This guide for How to Air Fry Sea Bream Fillets couldn’t be simpler. All the tips and tricks for cooking air fryer sea bream are included, so you can’t go wrong with this easy and delicious meal which is cooked in a matter of minutes.
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Sea Bream is often overlooked in favour of sea bass but shouldn’t be. Its flavour is not dissimilar to bass with them both being a mild white fish. These instructions will be equally useful for cooking sea bass in an air fryer.
Sea bream is available in various supermarkets, usually ready filleted although the stock seems to be variable so it may not be available in every store year round. Morrisons have a great fish offering and do usually stock in all seasons.
As for what sea bream is, well that’s quite frankly confusing! My research variously suggested that sea bream is usually the British given name for gilt head bream, some sources say it’s black seabream and some say it’s neither of these. It also appears to be (wrongly) called snapper in some parts of the world.
But it’s tasty and not overly expensive and to be honest, thats enough for me!
How to Serve
Sea bream fillets are pretty flexible. I’ve served them here with buttered boiled new potatoes and steamed broccoli. I also whipped up a lemon butter garlic sauce which is as simple as it sounds – salted butter melted with lemon juice, minced fresh garlic and a little extra salt and some parsley.
You could also serve the fillets on a risotto or creamy pasta. Or add a smoky BBQ, Cajun or blackened seasoning mix to give them a southern US twist.
Try serving with the easy sides.
You can buy sea bream either as a whole fish or ready filleted. There are two fillets on each fish and they’re not terribly difficult to fillet yourself. But if you don’t fancy it, just buy them ready filleted.
The skin will almost always still be attached to the fillets. Most people like to eat the crispy skin but even if you don’t, I would still recommend cooking it with the skin on and removing when serving. The fish will simply fall apart when cooked otherwise.
Even the fanciest of fishmongers can miss a bone or two so it is important to use your hands to feel the fillets and double check for any rogue bones.
I’ve used butter in these instructions both to add a simple flavour to the sea bream and to help in the crisping process. Butter has a lower smoking point than most fats so this gives the best chance of getting some colour and crisping up the skin in the very short cooking time.
If you prefer to use an olive or other vegetable oil, please do. This becomes even easier if you are using a seasoning rub or sauce as the smoking point becomes less important.
Try to match the flavour of the oil with the seasonings. Olive oil with a teriyaki glaze is a definite no, despite Jamie Oliver’s absolute obsession with tainting all Asian food and baked goods with the stuff. Rosemary and lemon zest however….olive oil away!
Again I’ve kept things very simple in this air fryer sea bream instructions. Just butter and a little extra salt. You can use any other seasonings you like but you should make sure that it has a salty element whether that’s sea salt, soy sauce or similar.
This recipe is free from egg, gluten and nuts.
Dairy Free Air Fryer Sea Bream Fillets: This recipe includes butter and is therefore not dairy free. You can very easily either use a dairy free butter substitute or a neutral oil instead.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How to Air Fry Sea Bream Fillets From Frozen
The fillets cook in the same amount of time from frozen as they do from fresh. You could probably get away with adding another minute for a crispier skin.
When cooking from frozen, more moisture can be released. To combat this I recommend rinsing the fillets under some cold water to remove any surface frost. Dry the fillets really well then oil and season as usual.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
As the fillets are so quick to cook, I would really advise you to try and cook them fresh and not cook more than you actually need. But if you do find yourself with some cooked and spare, they’ll keep in a sealed container in the fridge for around 48 hours.
To reheat they’ll need 2 to 3 minutes in a preheated air fryer or you can microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. Check it is piping hot all the way through before serving and increase the cooking times if needed.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
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What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve borrowed this air fryer for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Sea Bream Fillets
- 2 Sea Bream Fillets - roughly 80g each
- 2 tsp Salted Butter - see notes
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes - see notes
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, Start this setting now.
- Melt 2 tsp Salted Butter in a small bowl. I do this in the microwave but you could use a small heatproof bowl in the air fryer if you like. The preheat setting will likely do the trick.
- Thoroughly dry 2 Sea Bream Fillets. Use your fingers to check for any rogue bones and remove them if you find any.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the flesh side of the fillets with the melted butter.
- Sprinkle over half of the ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes. Crush them between your fingers as your sprinkle for a thinner even coverage.
- Place the fillets into the air fryer basket skin side up and butter side down. Leave a little space between each fillet so the air can circulate.
- Repeat the buttering and salting on the top of the skin. Be careful not to catch your hands on the side of the hot basket. If you are using a non basket air fryer, you can do this beforehand.
- Cook for 6 minutes at 200c/390f. There is no need to turn the fillets.
- Be careful removing the fillets from the fryer as they will be delicate. Serve hot straight away.
To Air Fry From Frozen
- Cook for 6 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Butter – You can use an oil instead of butter but I do find that butter helps the fish skin crisp a little more and adds a nice flavour.
- Salt/Seasoning – You can use any seasoning mix or sauce instead of just salt but make sure that salt is included in the mix. You can also add a little citrus juice. If you use a sauce with a high sugar content, you may want to brush this on halfway through cooking so it doesn’t catch and burn.
- The air fryer version of this recipe is tested in a Cosori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I can easily fit 2 fillets in the basket at a time. This gives plenty of room to allow air to circulate – I could probably squeeze in one more if I really needed.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.