Let’s make a delicious filet o fish copycat recipe in the air fryer. Loaded with flavoursome breaded fish, a quick homemade fish sauce and tasty brioche bread buns.
If you love a McDonalds Filet O Fish then you will love making this homemade copycat version in the air fryer.
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Filet O Fish
I remember reading somewhere that the most disliked item on the McDonalds burger menu is the filet o fish.
I must admit, it would never be my first choice. I want to eat a Big Mac, a McChicken, or a quarter pounder or instead of a burger get a family box of chicken nuggets to share.
So, I must confess it wasn’t until recently that I tried the filet o fish for the first time on our way to a camping trip. I sat in the parking at the local McDonalds drive in and tucked in.
And you know what….. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice this McDonalds chicken burger is and said to myself that I would eat them more often.
I also decided there and then that I must make a filet o fish copycat recipe in the air fryer.
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What Is Filet O Fish?
Not had a McDonalds filet of fish yet? Then think of it is as similar to the McChicken sandwich that you can get at McDonalds.
Where you have a breaded chicken fillet with sauce in a bun.
But of course, you are swapping the breaded chicken for fish.
What Kind Of Fish Does McDonalds Use?
McDonalds uses pollock in its fish burgers. I love this because pollock is much easier to source compared to cod and remember times when celebrity chefs have been on a mission to get us eating more pollock.
I used a pack of frozen pollock from Morrison’s that I had allowed to thaw before patting dry and breading. But what surprised me so much is how cheap it was and great for when you want to keep your grocery bill low.
What To Put On A Fish Sandwich?
Firstly, to make a copycat filet o fish sandwich you will want breaded pollock. Then after this, a nice fish mayonnaise followed by a slice of orange processed cheese.
You can also load salad garnish into your own homemade fish sandwiches or leave it without salad.
Is Filet O Fish Healthy?
Our air fryer fish sandwich is healthier than McDonalds. This is because no oil is used. But overall, a burger is always going to be on the unhealthy foods list.
But of course, it is nice to treat yourself to a burger in the air fryer once in a while.
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Filet O Fish Ingredients
Fish – I recommend using pollock fillets. It is pollock that is included in the classic McDonald’s filet o fish, is cheap and it cooks really well in the air fryer.
Breading – You will need a breading production line (more on this below) with a beaten egg bowl, a breadcrumbs bowl, and a flour bowl.
Seasoning – I also recommend adding extra seasoning to your breadcrumbs bowl and your flour bowl. This adds extra flavour and otherwise this fish burger can be rather bland. I recommend parsley for your flour and then dill, parsley, and basil for your breadcrumbs. Then season for fish before breading with salt and pepper.
Optional – I also add some lemon juice to the egg mixture as this gives it extra flavour.
Mayo – Then for the fish sauce I recommend fromage frais, dill, aioli, mustard, and some lemon juice.
Cheese – Then a filet o fish at McDonalds is always served with a slice of orange processed cheese just like a quarter pounder.
Buns – You can use any of your favourite bread buns (or you might call them rolls or baps where you live) and we went with brioche.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this fish sandwich air fryer recipe it has just been our Philips air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.
This process for breading fish burgers for the air fryer is the same for all our breaded fish and learn this system and then you can rinse and repeat with other recipes.
You start with three bowls:
- 1 for egg wash
- 1 for flour
- 1 for breadcrumbs
The number #1 chef tip is to use one hand for the flour and egg and then the other hand for the breadcrumbs. That way you won’t have to wash your hands inbetween or get eggy hands on the breaded fish.
The number #2 chef tip is to have a clean chopping board ready for placing the breaded food on once you have breaded it.
The number #3 chef tip is to have the bowls next to each other in the right order. I.e. flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
The number #4 chef tip is to freeze leftover bread as breadcrumbs and then you can pour some into a bowl whenever you want to bread food.
Here are our bowls with seasoning ready for making an air fryer fish sandwich:
Then once you have mixed the seasoning in your bowls, you’re ready for breading and then air frying.
How To Air Fry A Fish Sandwich?
- Dry. Firstly, place your pollock onto kitchen towel and let it sit for a few minutes to remove excess moisture. This is especially needed if you have thawed fish like we have done.
- Bowls. Whilst the fish is on the kitchen towel, set up your production line. With one bowl for flour, one bowl for eggs and one bowl for breadcrumbs. Then add seasoning to flour and breadcrumb bowls and beat your eggs. I also recommend adding in some lemon juice to your eggs.
- Season. Next remove the fish from the kitchen towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Batch. Then working in batches load the pollock into the flour, then the egg and then using your other hand into the breadcrumbs. Place onto a clean chopping board as they are done and let them rest for 5 minutes.
- Cook. Load into the air fryer and air fry pollock for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
- Sauce. As the air fryer is working its magic load your sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
- Finish. When the air fryer beeps load up your bread buns with a fish fillet, the sauce, and a slice of cheese before serving.
And I am sure you can see now how easy it is cooking a homemade filet o fish in the air fryer and why you should be doing it too!
How To Make Breading Stick To Fish?
The secret behind perfect breaded fish sandwiches is the process we do in this air fryer recipe.
That is to make sure:
- You pat dry the fish fillets first to remove excess moisture
- You make sure the pollock is well coated in the flour, the egg and the breadcrumbs
- That you don’t turn the pollock whilst air frying
Though the most important, is that they are well coated in everything as otherwise it will not come out as perfectly crispy fish burgers.
More Air Fryer Breaded Fish Ideas
- Air Fryer Fish & Chips
- Air Fryer Homemade Fishcakes
- Air Fryer Thai Fishcakes
- Air Fryer Fish Nuggets
- Air Fryer Frozen Fish & Chips
Your homemade fish sandwich recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Air Fryer Filet O Fish
For The Sauce
- 2 Tsp Fresh Dill finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Alioli
- 4 Tbsp Fromage Frais
- 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
- If frozen defrost your pollock. Sit your pollock on kitchen towel and allow the moisture to soak into the towels. Remove the kitchen towel and place the pollock onto a chopping board. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Whilst you are waiting set up your production line. Beaten egg in one bowl with lemon juice, flour and the 1tbsp of parsley in another bowl and the breadcrumbs and the rest of the seasoning in a third. Make sure all bowls are well mixed and that they are in the order of flour, egg, breadcrumbs.
- Load the fillets into the flour, then into the egg and then using your other hand into the breadcrumbs until well coated.
- Air fry for 8 minutes at 180c/360f or until nice and crispy.
- As the air fryer is cooking the fish, load all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
- When the air fryer beeps add to a brioche bun the pollock fillet, the cheese, then the sauce, and then the lid. It is now ready for serving.