Homemade Air Fried Fish Sticks are easy to make and homemade are so much better than anything you can buy ready made. I know…it’s why I decided to make my own!
My plans to make these Homemade Air Fried Fish Sticks were somewhat inspired by the advent of Easter and Lent. And I don’t even follow that tradition anymore!
But my family did when we were kids; yes, my Catholic family had fish sticks every Friday and while it was suggested during Lent, I’m grateful for my non-Catholic mom who did not acquiesce for that extended period.
If my mom had to grapple with a ‘no meat’ rule for an extended period while feeding six kids I think she might have lost it; once a week was enough and I do remember having a lot of fish sticks. A lot of awful ones!
In all honestly though my biggest inspiration is the notice I receive every week as to where a Denver food truck will be located. They only serve Fish & Chips and every week I have good intentions of making it to their current location.
I’m in the most southern suburb of Denver so they only make the trek every now and then…and their schedule never matches mine.
As a result, I had a craving one day and bought some batter coated fish fillets from the grocery store and that was my biggest impetus. Ugh, the ratio of breading to fish was 2:1; no muy bueno!
I saw no answer to the real deal except to make Homemade Air Fried Fish Sticks from scratch myself.
It was definitely one of those ‘why did I wait so long’ moments? One reason was because I had envisioned having to fry pieces of fish. Once I decided to make them in my air fryer that removed a stumbling block.
SO easy. Especially since I skip spraying my tray and use parchment paper sheets made for my air fryer. Cleanup is a breeze. Amazon has a billion different sizes if you want to try the same thing!
A few tips for preparation in your Air Fryer:
- Fish: I like cod; they are a mild-flavored fish that is firm, sustainable, and perfect for adding seasonings and flavorings. Not only can you change up the seasonings but you can use a different fish. If not cod I suggest either pollock or haddock. I don’t care for tilapia but if you like it, they would work too.
- Fresh or Frozen: Use either but thaw frozen fish before use. Pat dry all fish before coating them so it will stick to your pieces.
- Protect your fish from sticking to your frying container: You can spray the inside of your frying basket with a non-aerosol spray (this is important to avoid a sticky buildup) but I prefer using the parchment paper sheets now available for air fryers. So easy to use!
- Preparing the fish: I prefer preparing all fish cut into pieces when I’m using an air fryer so whether it’s fish sticks or a single serving of salmon; mine gets cut to guarantee better airflow. It’s important that you allow room between pieces to insure they all cook evenly. I also turn over midway in cooking for the same reason.
PIN IT! ‘Homemade Air Fried Fish Sticks’
Air Fried Fish Sticks
- 1 lb cod fillets approximately 3 large fillets
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or other similar seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray your fryer basket with an olive oil spray or fit with parchment paper to prevent sticking. (Do not use an aerosol spray).
- Slice the cod fillets into long strips. Salt and lightly pepper both sides
Make a dipping station with three plates
- Whisk eggs and pour onto one plate.
- Combine flour, cornstarch and spices and put on a second plate.
- Panko goes on a third plate.
- Dip fish in order into flour mixture, then eggs, then panko. Set in the prepared basket. Spray lightly with olive oil spray.
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Serve warm with tartar or seafood sauce.