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Used to eat these by the handful growing up! Now my grandkids do

Baked Fish Sticks: A Healthier Twist on a Classic Comfort Food

Introduction

Baked Fish Sticks offer a healthier alternative to the classic comfort food enjoyed by people of all ages. Originating in the mid-twentieth century, fish sticks were created to make seafood more accessible and less intimidating. By opting for baking instead of deep frying, this recipe not only preserves the nostalgia of simpler times but also caters to health-conscious individuals seeking to increase their seafood intake guilt-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of firm white fish (e.g., cod or tilapia), sliced into one-inch broad strips
  • 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil or cooking spray for greasing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease or spray the paper with olive oil.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Crack the eggs into another shallow dish and whisk until foamy.
  4. Spread the flour evenly onto a separate dish.
  5. Coat each fish strip in the following order: flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess flour after dredging.
  6. Place the coated fish strips on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they do not touch.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is golden brown and flakes easily with a fork. Flip the fish sticks halfway through baking for even crispiness.
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Tips

  • Incorporating crushed cornflakes into the breadcrumb mixture adds extra crunch. For a gluten-free option, almond meal can be used.
  • Experiment with different seasonings such as dill or Old Bay seasoning to enhance the flavor profile.
  • Spice up traditional tartar sauce by adding Sriracha for a fiery dip.
  • Keep a close eye on the fish sticks during the final minutes of baking to prevent burning, as oven temperatures may vary.

FAQs

1. Can I use frozen fish fillets instead of fresh?
Yes, frozen fish fillets can be used, but ensure they are thawed completely and pat dry before coating.

2. Can I prepare these fish sticks in advance?
While it’s best to bake them fresh for optimal crispiness, you can prepare the coated fish strips ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to bake.

3. Can I freeze leftovers?
Yes, leftover baked fish sticks can be frozen in an airtight container for up to one month. Reheat them in the oven for a few minutes until heated through.

4. Can I use a different type of fish?
Certainly! You can experiment with various types of white fish such as haddock or sole for different flavors and textures.

By following this recipe and incorporating these tips, you can enjoy deliciously crispy Baked Fish Sticks that are both wholesome and satisfying. Whether served as a snack, appetizer, or main dish, they are sure to be a hit with family and friends.