Air fryer shrimp? You betcha. An air fryer is a cook’s best friend and it makes it possible to quickly, easily, perfectly cook bacon-wrapped shrimp. Whether you serve it as an appetizer or the main protein at your meal, it is a welcome treat. After a year and a half of experimenting with air fryers, I use them for everything I can!
There are just 4 ingredients — and 2 of them are optional.
- Large, uncooked, peeled, deveined shrimp
- Bacon slices (we used thick slices the day we took these pictures, because that’s what was on hand, but it is really best to use thin so you don’t overcook the shrimp while trying to get the bacon to crisp up)
- Plum sauce (find it in the Asian section of the grocery store or at your favorite Asian market), entirely optional and you’re only going to use about 1/8 tsp. or less per shrimp. As an alternative, you can use apricot jam.
- Black sesame seeds (again, entirely optional. They just look cool scattered over the cooked shrimp)
- Toothpicks are handy, but I have also made these without them, so don’t fret if you don’t have any
Tip: I like to mix chili garlic paste into the plum sauce. It takes quite a bit to get a real kick, but decide for yourself how kicky/spicy you want it. When I make it spicy, I signal the spiciness to those who are going to be consuming them by using a garnish of something spicy, either dried arbol chiles, or at least jalapeno slices.
Cut your bacon strips lengthwise into two pieces, then cut each long piece into two halves. Wrap the bacon around the shrimp. Secure with a toothpick (or don’t).
Preheat the air fryer for 2 minutes at 390 degrees.
Place the bacon-wrapped shrimp into the air fryer. Put them in a single layer.
Cook for 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook another 2-4 minutes (depending upon the size of your shrimp.
Put your plum sauce into a squeeze bottle, if you have one, and squeeze a little dot onto the middle of the piece of bacon on each shrimp. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, simply use a small spoon. When you put the plum sauce on while the shrimp are hot, it soaks right into the bacon. Only a tiny amount is needed. And if you are one of those folks who prefer savory to sweet, skip the plum sauce entirely. Bacon + shrimp all by themselves is a fabulous duo.
When serving with dinner, I just throw them into a bowl. For a party or a special treat, they look best plated.