My kids love fish sticks but I am skeptical of the ingredients in most store bought versions and the organic brand we were buying from Hannaford for awhile was often out of stock and $6.99 for 8 oz! My husband TJ is far more talented in the kitchen than I could ever dream of being so he came up with this recipe that is both delicious and cost effective. We could never go back to the boxed stuff if we wanted to, the kids far prefer these. They are fried so they aren’t the healthiest choice for dinner but we make a big batch and freeze the leftovers and they can be easily reheated for last-minute meals or babysitter nights.
1 pound white fish, I use fresh, wild caught haddock or cod
2 cups panko
1 tsp garlic powder*
1 tsp black pepper*
1 tsp dry basil leaf*
1/2 tsp-1 tsp ground coriander*
*estimates, I never measure seasonings!
Heat about 1.5″-2″ of oil in a skillet on medium until hot. Test by throwing in a few bread crumbs. If they bubble and cook instantly the oil is ready. Put flour in a bowl, the eggs, beaten, in another and the panko mixed with the spices in a third. Cut fish in half, down the spine, then cut the meat in 1/2″ X 1″ strips. They won’t all be uniform because of the natural shape of the fish but that’s fine. The strips shouldn’t be more than 1/2″ thick. Toss about 7 pieces at a time in the flour, then dip in the egg, then cover in the panko mixture. Put the fish pieces into the oil and cook until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to turn the pieces around halfway through and then again to remove when done. Place the cooked fish pieces on a paper towel-topped sheet pan and lightly salt and squeeze with lemon.
When all the fish is cooked and cooled, layer in a freezer-safe container between sheets of wax paper and freeze. Reheat for a few minutes on each side in a 425-degree oven or toaster oven!