Seafood swap series: Air fryer crispy fish tacos

Whitefish nuggets and fusion flavours add excitement to Taco Tuesdays. Watch dietitian Noelle Martin whip these up and see how much her three kids love them.

By Noelle Martin, MScFN RD

Seafood swap series: Air fryer crispy fish tacos
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Take tacos to a new level by replacing your usual protein with whitefish. With seasoned fish nuggets, colourful coleslaw and a sauce that will have your taste buds dancing, you can offer your family new flavours and lots of nutrients. Simple swaps like this make creating new meals feel so much easier. 

What is Canadian whitefish?

This mild whitefish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser in both texture and flavour. As a bonus, it is packed with high-quality protein, several B vitamins, plus minerals such as selenium and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for optimal growth, energy and development in kids and adults. In these zesty fish tacos, we take small pieces of whitefish, add a yummy Asian-inspired sauce and panko coating, then air-fry them up to crispy perfection. 

This is a great recipe to get your kids involved with. 

Once the whitefish nuggets are ready, set up a taco bar with the tortillas, fish, coleslaw, mayo, cilantro, sesame seeds and sliced avocado. Let everyone make their own creation. And since these are bound to be a hit, you can serve them again trying different fish and seafood along the way.

Air Fryer Crispy Fish Tacos

These Asian-inspired tacos bring a serious flavour boost to your typical Taco Tuesday. Using your air fryer makes the flavourful, seasoned fish nuggets super crispy and golden in just minutes. With a few easy, fresh ingredients and a punchy mayo, they make the perfect taco filling.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Makes 4 servings

Ingredients 450 g Canadian whitefish fillets 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil 1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed 11⁄2 cups (375 mL) panko crumbs 8 small (6-inch/15 cm or smaller) corn or flour tortillas, warmed Salt and pepper

Taco toppings 2 cups (500 mL) shredded green and/or red cabbage or bagged coleslaw mix 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) Sriracha mayo or other spicy mayo 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro 2 tsp (10 mL) toasted sesame seeds


  1. Cut fish into 5 cm (2-inch) chunks. In a bowl, sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then
  2. toss with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic until coated. Pour panko crumbs
  3. into a shallow dish. In batches of 2 or 3, roll and press fish chunks in crumbs until
  4. well-coated before transferring to plate.
  5. Arrange nuggets in basket of air fryer, leaving 2.5 cm (1 inch) between nuggets. Spritz
  6. with cooking spray. Cook in preheated 190°C (375°F) air fryer until golden and fish
  7. flakes easily when tested with a fork; 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  8. Fill tortillas with nuggets and toppings.

Cooking tips

  • These nuggets are also a fantastic family-friendly weeknight option on their own with a bit of ketchup, honey, or your favourite dipping sauce..
  • Add sliced avocado and chopped green onions as additional toppings if desired.

Variation: Oven-Baked Crispy Fish Tacos

Arrange coated nuggets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; spritz with cooking spray. Bake in preheated 400°F (220°C) oven until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork; about 5 minutes per side. Fill tacos as directed.

Make seafood a part of your weekly meal plans. Find more simple and delicious seafood recipes at chooseseafood.ca.
This article was originally published on Aug 15, 2022

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