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two pieces of air fryer fish on a blue plate with parchment

Crunchy Air Fryer Fish

Crispy and well-seasoned fish with a cornmeal crust for a southern crunch, this fried fish is crunchy and well-seasoned no deep-frying needed.
Course Entree
Cuisine American, soul food
Keyword air-fryer fish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 191kcal


  • air fryer


  • 1 lb. white fish fillets (not more than ½ inch thick)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • oil spray
  • lemon and parsley for garnish (Optional)


  • Preheat the air fryer for at least 3 minutes to 400 F. Whisk the egg in a shallow pan. In another shallow pan, combine the cornmeal and spices thoroughly.  
  • Pat the fish completely dry. Dip the fish fillets into the egg - allow the excess to drip back into the pan. Then press the fish into the cornmeal mixture until well coated on both sides.
  • Place the coated fish into the preheated air fryer basket. Spritz lightly with oil. Cook for 10 minutes – stopping midway to flip the fish to ensure even cooking. If you notice dry spots, this is the time to spritz with a bit more oil. Return the basket to the air fryer and cook 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
    Once done, squeeze lightly with lemon and sprinkle with parsley or top with hot sauce as desired. Serve immediately.


Spice swap idea: Don't have all the spices? Swap in creole seasoning or old bay!
To make this recipe in a standard oven: Preheat oven to 475 F. Spray a shallow baking pan generously with oil spray. Place the cornmeal coated fish onto the baking pan. Bake 10 minutes on the middle rack. Serve hot.


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg