I was never a fan of frozen food as a kid. I could always tell if something came from a box because the taste was just nothing like mom made. For some reason, they were never filling enough, either.
Delicious fish sticks you can make at home
I usually start out with a boneless fish just because it’s faster and less messy than having to pull out the bones myself. Just be sure to get a fish that’s not on the endangered species list- you can find out how to make responsible fish choices by going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website. I chose U.S. Mahi Mahi rather than the imported one, based on their list. If the pieces are frozen when I want to cook them, I just place in some cold water for about 20 minutes to defrost, but a slow defrost would happen in the fridge for several hours.
Set up a few plates with unbleached flour, bread crumbs and an egg that has been whisked a bit.
Dry the fish very well before dipping into the flour on both sides. Then dip it into the egg on both sides. Next, dip into the bread crumbs on both sides, making sure the fish is fully covered.
Finish all of the pieces of fish before warming the oil, otherwise it may just get too hot and turn rancid.
Slowly heat up the oil and gently place the fish in the hot oil and saute for a few minutes on each side.
You may want to cover the pan with a lid towards the end of cooking just to make sure the inside is fully cooked.
Prepare a plate with paper towels to catch any excess oil once the pieces are finished cooking.
Homemade Fish Sticks
These homemade fish sticks aren’t just for kids, but they’re the kind kids will eat, too. No need for two separate meals here, and they’re easy enough that the kids can even help out in the preparation process.
When finished, they’re pretty enough to serve at a very adult fare or simply serve with a side of ketchup the way most kids like to eat them. Versatility in fish sticks? It’s definitely possible- proof real food at home doesn’t have to be difficult.
1 lb. fresh or frozen boneless fish, cut into strips (I used U.S. mahi mahi)
1 cup unbleached flour, such as white whole wheat or whole wheat
2 eggs (preferably cage-free) whisked
2 cups bread crumbs
Dried parsley (optional)
When fish is defrosted, remove from packaging and pat dry with a paper towel.
Prepare plates or bowls with each of the following items separately: flour, eggs and bread crumbs. Line them up to make it easy to streamline the dipping process. Add salt and pepper to the bread crumbs or the flour.
Dip each slice of fish into the flour first and cover both sides. Next, do the same with the egg, then with the bread crumbs.
Heat up a large sauté pan with oil. Once it is hot (not smoking), add as much fish as will fit into the pan, but do not crowd the pan or the fish will not cook until crispy; they’ll steam and become soggy. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes per side. Flip only when the fish seems ready to turn (it will be easy, not a struggle).
Place finished fish sticks onto a paper towel-lined plate to catch any excess oil.
Serve fish sticks when they’re hot, alongside a good quality mayo, mustard, ketchup (without high-fructose corn syrup) and even harissa or another type of hot sauce or tabasco.