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Home-made fish sticks

Posted by on Feb 27, 2009 in Blog Posts |

One of my favorite proteins is breaded fish or chicken. M eats it happily most nights, with a little ketchup, but so do I! I’ve shown the fish we usually use. Its frozen, has a firm and mild fillet that lends itself well to this recipe. I don’t know my fish all too well, so I ask. I find the fish guy and say “what is a firm, mild fish that will fry well in a pan with no bones…” and he tells me! I make my own bread crumbs because we have a bread machine and we use up our stale bread that way, but Progresso plain or Italian Seasoning Bread Crumbs work well too. (Or use your favorite!) The method is key, so I’ll try to explain it. This is pretty messy, so I do this by myself. A little Wiggles for the wee one. Great source of protein and omega-3s. You can also make this with chicken breast tenders or breasts. Its yummy, and tastes like super delicious fast-food for pickier kids who enjoy the crunchy coating.

Homemade fish sticks takes about 15 minutes (see egg allergy modification)
Be sure fish is completely thawed. Pat dry with a towel and salt and pepper to taste. Remove bones if using a bony fish.
Prepare 1 plate with two beaten eggs, another plate with about 1 cups all-purpose flour on one side and 1 cups bread crumbs on other half. (Use a separate plate for each if its the first time you are making this.) After you make it a few times, you will get better at estimating how much.
Preheat large skillet with about 3 Tbspns olive oil until hot (medium-high heat)
The order of dipping is critical, pay attention! (I dipped wrong last night…) Also, have one hand for the messy hand (dipping etc.) this will build up on your fingers and is a mess. I tried tongs, but its too clumsy.
1) hold fillet by tip, dip in flour, pat it and flip so it is covered.
2) shake off excess flour, then dip in egg, cover both sides
3)shake off excess egg and dip into bread crumbs last, both sides
4) put in skillet, should sizzle. Flip after about 4 minutes, you’ll see the fish turning white. Allow nice brown crispy coating to develop. May need to add a little more olive oil. Watch the heat, may need to turn it down. It can scorch quickly.
Serve with dipping sauce if it helps your kids. (Ketchup? Ranch? What is her favorite?)

*For egg allergy: If you want to make this recipe without eggs you can. Its a little more difficult, because the egg is such a good binder.

Skip the egg and flour steps. Pat your protein dry, rub a thin layer of dijon or yellow mustard all over the meat (can use your fingers or put the protein in a ziplock bag with a little mustard and squish it around. You’ll need a really firm fish if you are going to do this. ) Then take the meat out, dip it and coat it in the bread crumbs and put into the hot, oiled pan as the recipe says.
Even people who don’t like mustard often like this. You don’t really taste the mustard, but it gives it a nice flavor. If you have too much mustard, the breading will come off. Try to let the meat cook undisturbed and flip only once if possible. (A pair of tongs makes the flipping easy, but you can use a fork.) You can always cut one in half to see if its cooked through.
Good luck!
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