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

The fish fries draw in lines of autos as folks acquire to pick up foodstuff after work, but fried fish also is one thing we commonly built at dwelling in the course of the season when many Christians abstain from meat, particularly on Fridays. We’d slip battered trout and catfish fillets into warm oil in a black cast-iron skillet and fry them right up until they turned golden on the outdoors and flaky on the within.

I like fried meals, but it can be a messy kitchen job, especially on a weeknight, and these days I have relegated deep-fried food items to the occasional address.

Just lately, Cynthia R. Greenlee wrote in The Article about how an air fryer reignited her cooking enthusiasm, a little something she was getting rid of due to the fact of the pandemic. She supplied perception about how she when “groused … that these miniature convection ovens are not fryers at all. In its place, they surround meals in an El Niño of hot air, cooking with tiny or no oil. Baking and roasting, of course frying, no.” But then she began experimenting and found the very little countertop box was a fantastic way to get that fried experience, but via “easier, much healthier cooking with fewer oil and time.”

I’ve followed in her footsteps, first earning recipes she advisable for Air Fryer Korean-fashion rooster wings and seeking bacon-wrapped shrimp. Then, I began experimenting a little bit myself with mixed outcomes. (Taquitos do the job effectively, but I nonetheless have not mastered individuals mozzarella sticks.)

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

It was simplest to get my hands on fresh new cod, so I utilised that with the recipe under, but any white-fleshed fish will do, these as trout, flounder or even tilapia.

I tried simply carrying out an egg wash and dusting of spiced flour, but I discovered that the resulting exteriors were just not crisp sufficient. I had the very same end result when I tried a coarser fish fry coating. Then, I tried out an egg wash with just panko, but ended up with a several bald places on the fish. Also, I skipped the spice that the finer flour sent to the fillet.

What worked finest for me was a 3-stage coating: A gentle coating of a perfectly-seasoned cornstarch/flour mixture, followed by an egg wash specified a taste enhance by a generous splash of scorching sauce and at last a generous coating of panko. The flour mixture coated the entire fillet and added taste, and the coarse breadcrumbs browned wonderfully and arrived by means of, delivering that telltale crunch.

  • If it is crispness you are right after, do not use super-thick fillets. If the fillets are quite thin, you might want to minimize the cooking time.
  • Lengthier parts of fish may break as you check out to raise them out of the basket, so if the fillets are prolonged, slash them in fifty percent or into thirds just before coating and cooking.
  • Really don’t overcrowd your air fryer basket. This will allow the fish to get crispy all above.

If you really don’t have an air fryer, you can accomplish identical effects in a convection oven (see instructions in the recipe), but I observed that the air fryer provides a crisper finish speedier.

Serve the fish promptly, with lemon wedges and cocktail. To go with the fish: A environmentally 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 until finally warmed by.


  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) cod fillets, or other white-fleshed fish
  • 1/4 teaspoon desk 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 massive eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, this sort 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 degrees and preheat for at least 5 minutes.

While the fryer is preheating, pat fish dry and period each sides with salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. If the fillets are long, lower them in half or thirds. (Modest, thinner fillets are easier to flip and transform out crispier edges.)

Phase 2

Set out a few shallow bowls. In just one, whisk collectively the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. In the subsequent, whisk with each other the egg, water and hot sauce. In the third, set the panko.

Action 3

Doing work with 1 piece at a time, coat a fillet with the flour combination, shaking off any surplus. Then, dip it into the egg, letting the excessive drip off, and last but not least spot it in the panko, urgent the breadcrumbs into the fish on all sides. Put the fillets on a baking rack and evenly spray them on a single side with cooking oil. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Stage 4

Cautiously get rid of the air fryer basket from the preheated fryer and lightly spray it with the cooking spray. (Never spray the cooking spray right into the fryer.) Put the fish in the basket and, performing in batches to avoid crowding, cook for 5 minutes. Then, take away the basket, flip the fillets and spray them with the cooking spray. Cook dinner for one more 5 minutes — the fish must be golden and flake easily with a fork. If not, prepare dinner an additional 1 minute or until eventually cooked as a result of.

Serve the fish with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.

To make in a convection oven: Placement a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 levels. Stick to the recipe as directed, positioning the fish on a heatproof rack set within a large rimmed baking sheet. This method may possibly need a bit extended cooking time, about 7 to 8 minutes per aspect, especially for thicker fillets. In our exams, the air-fryer fillets have been crisper and cooked extra evenly.

To make the cocktail sauce: In a compact bowl blend 3/4 cup ketchup, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of horseradish and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional). Combine nicely, address and chill right until essential. (Can make a scant 1 cup.)

Nutrition Information and facts

Energy: 266 Total Fats: 3 g Saturated Fats: 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.

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