There’s something about a basket of fried fish that reminds me of home. It’s such a New England thing, but it’s definitely a comfort food for me. I love that the flaky fish can be dipped and eaten with hands, and the salty batter with fries sure tastes great. It’s really so delicious, but definitely heavy and hard to eat regularly. I wanted to make a slightly healthier, more accessible version using an air fryer to recreate this nostalgic meal for myself and for you!
When I was brainstorming for this recipe I thought, “What could I create that feels slightly different and more exciting, and could be in many ways easier than classic fish and chips?”
I landed on sesame fried fish fritters with fingerlings and from there decided that, while I love tartar sauce, something fun like a Thai Aioli would accompany the sesame flavors really nicely. Plus, it gives everything a nice spicy kick.
After my first test run, my husband gobbled them up and the fritters were the perfect size for my one year old’s little grasp. My husband commented that he loved the Aioli and started dreaming up all the different dishes we could use it with. The sesame flavor comes on nicely with each bite, and gives each flaky bite a nice little chew.
The biggest takeaway from my first recipe test was to follow your own settings and NOT the automatic fish settings. Halibut is such a beautifully flaky fish, but overcooking it, while still actually delicious, dries this white fish out and makes it too chewy.
A nice way to test is to pull one fritter out, and carefully (it’ll be super hot!), press down on the center with your thumb. The fritter should give way on all side relatively easily. The center should be fully white, and not the white-grey-ish opaque that it looks like when raw, but still moist and soft. Not extra bouncy!
You are more than welcome to play around with any kind of white, flaky fish, all should be wonderful in this dish! I bet a swordfish would even be delicious!! Enjoy this one, friends.