Fish sticks are a fan favorite in our house! We have them at least once a week, usually on Fridays – we call it ‘Fish Stick Fridays’ and my kids adore them. Simple recipe, great for freezing, and bakes in just 16 minutes. You can buy the prepared frozen fish sticks which are great for backup, but I’m telling you, you can have a one-to-two-month supply of homemade fish sticks if you dedicate 40 minutes of prep.
The benefits of cooking your own are the obvious ones, you know what ingredients are within and it costs significantly less. Now a day with inflation sky high, preparing your fish sticks can be a great way to save but also get value for quality food. For this recipe, my two go-to fish are the wild sole and wild haddock; they are both white fish, flakey and light so they a great starter fish. The general nutritional facts on these two fish are high in omega 3, are a great source of protein, and have lower levels of mercury compared to others.
I purchase fresh fish from Costco or my local fish market (both are fresh and similar in price). When purchasing fish, a good tip is to check the date of packaging and if you are at the local market, be sure to ask when the fish had arrived and if they answer with; this morning or yesterday you can be sure it’s fresh. Now, what about wild versus organic? This is a personal preference and I always recommend doing research, but I go for wild as I feel it is better than the farmed variety.
Now let’s get to business, on how to prep this high-protein food for your family. The recipe is calculated to prepare 1.5 pounds worth of fish sticks, you can alter the measurements based on the weight of fish you purchase. You will need eggs, Dijon mustard, whole wheat flour, plain panko, and seasoning: salt, pepper, and paprika. You will also need trays lined with parchment paper for freezing.
To begin, cut your fish fillet into stick-like shapes, mine aren’t always symmetrical, as I work through the different parts of the fillet the shapes get a bit wonky, your goal is to keep them as close to the same size as possible, so they cook evenly – I aim for 1-inch-thick strips. Prepare three bowls of flour, egg wash, and panko breadcrumbs. At the same time, line two large trays of parchment paper and make sure your freezer has space for freezing. Now that the assembly line is ready, you can get to work. Simply dip your sticks into flour, then egg wash, then panko, and place onto the tray. Once you’ve finished assembling, set it in the freezer for 3 hours. When frozen, they can easily be handled and placed into freezer bags. Don’t forget to label with the date and the food content 😊.
If there is an opportunity to bake versus fry with the same crunchy results, I opt for baking – it’s cleaner, healthier, and easier when you are making a lot. Preheat the oven to 425°C and place however many frozen fish sticks on a lined baking sheet, don’t overcrowd. Oil your fish sticks with oil of choice, my favorites are olive oil and avocado cooking oil spray. Bake for 16-18 minutes, flipping halfway. You are looking for a golden crunchy stick.
You can pair these delicious fish sticks with your family’s favorite side dish. We like our fish sticks with a side of sweet potato fries.