You can make perfectly crispy shrimp in your air fryer. Learn how to make tempura fried shrimp in your air fryer in just minutes!
Air fryers are popping up in kitchens all over the world, and for a good reason. They deliver deep-fried flavor with only a fraction of the fat, calories, and mess of stovetop frying. Although many owners of air fryers relegate them to french fry duty, they can do so much more, Shrimp Tempura, for instance. Who doesn’t love plump, juicy shrimp coated in a crunchy crust? The next time you crave this Japanese favorite, skip your local Japanese restaurant, shun deep fryer, and try this Air Fryer Shrimp Tempura recipe instead.
Where’s the Batter?
If you have made any tempura in the past, a glance at the recipe below immediately tells you that this is not your typical tempura recipe. It is true. It isn’t. There is no debate on the benefits of using seltzer or flat water or the importance of ice-cold water in making the batter for the shrimp because there is no batter. What? A batter-free Shrimp Tempura? Yep.
Transitioning from traditional deep frying to an air fryer takes a bit of a willingness to rethinking the techniques you use and adapting them to fit the technology. One of the biggest changes you will need to make is avoiding using any wet batters. So, why can’t you make breaded shrimp in an air fryer using a wet batter? Gravity.
When you place battered shrimp in hot oil, the oil immediately cooks the outer layer, sealing it to the piece of shrimp. In an air fryer, the batter is doesn’t set right away, and it will drip, stick to the tray, and leave a mess.
Fried Shrimp in Air Fryer Dipping Sauce
Fried shrimp is delicious on its own, but what really gives Shrimp Tempura that authentic taste is the traditional dipping sauce, called Tentsuyu. You can find Tentsuyu in larger supermarkets or online, but it is hard to beat homemade Tentsuyu, and it is simple to make if you can find the ingredients.
Pour three-quarters of a cup of prepared dashi stock in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Dashi is the base for most sauces and stocks in traditional Japanese cooking and is made from a mixture of seaweed, dried fish, and mushrooms. It is what gives Japanese soup their rich umami flavor. You can often find powdered dashi in Asian supermarkets in jars or packets. Add three tablespoons of regular soy sauce to the dashi and two tablespoons of Mirin, a sweet Japanese cooking wine. If you don’t have Mirin, you can substitute dry sherry. Finally, sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of white sugar.
Cook slowly while continuously stirring until sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens slightly. Serve while still warm to accompany breaded shrimp in air fryer.
Tips on How to Cook Shrimp in Air Fryer and Serve It
- Use medium shrimp. Your store may label medium shrimp as 41/50,
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer tray. You will need to cook in batches. Keep cooked shrimp in the oven on the lowest setting to stay warm.
- This recipe for fried shrimp in air fryer is versatile. Switch the Tentsuyu dipping sauce for sweet and sour sauce, and you have Chinese Sweet and Sour Shrimp!
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Here’s what you need:
- Raw peeled shrimp (medium or larger size recommended)
- All-purpose flour
- Panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil
How to Make Air Fryer Shrimp Tempura
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees f.
Prepare an egg wash in a shallow dish by whisking together 2 large eggs and two teaspoons of water.
Dredge shrimp in flour, shake off excess flour.
Dip dredged shrimp into the egg mixture and then roll in panko breadcrumbs.
Place the shrimp in the air fryer basket.
Cook for 7 to 9 minutes in the air fryer, or until done.
It’s best to make these in small batches if you can not lay them out in a single layer. Season with salt if you desire.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.
How to store leftover tempura
It is important to allow the shrimp to cool completely before placing them in an air-tight container or a plastic zip-lock bag. This way the tempura batter or breading will stay crispy.
How to reheat air fryer shrimp tempura
To reheat the leftover shrimp spray with non-stick cooking spray and place into an air fryer heated to 350 degrees air fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
Love Shrimp? Try these recipes
- Japanese Tempura Shrimp
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- Bubba Gump Shrimps
- Cajun Shrimp Recipe
- Fried Scampi Recipe
- Joes Crab Shack Shrimp
- Baked Parmesan Shrimp
- Shrimp Alexander
- Garlic Shrimp Pasta
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- Air Fried Jalapeno Popper Recipe
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Air Fryer Shrimp Tempura
- 2 pounds raw peeled shrimp medium or large size recommended
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Prepare an egg wash by whisking together 2 large eggs and two teaspoons of water.
- Dredge shrimp in flour, shake off excess flour.
- Dip dredged shrimp into the egg wash and then roll in panko breadcrumbs.
- Cook for 7 to 9 minutes in the air fryer, or until done.