A lot of people asked me, “ Can you cook frozen fish in an air fryer?” I say, why not? When I’m in a rush, I usually throw some frozen fish fillets in my Ninja air fryer and I call it a day.
Frozen fish cooked in the air fryer comes out crispy in the outside and flaky tender meat inside. Your family will never guess that you have cooked the fish frozen. Here’s how you can surprise your family with this easy recipe.
How To Cook Frozen Fish In Air Fryer
What You’ll Need
You can use any brand of air fryer you want. The air fryer that I have is the Ninja AF101 with a 4-quart basket capacity and four programmable cooking functions. The preheating of this unit only requires three minutes.
Compared to a traditional oven, air fryer won’t lose the moisture of your fish. The fish stays tender while the outside cooks into a perfect crisp. It cooks in a few minutes without leaving a huge mess to clean.
You can use any unbreaded frozen fish in air fryer. When selecting a frozen fish to air fry, look for something lean and neutral flavored. Freshwater fishes, like catfish and bass, are great for frying.
Most fish with white flesh are usually good for frying. Some of the best kinds of fish to fry are halibut, tilapia, and trout. I always find a bag of tilapia fillets in the grocery store which is why I use it more often. Halibut and salmon are also easily accessible in grocery stores.
Fresh Lemon (optional)
If you want to remove the nasty fish smell or flavor, you can use lemon to neutralize it. The acid content of the lemon will neutralize the fishy smell and enhance the flavor of the fish. For this recipe, you need one lemon.
You can use any seasonings that you like for your fish. Personally, I like to keep it simple and use salt and pepper for additional flavor. Other great seasonings that you can use with this recipe are onion powder and garlic powder.
A cooking spray comes in handy when you need to lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Fish has a delicate flavor, so you want a neutral-flavored oil that won’t overwhelm the fish. The best oils to use are coconut oil and peanut oil.
Avoid Pam-like aerosol spray cans because they can damage your air fryer baskets. I recommend an oil sprayer, like Evo, because it contains without any harmful ingredients. If you can’t find a cooking spray at home, you can directly use your tablespoon to pour oil into the air fryer basket.
Get a fork ready because you’ll need it to check the doneness of the fish. The fork will be used to nudge the fish a little. Use any fork you have in your kitchen.
You may need a knife when cutting the lemon in half. You can use any knife you have available at home.
1. Preheat The Air Fryer
Set the temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit and set the time to three minutes. Select the Start button to begin preheating. Make sure that the air fryer is empty while the air fryer is running.
2. Line Up The Fish Fillets
After preheating, spray the air fryer basket with the cooking spray so the fish won’t stick to the base. Place the frozen fish fillets in the air fryer basket in a single layer without overlapping them.
3. Season The Fish
Cut the lemon into two and squeeze one half of it on top of the fish fillets. Sprinkle your favorite seasonings on the fish. As for the other half of the lemon, cut them thinly into slices and put a slice of lemon on each fillet.
4. Cook The Fish
Close the air fryer basket and set the temperature to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the time to 12 minutes. Halfway through the time, shake the air fryer basket to cook the fish evenly.
The cooking time is normally 14-16 minutes. Depending on the thickness and type of the fish, the time may vary. Salmon takes a bit longer to cook than tilapia and halibut.
5. Check The Fish For Doneness
Five minutes before the time, check the fish fillets whether they’re cooked or not. You’ll know that the fish is cooked when the color is opaque and not translucent.
Try nudging it with a fork. If it breaks easily into flakes, then it’s done. If the color is still translucent, add two more minutes in the cooking time.
6. Serve And Enjoy
Once your fish is cooked in perfection, remove from the air fryer basket and transfer to a serving plate. Add fresh parsley on top if you want to be fancy.
Additional Pro Tips
To save time and effort when cleaning your air fryer basket after cooking, consider putting a parchment paper or aluminum foil on the basket.
Put a little bit of butter on top of every fillet to make your fish extra moist.
To make sure that the flavor and moisture are kept intact inside the fish, air fry the fish with its skin on. Use a spatula to remove the fish from the air fryer basket.
It’s actually easy to cook frozen fish in air fryer (no breading). All it takes is 12 minutes max and good quality of frozen fish fillets. With the information I share above, I hope that you’re confident in making your own frozen fish meal at home.
Share to us your experience in making air fryer frozen fish in the comment section below. I’m also open to answer all your questions. If you like this article, please share with your friends.
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