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Top view of air fryer popcorn shrimp on a platter.
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An instant classic, these homemade air fryer popcorn shrimp are crispy and crunchy without the use of a lot of oil!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 20-24 frozen medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on (I like using 31-40)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • cup cornmeal
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • oil spray


  1. Place frozen shrimp in a large colander and run cold water over them until thawed about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry.

  2. In a small bowl good for dipping beat the egg. And in another small bowl mix together the cornmeal and salt (you can even through in some spices here!).

  3. Heat the air fryer to 360°F.

  4. Working one at a time, dip each shrimp into the egg batter and then into the cornmeal making sure the cornmeal creates an even coat. Place on a wire rack.

  5. Once heated, remove the basket from the air fryer, spray with oil and place the shrimp in the basket creating an even layer. Spray again with oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Serve with your favourite sauce!


Pat the shrimp dry. The egg and cornmeal will stick and form a more crispy-crunchy crust if the shrimp are patted dry before coating. Extra moisture (not coming from the egg) can cause the coating to be a bit soggy.
Spray the air fryer bin and the top of the shrimp with oil. Before becoming an air fryer owner I never had a use for oil spray. However, with an air fryer, it becomes a very handy tool! By spraying the heated basket with a little oil you ensure the shrimp don't stick; and by spraying the tops you ensure even browning.
Good for two or four. It says it serves two people and it does, if the shrimp are a part of the main course (think crispy shrimp as a replacement for croutons in a salad!). Yet they also can be a great appetizer for four people!