Air Fryer Catfish Fillets are a deliciously healthy update to an old southern style favorite. The list of ingredients and the cooking time are short and simple.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the The Catfish Institute. All opinions are 100% my own.
The farm-raised catfish of today are mild and slightly sweet, making them perfect for adapting the fried catfish recipes of yesterday into an amazing and good-for-you main dish. Using your air fryer means you’ll have the crispy coating you love without the greasiness of traditional frying. If almond flour is used, this recipe becomes gluten-free.
For an elegant but simple dish made with catfish be sure to also try Catfish with Lemon Thyme Sauce.
What is different about today’s catfish?
We invite you to visit The Catfish Institute’s website and learn more details, but the key points to remember are these:
- U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish are raised in ponds that are 4-6 feet deep and filled with pure, fresh water which is pumped from underground wells.
- The farm-raised catfish have learned to eat from the top of the ponds, unlike their wild, bottom-feeding cousins. Their food consists of high protein, vitamin and mineral enriched pellets that produce healthier, mild-tasting fish.
- U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish are kept alive until immediately before processing, a procedure that takes less than 30 minutes, meaning the fish you eat are extremely fresh.
- The Catfish Institute’s Certified Processors must pass a strict list of high quality standards including being certified by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
For a full list of the health benefits of eating fish in general you’ll want to read this article.
Notes and tips on making the best air fryer catfish ever!
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- Be sure to start with U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. That way you are assured of getting the highest quality catfish, raised and processed under the strictest guidelines.
- Use a fine mist oil spray that is propellant free and specifically made for spraying foods – not the type made for spraying pans to keep them non-stick. Two of our favorites are Avocado Oil Spray from Chosen Foods and La Tourangelle Organic Canola Oil.
- Keep an eye on your fish in the air fryer. Just like any other type of cooking appliance, the way they cook will vary from brand to brand and type to type. We’ve linked to ones we have below for your convenience.
- Many people want to know: Do you need to soak catfish before cooking? Not if they’re U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish! That practice dates back to when the only catfish available was the bottom-feeding wild ones. Soaking in milk was helpful in getting out that “gamey” taste, but the farm-raised catfish are mild and do not require any soaking.
- Serve your air fryer catfish with simple lemon wedges, traditional tartar sauce, or, our favorite Remoulade Sauce.
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Information on Air Fryers
Maybe your take on air fryers is like ours was at first… “just another small appliance fad.” Neither of us are the type to buy into the latest craze easily. We’ve seen ’em come, we’ve seen ’em go.
But the air fryer has stolen our hearts. They’re easy, fun, fairly inexpensive, and can be used to make formerly un-healthy dishes much better for you, and besides all that, they cook fast! Their versatility is truly amazing.
As quickly as we can we’re adding more air fryer recipes to Biscuits and Burlap, so you’ll want to check back often. Already we’ve got these Air Fryer Greek Chicken Skewers (with that glorious sauce). Air Fryer Okra is another southern fried classic taken to new levels of healthy yumminess by cooking it in our new favorite appliance.
Air Fryer Breaded Shrimp is our newest updated southern classic. Imagine that you can enjoy the fried shrimp you know and love so well without all the oil!
We each have a different type of air fryer and love them both. Mine is also a small oven, convection oven, broiler and toaster. It’s made by Cuisinart and does take up some counter space, but I think the versatility makes it worthwhile and it has a pretty big capacity air fryer basket.
Sara’s is a small, air fryer only version. It’s perfect when counter space is at a premium because it can easily be stashed away when not in use. Make no mistake though – it works great!
Air Fryer Catfish Fillets
- 1 pound catfish fillets recommend U.S. Farm-Raised
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoons almond flour can substitute all purpose flour if desired
- 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning optional, recommend Tony Chachere's
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more if Creole seasoning isn't used
- fine mist of oil spray
- Blend egg and milk in shallow dish.
- Blend cornmeal, flour (almond or all purpose), seasoning, salt in another shallow dish.
- Dip fillets in egg mixture, allowing to drain for a few seconds.
- Dredge fish fillets in flour mixture, coating both sides.
- Lay fillets on basket of air fryer that has been sprayed with oil. Spray fish fillets with fine mist of oil.
- Cook in air fryer that has been preheated to 375° for 5-6 minutes.
- Flip fillets over and spray again. Cook 4-5 minutes more, and up to additional 1-2 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.