Delicious perfectly crispy air fryer fish nuggets. Made with a few simple ingredients you will want to make these in the air fryer whenever you have some spare fish.
Made with cod fillets but easy to swap these cod nuggets for catfish, pollock etc.
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Our homemade air fryer chicken nuggets are one of my all time favourite air fryer breaded foods, but could you take the exact same concept to fish and make fish nuggets?
Well, this is exactly what we have done today with our fish nuggets.
We bought a big batch of fish from the fish mongers at Morrison’s. In fact, I was there for ages, getting loads of fish for different recipes and surprised that the other customer waited was so nice to me!
Then I had a couple of cod loin fillets leftover and decided to make those into delicious fish nuggets.
Ours of course, were the best quality fish nuggets because we were using cod loin fillets, but you could just as easily use a leftover bit of fish you had leftover or use catfish or pollock.
Plus, I have my wonderful chef hubby Dominic showing you how to perfectly bread the fish.
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Can You Air Fry Fish Nuggets?
Yes, you sure can air fry fish nuggets and OMG they are amazing. Just grab a fish fillet, chop it into chunks, bread, and air fry.
I also love fish nuggets for when there is a fish fillet deal, and you can also bread fresh nuggets and then freeze unbreaded for another day.
Can You Air Fry Catfish Nuggets?
Yes, you can air fry catfish nuggets. In fact, it was air fryer catfish nuggets that we used to make in our air fryer when we lived in Portugal.
Back in Portugal (we are celebrating a year back in the UK this month) and there it was mainly catfish available.
We would then let the catfish sit for a while to remove excess water and then bread it.
You can also do the same for swap out the catfish for another fish such as:
- Air Fryer Salmon Nuggets
- Air Fryer Pollock Nuggets
- Air Fryer Haddock Nuggets
- Air Fryer Halibut Nuggets
Are Fish Nuggets Healthy?
It depends. Regular fish nuggets cooked in a deep fat fryer are very unhealthy for obvious reasons. And frozen fish nuggets in the deep fat fryer are even more unhealthy.
However, cook air fryer frozen fish nuggets and you have reduced the calories from not deep frying.
Then step it up a level and air fry homemade fish nuggets and you have got even healthier.
Of course, there is still flour and breadcrumbs going on the fish nuggets, but the calories are much better, and you know exactly what ingredients are being added.
Or another alternative is to follow our air fryer chicken tenders unbreaded recipe and swap the chicken for fish.
What Are Air Fryer Fish Nuggets Like?
I like to describe them as air fryer fish pieces. Or you might call them chunks, for example if using halibut, you might call them air fryer halibut chunks.
Instead of breaded fish, the fish nuggets are in the shape of chicken nuggets. Then just like chicken nuggets they are covered in flour, egg wash and then breadcrumbs.
Thanks to the air fryer, your fish nuggets recipe is like crispy pieces of fish and are absolutely delicious.
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Air Fryer Fish Nuggets Recipe Ingredients
Fish – I recommend using a fish that is chunky enough to make nugget shapes and also doesn’t hold a lot of water. My favourite choices are cod, haddock, halibut, catfish, or salmon. I also recommend 2 fillets for a good batch of fish nuggets. We used 2 cod loin fillets.
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 recipe for fish nuggets 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.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this air fryer breaded fish nuggets 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.
Breading Fish Nuggets For The Air Fryer
This process for breading fish nuggets 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.
Also note, you can do batches of different recipes at the same time. For example, we did air fryer fish nuggets at the same time as a batch of air fryer fish and chips.
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 air fryer breaded fish nuggets:
Then once you have mixed the seasoning in your bowls you’re ready for breading and then air frying.
How To Air Fry Fish Nuggets?
- Dry. Firstly, place your fish fillets onto kitchen towel and let it sit for a few minutes to remove excess moisture. This is especially needed if you are air frying catfish nuggets.
- 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 nuggets from the kitchen towel and cut lengthways and then widthways to create fish nugget shapes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Batch. Then working in batches load the fish 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 fish nuggets for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
And I am sure you can see now how easy it is frying fish nuggets in air fryer and why you should be doing it too!
How Long Do You Cook Fish Nuggets In An Air Fryer?
The fish nuggets air fryer time is JUST 8 minutes, which is a similar time to our air fryer KFC popcorn chicken.
Plus, like I said this same cook time can be used for pollock nuggets, cod nuggets and a range of other fish.
More Air Fryer Breaded Fish Ideas
- Air Fryer Fish & Chips
- Air Fryer Homemade Fishcakes
- Air Fryer Thai Fishcakes
- Air Fryer Homemade Fish Fingers
- Air Fryer Frozen Fish & Chips
Your air fryer fish nuggets 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 Fish Nuggets
- Sit your cod fillets on kitchen towel and allow the moisture to soak into the towels.
- 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.
- Remove the kitchen towel and place the cod fillets onto a chopping board. Season well with salt and pepper and cut lengthways and then into chunks widthways.
- Load the fish nuggets 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.