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Wooden platter covered in newspaper topped with crispy fish sticks, fries, and tartar sauce.

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Crispy Air Fryer Fish Sticks + Lemon Tartar Sauce

5 from 14 votes


Fish sticks.

  • 1.5 lb cod fillets, Or another meaty white fish, liked halibut or pollock
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprike
  • Zest of a lemon

Lemon Tartar Sauce.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 TBSP dill pickle brine from the jar
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Air fryer fish sticks.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 375º F.
  • With paper towels, gently pat the fillets to get rid of any excess moisture; season them with some salt and pepper.
  • Cut the fish into strips that measure about 1/2-inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
  • Set up a dredging station by placing flour, egg wash, and panko bread crumbs into shallow bowls or pie plates and lining them up in an assembly line. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and about 1/4 tsp of salt into the panko bread crumbs.
  • When ready, open the air fryer tray and spray the bottom with a bit of olive oil or non-stick spray. Then, dredge your fish sticks, one by one, into the flour, egg, and panko. Place them into the air fryer basket; be sure not to overcrowd them. You will likely have to cook your fish sticks in batches.
  • Close the air fryer and cook the fish sticks for 3 minutes, then carefully flip the fish sticks over using tongs and cook them for another 3 minutes.
  • Open the air fryer and transfer the fish sticks to a plate. Repeat with the other batches until you're done, and serve the fish sticks with tartar sauce—or ketchup if you prefer!

Lemon tartar sauce.

  • Put all of the ingredients for the tartar sauce into a small mixing bowl.
  • With a fork, mix everything together until well combined. Give it a taste and adjust if necessary.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use. I like to make this first and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes before serving it with the fish sticks.