An air fryer fried fish recipe that’s crispy and rapid

The fish fries appeal to lines of vehicles as individuals collect to decide on up meals right after work, but fried fish also is anything we often produced at residence through the time when numerous Christians abstain from meat, specially on Fridays. We’d slip battered trout and catfish fillets into warm oil in a black solid-iron skillet and fry them right until they turned golden on the outside and flaky on the inside of.

I enjoy fried foodstuff, but it can be a messy kitchen area undertaking, especially on a weeknight, and these days I have relegated deep-fried foodstuff to the occasional deal with.

Recently, Cynthia R. Greenlee wrote in The Write-up about how an air fryer reignited her cooking enthusiasm, a little something she was losing since of the pandemic. She provided perception about how she as soon as “groused … that these miniature convection ovens aren’t fryers at all. Alternatively, they surround food stuff in an El Niño of sizzling air, cooking with minor or no oil. Baking and roasting, yes frying, no.” But then she commenced experimenting and discovered the small countertop box was a fantastic way to get that fried encounter, but through “easier, healthier cooking with less oil and time.”

I’ve adopted in her footsteps, to start with producing recipes she suggested for Air Fryer Korean-style hen wings and making an attempt bacon-wrapped shrimp. Then, I started experimenting a little bit myself with blended effects. (Taquitos work nicely, but I nevertheless have not mastered all those mozzarella sticks.)

So, when the fried fish craving hit, it adopted that I’d experiment to see if I could get a enjoyable piece of golden fillet from the appliance.

It was simplest to get my hands on fresh new cod, so I made use of that with the recipe underneath, but any white-fleshed fish will do, this kind of as trout, flounder or even tilapia.

I tried using simply just executing an egg clean and dusting of spiced flour, but I located that the resulting exteriors were being just not crisp ample. I had the identical outcome when I tried out a coarser fish fry coating. Then, I tried using an egg clean with just panko, but ended up with a several bald spots on the fish. Also, I missed the spice that the finer flour delivered to the fillet.

What worked best for me was a a few-phase coating: A light-weight coating of a well-seasoned cornstarch/flour combination, followed by an egg wash presented a flavor improve by a generous splash of sizzling sauce and at last a generous coating of panko. The flour combination coated the whole fillet and extra taste, and the coarse breadcrumbs browned wonderfully and arrived by, providing that telltale crunch.

  • If it is crispness you’re following, do not use super-thick fillets. If the fillets are incredibly thin, you may possibly want to minimize the cooking time.
  • For a longer time pieces of fish may possibly split as you attempt to lift them out of the basket, so if the fillets are lengthy, slice them in 50 % or into thirds right before coating and cooking.
  • Don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket. This lets the fish to get crispy all above.

If you really do not have an air fryer, you can attain equivalent benefits in a convection oven (see instructions in the recipe), but I uncovered that the air fryer delivers a crisper end speedier.

Provide the fish promptly, with lemon wedges and cocktail. To go with the fish: A eco-friendly salad, coleslaw, tacky grits or french fries will do.

Air-Fryer Fish Fillets

Storage Notes: Leftover fish can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. For crisper fish, reheat in a preheated air fryer for 2 minutes or till warmed through.


  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) cod fillets, or other white-fleshed fish
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon finely floor black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-objective flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons drinking water
  • 1 tablespoon warm sauce, these kinds of as Tabasco
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Cocktail sauce, for serving (see NOTES)

Step 1

Set the air fryer to 400 levels and preheat for at minimum 5 minutes.

Whilst the fryer is preheating, pat fish dry and season both of those sides with salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. If the fillets are long, reduce them in 50 percent or thirds. (Small, thinner fillets are much easier to flip and flip out crispier edges.)

Move 2

Established out a few shallow bowls. In just one, whisk alongside one another the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. In the next, whisk with each other the egg, drinking water and hot sauce. In the 3rd, put the panko.

Phase 3

Operating with a single piece at a time, coat a fillet with the flour mixture, shaking off any surplus. Then, dip it into the egg, permitting the extra drip off, and ultimately location it in the panko, urgent the breadcrumbs into the fish on all sides. Area the fillets on a baking rack and frivolously spray them on a single facet with cooking oil. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Step 4

Very carefully clear away the air fryer basket from the preheated fryer and frivolously spray it with the cooking spray. (In no way spray the cooking spray immediately into the fryer.) Put the fish in the basket and, performing in batches to stay cle
ar of crowding, cook for 5 minutes. Then, remove the basket, flip the fillets and spray them with the cooking spray. Cook dinner for one more 5 minutes — the fish really should be golden and flake quickly with a fork. If not, prepare dinner an extra 1 moment or until eventually cooked by way of.

Provide the fish with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.

To make in a convection oven: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Follow the recipe as directed, placing the fish on a heatproof rack established within a massive rimmed baking sheet. This process may perhaps have to have a bit for a longer time cooking time, about 7 to 8 minutes per facet, specifically for thicker fillets. In our tests, the air-fryer fillets had been crisper and cooked far more evenly.

To make the cocktail sauce: In a smaller bowl mix 3/4 cup ketchup, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of horseradish and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional). Mix properly, include and chill right up until wanted. (Will make a scant 1 cup.)

Diet Info

Calories: 266 Full Extra fat: 3 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 111 mg Sodium: 231 mg Carbohydrates: 23 g Nutritional Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Protein: 25 g.

From recipes editor Ann Maloney.