it everyday for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even desserts like Bread pudding, Oatmeal, Baked Apples or Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Shrimp is one my go-to for weeknight dinners. They are always stocked in the freezer, thaws quick (refer notes), cooks in minutes and is a family favorite. Some of our favorite shrimp recipes are Shrimp Sandwich, Spicy Shrimp Tacos, Instant Pot Shrimp Alfredo, Coconut Curry Shrimp, Instant pot Shrimp Rice, Shrimp Fried Rice or Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta.

This air fryer breaded shrimp recipe involves our clever technique in breading procedure (just like how it was used for baked crispy fish or chicken parmesan). It is so much healthier, easier and easy clean up when compared to the stove top method. It is a healthier alternative to deep fried shrimp recipe.

The secret is that instead of a regular breading method of flour-egg mixture-bread crumb, we’ve come up with an easier one that involves stirring the shrimp in a batter and then coating them with breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs stay intact and forms a lovely crust on the outside.

Deep frying can be a bit messy and intimidating if you are a beginner.  That’s where the air fryer comes in!  All the delicious crunch with a fraction of the oil!

Breaded Air Fryer Shrimp:

Main ingredients

Shrimp – Peeled and devein shrimp and patted dry. The tails can be left on or removed.

Panko breadcrumbs – Gives a light, airy crispy coating (the secret to a crispy fried shrimp)

Egg – Helps in binding the crust

All purpose flour – Just 2 tablespoons for binding

Seasoning – Salt and pepper

ingredients needed to make panko  breaded shrimp

How to air fry shrimp with breading?

Prep shrimp – Pat dry peeled, deveined shrimp with paper towels, until no moisture is left behind.

Dredge – Mix egg, flour, salt and pepper into a smooth batter. Toss shrimp and mix until coated thoroughly. Coat each shrimp into the breadcrumb mixture.

Air Fry – Place in a pre heated air fryer basket, cook at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, until deep golden brown.

Expert tips

What type of shrimp to use?

Shrimp can be found in both refrigerated and frozen sections of the supermarket with tails on or off, raw, cooked, peeled, unpeeled, deveined and of different sizes.

Refrigerated is a good buy if very fresh, otherwise my go-to is always the frozen variety. They are generally frozen within hours of being harvested, so they are guaranteed to be fresh.

We love peeled and deveined variety for its time saving purposes and most importantly the hassle of dealing with the nasty vein.

Fresh or frozen shrimp

Both will both work great, if using frozen just make sure to thaw, drain and pat dry.

How to thaw frozen shrimp?

If using frozen, then place shrimp in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold or room temperature water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until thawed (the time will depend on the quantity of shrimp). Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. 

Shrimp size – We recommend using 21 to 25 count shrimp for this recipe. If using 31 to 40 count then reduce cooking time accordingly.

Cooking time –

For 21 to 25 count shrimp – cook at 400°F for 7 to 8 mins

For 31 to 40 count shrimp – cook at 400°F for 5 to 6 minutes

Don’t overcrowd – I used 6 quart instant vortex and 1 pound of shrimp was perfect cooked in two batches, without being overcrowded.

Tails – Tails can be kept intact or removed (we left the tails on for a prettier presentation).

Dredge well – Using hands, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on both sides of the shrimp to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.

Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the shrimp won’t get as crispy).

How to air fry store bought frozen breaded shrimp? Add frozen breaded shrimp directly into the pre heated 400 degree air fryer ( do not thaw) and cook for 5 minutes (if packaged is labelled cooked shrimp) and 10 minutes (if package is labelled raw shrimp), shaking the basket half way through cooking.

Making fried shrimp ahead of time

As with anything breaded, these fried shrimp taste best when made right before serving.  However, you can mix up the seasoned flour ahead of time.  Just keep them sealed in an airtight container at room temperature.

Variations

This is a basic recipe for breaded shrimp in air fryer. Try adding a combination or just one of the following seasonings along with the egg-flour batter:

  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Paprika / Cayenne / Chili powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Lemon pepper

Troubleshooting

The breading mixture is beginning to clump and does not form an even coating – This happens towards the end of the breading process, when the wet batter begins to accumulate in the crumb mixture. To keep this to a minimal – Use one dry hand for dredging and also remove the bigger clumped chunks with a fork and discard them.

Shrimp is not browned enough after 8 minutes – There could be two reasons for this –

  1. Over crowding – We were able to fit 1/2 pound shrimp in a single layer without over crowding in a 6-quart Instant vortex air fryer. If you are using a smaller air fryer then cook in two or three batches, but make sure to remove in 7 or 8 minutes.
  2. Not enough cooking spray – We recommend a double coating of cooking spray once in the beginning and again half way through cooking. This guarantees crispy crunchy coating.
rectangle white platter with crispy air fried shrimp along with dipping sauce

Serving suggestions

Make into a meal like Sushi Bowls or replace cauliflower with this shrimp in bang bang taco recipe.

Serve as a main course with roasted green beans and bread, rice or pasta dishes like alfredo noodles, penne all vodka, instant pot spaghetti, pesto pasta, ramen noodles or healthier instant pot pasta.

Serve as an appetizer with one of these dip for breaded shrimp:

Storage and Re heating

Leftover panko fried shrimp air fryer can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

From the refrigerator – Simple microwave them for couple of minutes to quickly re heat (the breading will be soft). However, to revive the crispy coating, re heat them in the air fryer for few minutes at 390 degrees.

FAQs

How long should you air fry shrimp?

Large shrimp (21 to 25 count) takes 7 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees, whereas medium ones (31 to 40 count) cooks in about 6 minutes.

Can you air fry shrimp from frozen?

Yes! Shrimp can be added to the air fryer basket directly from the frozen stage and cooked for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then used in your favorite recipes. However, it needs to be completely thawed to be breaded. Hence, we do recommend using only thawed shrimp for this recipe.

black fork holding a breaded shrimp above a platter filled with the same

More Air Fryer appetizer recipes:

Garlic Bread in Air Fryer

Tandoori Gobi

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Wings

Air fryer shrimp

Crispy Broccoli

Roasted Chickpeas

Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer

Yield: 4 Servings

Breaded Shrimp in Air Fryer

fork holding a crispy shrimp above a platter filled with more shrimp

These Breaded Shrimp in Air fryer is so easy, tender with a crispy Panko breadcrumb coating. Ready to serve in under 20 minutes they are made with almost no oil and delicious served with spicy sriracha mayo, remoulade, tartar or bang bang sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

Equipment used

Instructions

1. Pat dry shrimp with paper towels before using.

2. Add egg, flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Toss shrimp and stir until evenly combined.

3. Place panko in a shallow dish. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge into the bread crumbs, turning and pressing on all sides to coat evenly and place on a plate (try to to pack the breadcrumbs well on the shrimp).

4. Pre heat air fryer at 400°F for 8 minutes. Place half the shrimp into the air fryer basket (spacing evenly), spray a generous coating of non-stick cooking spray. Cook until golden and cooked through for 7 to 8 minutes (do not need to turn over).

(I sprayed another coating of cooking spray after about 4 minutes)

5. Transfer shrimp to a plate and repeat process with the remaining batch.

Serve hot with spicy sriracha mayo, remoulade, tartar or bang bang sauce.

Notes

Shrimp size – We recommend using 21 to 25 count shrimp for this recipe. If using 31 to 40 count then reduce cooking time accordingly.

Cooking time –

For 21 to 25 count shrimp – cook at 400°F for 7 to 8 mins

For 31 to 40 count shrimp – cook at 400°F for 5 to 6 minutes

How to thaw frozen shrimp? If using frozen, then place shrimp in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold or room temperature water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until thawed (the time will depend on the quantity of shrimp). Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. 

Don’t overcrowd – I used 6 quart instant vortex and 1 pound of shrimp was perfect cooked in two batches, without being overcrowded.

Tails – Tails can be kept intact or removed (we left the tails on for a prettier presentation).

Dredge well – Using hands, make sure to press bread crumb mixture well on both sides of the shrimp to help it adhere well and give a thicker coating.

Panko breadcrumbs – If you don’t have panko, then regular bread crumbs may be used (but, the shrimp won’t get as crispy).

Seasoning variations - Try mixing any of the following into the egg-flour batter

  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Paprika / Cayenne / Chili powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Lemon pepper

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g

I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. The information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com, although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates and not be construed as a guarantee. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health and ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate.

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