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These breaded fish fillets are cooked in the air fryer until crispy and delicious for a guilt-free dinner. It is simple to make, and the fish remains soft and velvety from the inside and with a tasty, crispy breaded layer on the outside. Using the air fryer is healthier than frying the fish in oil in a skillet. Ready in just 20 minutes!
I love the classic fish and chip combo; however, I don’t like the idea of frying. It can be messy, and I’d like to skip that part. This air fryer fish is the perfect substitute. It is every bit as crunchy, and the fish stays perfectly flaky. Skipping the frying means no unnecessary oil, and it takes less time!
This is a wonderful way to cook fried-style fish with very little oil, which makes it an easy and guilt-free meal that you can enjoy any day of the week.
Fresh cod is light, flaky and perfect for weeknight meals, but you can use any other fish such as Haddock, Tilapia, Bass or any other white fish fillets.
It’s so quick and easy without the mess or calories. The fish turns out crispy, moist and absolutely delicious! I’m sure that you will love it as much as I do!
Of course, if you’re not a “fish person,” you could totally make some crispy breaded air fryer pork or chicken breast! Or if you’re not a “fish person” but a shellfish person, what about some air fryer coconut shrimp?
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Add to mix 1 or to mix 3 (optional to taste)
- 1/4 tsp Thyme - fresh or dried
- 1/4 tsp Parsley - chopped fresh or dried
- 1/4 tsp Cilantro - fresh leaves chopped or dried
- 1/4 tsp Rosemary
To Garnish (optional)
- 1 Lemon - wedges for serving
- Rosemary - Sprigs
- Tartar sauce - for serving
- If using frozen fish fillets, defrost them first.
- Add lemon juice to the fish and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- While it is marinating, prepare your breading stations.
- Add all-purpose flour, garlic and onion powder to the shallow bowl (or rimmed plate) and mix well.
- If you want, also add Hondashi (Bonito Soup Stock).
- In another shallow bowl, whisk your egg. Season with salt and pepper if you want.
- Note that 1 egg is enough to coat about 5 to 6 fish fillets.
- And in a third shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs (or panko) and seasonings.
Optional for mix 1 or mix 3
- You may add herbs to mix 1 or 3, such as thyme, parsley, and or rosemary.
Pat dry the fish
- Pat fish dry with a paper towel.
- Note: If the fish is too wet, it can steam, meaning that your breadcrumb coating could end up soggy rather than crispy.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and make sure that the fish is well coated with oil.
Working one at a time, bread the fish
Coat the fish with mix 1
- Dredge the fish in a light coating of flour.
- Note: Don’t skip the flour step. I know it may seem like a non-essential step, but it really is necessary for the other ingredients to stick to the fish. However, go easy on the flour. You’ll want the fish just lightly dusted in flour, so be sure to shake off any excess. If there is too much flour, the egg mixture will be thick and lumpy.
Dip in the Mix 2
- Dip the fish in the egg to coat the fish.
- Let any excess egg drip off.
- Note: The egg helps the other ingredients stick to the fish. Make sure that it’s evenly coated on both sides. If it isn't, there will be bare spots in your breadcrumb coating.
Coat well with Mix 3
- Coat the fish in the breadcrumbs (or panko) mixture.
- Note: You may use your fingers to lightly press the crumbs into the surface of the fish.
- Tip: Use one hand to coat the fish in flour and dip in the egg, keeping the other hand dry to coat each fish in the breadcrumbs (or panko) mixture and transfer to the air fryer. If you use the same hand, your fingers will quickly get clumped up with egg and breadcrumbs (or panko) crumbs.
- Repeat with the other ones.
Fry the fish
- Preheat the air fryer at 200°C/400°F for 3 min.
- Note: This means that the temperature and airflows will be at the right level when you cook the fish. If you don’t preheat, it can cook your food unevenly.
- Spray basket with oil.
- Working in batches, place fish in a single layer in the basket, leaving a little bit of space between them in the air fryer's basket.
- Repeat with all the pieces.
- Note: For quick and even cooking, make sure you air fry the fish in a single layer and avoid overcrowding the air fryer.
- Cook at 200°C/400°F for 10 to 12 minutes, gently flipping halfway through, or until fish is golden and flakes easily with a fork.
- Note: Make sure you turn the fish over after 5-6 minutes of air frying to ensure they cook and brown evenly.
- You might need to adjust the cooking times depending on the kind and the thickness of the fish. Fish is ready when it’s easily flaked with a fork and has an internal temperature of 62°C/145°F.
- Be careful not to cook it for too much longer! You don’t want it to lose its crispiness and juiciness.
- Important: Every Air Fryer is different, so you might have to add or remove a few minutes depending on the air fryer model that you’re using. Play around with it and see what works for your air fryer.
- Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
Gluten-freeIf following a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Frozen or fresh fish?You could use either fresh fish fillets or frozen fish fillets. Just make sure that they’re completely defrosted/thawed before you bread and air fry them. It’s best not to use still frozen fish in this recipe as the breadcrumb coating will not stick, and the frozen fish will contain a lot of water.
Thawing fishThe best way to thaw fish is by leaving it in the fridge overnight. Or, if the piece is not too big, you could leave it on the counter for an hour or 2 until it’s completely thawed.
What kind of fish can be cooked in the Air Fryer?This air fryer fish recipe works with any fish fillets! Use fresh cod, tilapia, catfish, Pollock, hake, haddock, or even salmon. The fillets should not be too thin, as thin strips won’t work in this recipe.
Breadcrumbs or panko?Use panko or regular breadcrumbs—either homemade or store-bought dried bread crumbs. Mix with any spices you like, onion and garlic powders, black pepper, salt etc.
Season your fish generouslySince you won’t be actually “frying” your fish, you will need to make sure that it is well-seasoned. In traditional frying, many flavours come from the immense amount of oil used to cook it. Since you are skipping the fat, don’t skip the flavour! I like to add paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper and herbs to the flour. You can use your favourite seasonings.
Don’t have an air fryer, use the oven to cookIf you don’t have an air fryer or prefer the oven, you can bake your breaded fish.
It takes a few minutes longer to get it nice and crispy, but it is also delicious as cooked this way. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Place fish onto a baking sheet with a wire rack. The wire rack helps the air circulate around the fish, helping it get nice and crispy. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the fish and cook an additional 5-6 minutes. Broil on high for 1-2 minutes or until desired crispiness.
LeftoverStore any leftovers in an airtight container. Cooked seafood will keep safely in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
ReheatYou can reheat the fish in a preheated air fryer at 180°C/360°F for 2-4 minutes, and it will stay wonderfully crispy. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but the fish won’t retain its crispy texture.
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Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.Share on Facebook
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