These air-fried popcorn shrimp get crispy and crunchy with very little oil.

EatingWell.com, January 2019; updated October 2022

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Recipe Summary

active:
10 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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Tips for the Best Air-Fryer Popcorn Shrimp

Served with a smoky, spicy dipping sauce, these air-fryer popcorn shrimp are the perfect appetizer! Here are tips on how to make them:

Set Up Your Breading Station

Breading is a three-part process that creates a crust on the shrimp. You will need three shallow dishes - one for flour, one for eggs and water and another one for the panko and seasonings.

Bread the Shrimp

Dredge the shrimp in flour. This step will help the egg stick to the shrimp. Then dredge in the egg mixture, which will help the panko to stick. Finally, dredge them in the panko mixture, shaking off excess.

Air-Fry the Shrimp

Cook the shrimp in two batches. Coat the shrimp with cooking spray, then air-fry at 360°F until crispy and cooked through, about 8 minutes, turning once. Make sure the shrimp is in a single layer in the air fryer. Overcrowding the air fryer basket will prevent the shrimp from crisping up.

Make the Dipping Sauce

This smoky dipping sauce is full of flavor! It has five simple ingredients - ketchup, chipotle chiles, cilantro, lime juice and salt. We recommend using no-salt-added ketchup to reduce the amount of sodium in the sauce.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Coat air fryer basket with cooking spray.

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  • Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine eggs and water in another shallow dish. Combine panko, cumin and garlic powder in a third shallow dish. Dredge shrimp first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko, shaking off excess. Place half of the shrimp in the prepared basket; coat well with cooking spray. Cook at 360°F until crispy and cooked through, about 8 minutes, turning once during cooking. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

  • Combine ketchup, chipotle chiles, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a small bowl. Serve the dipping sauce with the shrimp.

Equipment

Air fryer

Note

Look for the smallest shrimp you can find so they will cook evenly.

Nutrition Facts

6-7 shrimp & 2 Tbsp. sauce
297 calories; protein 29.2g; carbohydrates 35.4g; dietary fiber 1.4g; sugars 8.6g; fat 3.8g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 275.6mg; vitamin a iu 615.7IU; vitamin c 2.5mg; folate 59.4mcg; calcium 102.3mg; iron 2.4mg; magnesium 48.7mg; potassium 389.9mg; sodium 291.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

2 lean protein, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 starch, 1/2 medium-fat protein

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