Fish sticks are very nostalgic for me for better or for worse. My kaleidoscopic memories of them jump from being served rubbery thawed frozen fish sticks for lunch at my school cafeteria to lazy Tuesday dinner nights where they were our last resort after when we couldn’t decide what we wanted for dinner. I guess those incidents are what partially turned me off from fish sticks. While I liked the convenience of heating up a package of frozen fish sticks without having to wait long, I paid for my laziness in other ways. I suppose not all shortcuts are worth taking. That is when I subconsciously decided to nix fish sticks until I recently ventured on making healthy fish sticks from scratch and it made all the difference in the world.
As someone who is health conscious, I am always in need of a healthy fix. Commercial prepackaged frozen fish sticks always result in a mushy exterior while the fish is always soggy no matter how much you heat them. Moreover, they are laden with chemicals and artificial flavoring – you can actually taste them in every bite. They were also incredibly greasy and just overall unappetizing. That is why I quit the prepackaged frozen fish sticks and journeyed on healthy baked fish sticks recipes and ideas. I also decided to redeem a once favorite childhood finger food by making homemade fish sticks. Once again, my stubbornness, need of new fish recipe ideas and curiosity got in the way.
Like most things, making fish sticks is easy and quick. Once you tried this oven baked fish sticks recipe, you will never go back to that frozen soggy greasy disgrace for fish sticks. I used hake but you can use any firm boneless white fish for this recipe such as cod, tilapia, or halibut. Flounder results a more delicate fish stick that will fall apart. The choice is yours. Unlike the garbage that we were accustomed to eating as kids, these healthy baked fish sticks guarantee a crispy breadcrumb exterior and a buttery moist fish inside without the chemicals or the deep frying. Finger food is always accompanied by a condiment of sort. Chili sauce is my choice but you can use your favorite condiment. Kid-friendly and fun to make, these healthy baked fish sticks serve perfectly with oven baked potato wedges or roasted vegetables.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 lbs of cod fillets, tilapia, hake, flounder, or halibut cut into 1 inch strips
- Juice from 1 small lemon
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of parsely flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs or panko crumbs (you can use grounded nuts or corn flakes for a gluten-free option)
- Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 450°F and adjust the rack to the center position. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Combine all ingredients in a shallow small bowl except for fish and bread crumbs. Working with a few pieces of fish at a time, dip the fish in the wet mixture then coat all the sides with bread crumbs. Spray the top with cooking spray and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crisp and cooked through.
Yieds 4 servings