Coconut Shrimp: Air- and Deep-Fried

I love my deep fryer, but nights I want to use it are guaranteed to be a mess. What my new air fryer lacks in deep fried goodness it makes up for with fast, low maintenance recipes. Or does it?

With the two fryers and a lot of time on my hands, I tried a few foods in both the deep fryer and the air fryer: coconut shrimp, fried pickles, and deep fried Oreos. Some things I learned

  • You can’t put something battered in the air fryer without splattering it everywhere. So, no deep fried Oreos.
  • Instead of batter, coating it in a faux breading with bread crumbs works!
  • Unsurprisingly, the deep fryer food was delicious. But I can still see a place for the air fryer in these traditionally deep fried foods for a healthy alternative!

I’ve included below a recipe for the batter I used for the deep fryer.

Air Fryer Batter

I set up a bowl of 2-3 eggs, whisked, and a bowl of 2 cups bread crumbs for the air fryer experiments. Since this was coconut shrimp, I added 1/3  cup shredded coconut to the breadcrumbs.

Deep-fried (left) and air-fried (right)

Deep Fryer Batter

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/4 cup vodka (*this extends its longevity while you cook!)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 quarts canola or peanut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl with a fork.
  2. Whisk egg and vodka together. Add to dry ingredients and stir vigorously until well blended.
  3. Toss shrimp (or whatever you’re frying) in batter. Fry at 350 degrees or according to manufacturer instructions until batter is golden.

Chicken Nuggets

Merideth and I’s schedules got a little crazy in the month of October, so instead of our usual Saturday night Skype date, we made quick weeknight dinners! Nothing better for some comfort food than chicken nuggets and some cut up veggies. This easy and versatile chicken nugget recipe came in handy for a breakfast biscuit (more on that soon!)

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Set aside a plate covered in a few layers of paper towels to absorb oil after frying.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into bite size chunks.
  3. Set ingredients into three bowls, left to right: flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.
  4. Dredge chicken nuggets first in flour, then egg mixture, and then bread crumbs until thoroughly covered. Set aside.
  5. Using tongs, place nuggets into hot oil and heat for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Note: the oil will lose heat, so wait for oil to reheat in between batches and keep a close eye on the frying process.
  6. Place nuggets on paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Enjoy!