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Air Fryer Fish Fillets with Harissa Aioli - Gluten Free

These delicious gluten-free air-fryer fish fillets have a crispy, corn meal coating on the outside and tender fish on the inside. Serve with lemon or lime wedges or a Harissa Aioli sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Beth Allingham of www.amealinmind.com


  • 2 pounds fish fillets such as opah, steelhead, or cod (up to 1 inch thick)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika or berbere seasoning, or chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Avocado oil spray because of high smoke point
  • lemon or lime wedges and parsley for garnish optional
  • For the harissa aioli
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise we like Kewpie Japanese mayo
  • ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • up to 2 tablespoons harissa sauce see note
  • finely chopped basil about 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper


  • Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes to 375 F. Whisk the egg in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the cornmeal and spices thoroughly.  
  • Pat the fish completely dry. Dip the fish fillets into the egg – allow the excess to drip back into the pan. Then press the fish into the cornmeal mixture until well coated on both sides.
  • Spritz the preheated basket with cooking spray. Place half the coated fish into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer, then spray the fish lightly with oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Carefully use tongs to turn the fish to avoid breaking the pieces. Spritz the second side with oil. Return the basket to the air fryer and cook 2 minutes or until the fish is sizzling out the outside and flakes with a fork. Repeat the process with the second half of the fillets.
  • Stir together the yogurt, mayo and salt with half the harissa for the aioli. Swirl the rest of the harissa on the top and sprinkle with basil. Note: This recipe is completely customizable - make it with more mayonnaise, or all mayonnaise, and adjust the harissa to your taste. 
  • Once the fish is done, sprinkle with lemon or lemon juice and/or parsley and or serve with lemon or lime wedges. Offer the harissa aioli sauce on the side. Serve immediately.
  • We enjoyed this dish with sides like braised garden greens and this Mexican quinoa-vegetable bowl


In our wish to eat all organic foods, we started by using organic corn meal. This gave quite a gritty texture, however, and we preferred the finer grain of Albers corn meal. 
Prepared harissa sauce can vary greatly in their spiciness and thickness. Experiment with the amount to add until it is to your taste. If your yogurt is very sour, add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Thanks to these recipes for ideas, temperatures and times on air-frying tilapia and white fish. Harissa aioli adapted from a recipe by Guy Fieri on the Food Network.