You won’t believe how simple it is to create mouthwatering air fryer catfish nuggets! With a crispy panko bread crumb coating and tender fish inside, these nuggets are a perfect snack or meal option. If you’re searching for a tasty and hassle-free recipe, these air fryer catfish nuggets are a must-try!
How to Make Air Fryer Catfish Nuggets
First things first, rinse the fish and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into 1-inch to 2-inch chunks and place them in a medium mixing bowl. Pour buttermilk over the fish and let it sit for 10-20 minutes at room temperature.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg well with 3 tablespoons of water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Drain the catfish through a fine mesh strainer.
Dredge each piece of catfish in the egg, then press it into the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess coating. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F and, working in batches, place the breaded nuggets in a single layer in the basket. Lightly spray with cooking oil.
Air fry for 8 minutes, flipping the nuggets halfway through the cooking time. Once they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and are fork-tender, remove the nuggets. Repeat with any remaining nuggets.
What to Serve with Air Fryer Catfish Bites
These air fryer catfish nuggets pair perfectly with a variety of side dishes, such as Air Fryer Broccoli, Air Fryer Hush Puppies, Garlic Cheese Bread, Instant Pot Potato Salad, and Mac and Cheese without Milk.
Cooking Time for Air Fryer Catfish Nuggets
For ideal results, you want the breading to be crispy while ensuring the fish is cooked through. The exact timing depends on your air fryer model and the size of the catfish pieces.
In most cases, 8 minutes should suffice. The nuggets are ready when the outside turns golden and the catfish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. To ensure precision, I recommend using an Instant Read Thermometer.
Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Catfish Nuggets
After breading, make sure to shake off excess panko bread crumbs to prevent them from falling off and burning in the air fryer. Avoid overcrowding the basket and flip the catfish nuggets halfway through the cooking time for all-around crispness.
To store leftovers, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When reheating, air fry at 400 degrees F for 3 minutes until heated through. If reheating from frozen, increase the time to 5 minutes.
More Delicious Panko-Breaded Recipes
If you enjoy the crispy goodness of panko bread crumbs, you’ll love these additional air fryer recipes: Air Fryer Avocado Fries, Air Fryer Cheese Curds, Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp, and Air Fryer Zucchini Chips.
Explore More Air Fryer Fish Recipes
Looking for more delectable air fryer fish recipes? Try Air Fryer Catfish, Air Fryer Cod, Air Fryer Tuna Melt, Air Fryer Haddock, Air Fryer Mahi Mahi, Air Fryer Salmon, Air Fryer Tilapia, Air Fryer Tuna Steaks, or check out our collection of 45 easy air fryer fish recipes for endless culinary options.
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