As we wind down to colder weather on the east coast, is anyone else missing the salty beach breeze, warm sun and fried beach snacks? Growing up, the best fries always came from that little shack on the beach. We're recreating your favorite beach day meal but making it much healthier and whipping it up right at home, beach not required.
We bread the fish in a thin breading of flour, corn meal and some of our favorite spices. By keeping the breading thin we ensure it gets extra crispy in the air fryer. The old bay, smoked paprika and optional cayenne give the fish a welcome kick that is expected cooled when dunked in our homemade tartar sauce.
I love the texture of this homemade tartar sauce.
It's fully combined but left just a little chunky so you still get bites of pickles, onions, capers and spices. I prefer to use sliced pickles instead of relish because I think it makes for more chunks and I prefer the tangy flavor of pickles instead of the sweeter relish flavor.
Lastly, the crucial counterpart to fried fish filets and tartar sauce is the "chips".
We make use of the air fryer once again for our chips or fries. I have mastered the air fried French fry after plenty of trial and error. I start at a much lower temperature and then greatly increase it at the end to ensure they are brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Times may slightly vary depending on the size of your air fryer, they will cook faster the less crowded the fryer is.
Since we use the same appliance for the fish and chips, I provide tips on how to time alternate frying both the fish and chips!
Air Fried Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Fish: 5-6 servings | Tartar Sauce: 8 servings
Cook time: Fish: 15 min | Tartar Sauce: N/A
Notes: For chips I recommend our Perfectly Crispy Air Fried French Fries. Cook them mostly prior to cooking the fish and finish browning after the fish to keep both hot and crispy.
2 lb white fish (cod/haddock)
2 oz egg whites
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup corn meal
2 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Optional: 1/8 tsp cayenne
4 oz plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
1 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp canned capers, drained
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2oz dill pickles, if whole pickles then slice
Prep the potatoes according to our Perfectly Air Fried French Fries recipe.
While the potatoes are cooking, prep the fish. Whisk egg whites and milk together in a bowl. Pour all the dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, old bay, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder) into a gallon bag and shake to combine. Slice the fish filets into smaller individual portions (I did ~3 oz/piece and served 2 pieces/person).
Coat the fish in the egg whites and milk mixture. Once fully coated, transfer the fish pieces into the dry ingredients. Slowly rotate the bag to fully cover the fish in the coating. Be careful not to break up the fish.
If sharing air fryer space with fries and fish, remove the fries after a few minutes at the higher temperature (when they just start to really brown, probably after 5 minutes), set aside for now. Spray the bottom of the air fryer with olive oil spray and add the fish pieces, spray the top of the fish with olive oil spray. Turn the temperature up to 400F and cook for 7 minutes.
After 7 minutes, open the air fryer, flip the fish and cook another 7 minutes.
While the fish is cooking, combine the tartar sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still chunky.
If making fries at the same time, when you remove the fish, return fries to the air fryer to finish cooking. Just another minute or so, to get them hot and crispy.
Serve fish, alongside fries, with tartar sauce.
Perfectly Crispy Air Fried French Fries
6 servings | Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Notes: the technique here is to cook the potatoes low and slow to start to ensure the inside is soft and flakey. Then you jack up the temperature at the end to get them brown and crispy! Finish with flaky sea salt and enjoy!
3 medium russet potatoes (~1000g)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
Slice potatoes into thin fries. Place sliced potatoes in a bowl of water and soak for 10 min to remove the starch.
Drain and arrange potatoes in a single layer between paper towels or clean dry dish towels to dry completely.
Drain and dry the bowl of water. Add potatoes, spices and olive oil to the bowl and toss until evenly covered.
Place the potatoes in the air fryer basket and cook at 250F for 20 minutes, tossing halfway. The potatoes are done this step when they are fork tender. Depending on thickness of the potatoes they may take slightly more or less time. The potatoes will not be very brown at this step.
Turn the temperature up to 400F and cook the fries another 5-7, tossing occasionally, until they’re crispy and brown. Remove, toss with flaky salt and serve hot.
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Fish and Tartar Sauce:
French Fries (Chips):
Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used.