If you are looking for some low carb fried fish recipes, try this keto air fryer fish sticks recipe! Tastes so much better than frozen fish you buy at the grocery store plus they are gluten free too! Use pork rinds and other seasonings to make these crunchy fish sticks. Baking them in the air fryer makes them crispy in minutes.
Check out this popular air fryer keto chicken nuggets recipe.
I am loving making low carb recipes in my air fryer. Not only does it take less time but it also seems less messy. And best of all you get really crispy fried food. Case in point are these keto air fryer fish sticks. All you need are a few ingredients and you can have these crunchy, gluten free fish sticks in about 15 – 20 minutes.
My family loved these and it was so easy that I will be making them more and more. If you are looking for an easy keto fried fish recipe, this is the one. Let me show you how.
I Bought a New Air Fryer
My old air fryer was great. It was very simple to use that even my 15 yo son used it. However I’m not sure they are making that model any more and I wanted to use an air fryer that was easy to get so I could give you accurate temperatures and times.
So I ended buying this new air fryer which is a Chefman 6.3 qt model. One of my favorite things is that it has a window so you can see how your food is cooking and it has two racks which means more food can be cooked. Lastly it has a rotisserie spit that I have yet to use but I’ll let you know how it is.
The Secret to Low Carb, Gluten Free Breading
When frying fish, you want a crunchy tasty breading. My first secret is pork rinds. I discovered pork rind breading awhile back and LOVE it. Even thougt I’m not a fan of pork rinds as a snack, when it comes to breading it’s great.
My second secret to tasty breading is to use mayo before you add the breading. It makes it much more crispier than eggs in my opinion. I also mix the pork rinds with grated parmesan cheese and spices for extra flavor. I have yet to try flavored pork rinds but I bet that would be good too.
What kind of fish to use for fish sticks
I used tilapia loins to make this dish. Note these are a little harder to find than the filets which are too thin for fish sticks. Tilapia loins are usually frozen and look like the picture below. You can try cod if you want or any mild white fish that is thick and not flat. But I prefer the taste of tilapia loins personally.
My low carb breading technique
First you need to cut the tilapia loins into fish stick sized pieces. I got about 20 fish sticks out of 3 loins or 12 oz of fish. Next you put them in a baggie along with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. Squash the fish around in the bag to get the mayo to fully coat them with no mess to your hands.
Now in a food processor, pulse to grind the pork rinds and then add in the parmesan cheese and seasonings. Pour the breading mix into a shallow bowl.
Take the mayo covered fish sticks out of the baggie and one by bone coat in the pork rind mixture and then lay on a sprayed air fryer basket or tray.
My old air fryer has a basket that is shown in these pictures but my new one has trays. Just make sure you spray them with cooking spray so they don’t stick.
How long to air fry fish sticks
I cooked these fish sticks for 15 minutes at 380°F. However it may take you longer or shorter time depending on how big your fish sticks are. So I recommend checking them the last few minutes to make sure they are not getting too brown. If after 15 minutes they don’t look brown enough for you, then you should put them in for a few more minutes.
Recipe Notes & Questions
- What type of fish should I use for fish sticks? You need a thicker mild white fish. I recommend using tilapia loins (not filets) or cod.
- How do you make gluten free, keto breading? Pork rinds are the answer. Crush them in a food processor. I like to also add parmesan cheese and spices for more flavor.
- Note: I also like to first coat the fish sticks in mayonnaise instead of a beaten egg because it gives it more flavor and makes it crispier.
- How long do you cook fish sticks in the air fryer? Since these are not frozen, you will cook them for 15 minutes at 380°F.
Other Low Carb Seafood Recipes
I have lots of keto seafood recipes on this blog with everything like shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod. Fish is great on a low carb or keto diet because most types have no carbs. They also cook quickly.
I like to keep tilapia and shrimp in my freezer for quick recipes and I often buy fresh salmon at Aldi at least once a month. If you are looking to add more seafood to your diet, my two most popular keto seafood recipes are tuna steak with lemon dijon sauce and shrimp & basil spaghetti squash.
Other Low Carb Air Fryer Recipes
Most people think air fryers are just for making fried food but you will find that you can make just about anything in the air fryer that you can in the oven but quicker and in some cases better. It actually is a small convection oven that uses forced air to cook the food.
My husband the engineer gave me this analogy. Imagine standing outside in 10° weather. Then standing there with a 20 mph wind. You will be much more cold in the scenario with the wind. That is the difference between a convection and regular oven. I hope that made sense. 🙂
I hope you like these as much as we do. The nutritional information for 1 fish stick based on 20 is:
75 cals / 4.7g fat / 0.1g carbs / 8.2g protein = 0.1g net carbs
Where To Buy Pork Rind Breading
If you don’t want to make your own pork rind crumbs you can always buy these Pork Panko breading crumbs on Amazon!
- 12 oz tilapia loins, cut into fish sticks
- 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 3.25 oz bag of pork rinds crushed into crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Thaw the tilapia loins if the are frozen. Dab dry with a paper towel.
- Cut the fish into fish stick sized pieces. This will depend on the size and shape of your tilapia loins but use your judgement. I had 3 pieces and got about 20 pieces.
- In a food processor, add the pork rinds and crush to make to crumbs. Add the parmesan cheese and spices and pulse to mix through. Then pour into a shallow bowl.
- Add the fish to a ziplock bag with the mayo. Squish the bag to try to get the mayo all over the fish pieces.
- Take out the fish, 1 piece at a time and roll in the pork rind mixutre.
- Place the coated fish sticks into the air fryer. Spray the air fryer basket first.
- Set the temperature to 380°F and cook for 15 minutes until brown and crunchy.
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Chefman 6.3 Quart Digital Air Fryer+ Rotisserie, Dehydrator, Convection Oven, 8 Touch Screen Presets Fry, Roast, Dehydrate & Bake, BPA-Free, Auto Shutoff, Accessories Included, XL Family Size, Black
Utz Pork Rinds, Original Flavor - Keto Friendly Snack with Zero Carbs per Serving, Light and Airy Chicharrones with the Perfect Amount of Salt, 18 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Frontier Smoked Ground Bottle, Paprika, 1.87 Ounce
365 Everyday Value, Grated Parmesan Cheese, 8 oz
Hellmann's Mayonnaise Real Mayo 30 oz
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Net Carbohydrates: o.1g