Yes, you read that title correct, I made homemade fish sticks. I found this recipe in Alton Brown: EveryDayCook. I was searching for menu items for the week and thought this would be a good change of pace. Plus earlier in the week I was watching Worst Cooks in America, this show cracks me up, and they made fish and chips.
I decided to make the fish sticks with the frozen tilapia I had in the freezer. I took the fish out and let it defrost a bit and then began the process of chopping it up as stated in the recipe. Well the fish was probably not defrosted enough and/or I didn’t cut it into small enough pieces. When I added the bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, egg and seasoning and tried to mix it together, it didn’t come together into a mixture that could be formed. But, I did not give up… I got power! I pulled out my food processor and mixed it that way. I mixed it enough so that it was not completely homogenized, leaving some bigger pieces of fish still.
I then rolled this mixture into log shapes. I couldn’t quite get them into the pretty sticks the recipe called for, or didn’t try hard enough to anyway. The logs then went into the fridge. I set up my breading station of flour, which I added salt and pepper too even though it wasn’t called for in the recipe, 2 eggs and bread crumbs, the recipe called for panko… I only had Italian.
Thirty minutes, or so, passes time to bread the fish sticks. They then got shallow fried using canola oil. When I did this we decided that my sticks must have been too large since they were perfectly browned on the outside but not fully cooked on the inside. No panic… pull out a pan and put them in the oven to complete cooking.
The funny thing about this whole process is I was making oven fries which I felt didn’t cook crisp enough in the oven so I finished those in the oil from the fish…. so the fish finished in the oven and the fries finished in the oil. Can you say adaptability??
These turned out really good. Blake ate 3, Colby ate 3 and Richard and I both enjoyed them too. Both boys said they would eat them again, so I guess there will be a take two on it. At the bottom of the recipe I included some thoughts on what I learned making this recipe. (hope that helps)
Fish Stick Adapted from Alton Brown’s Fish Sticks
- 1 pound white fish (I used talapia)
- 1 3/4 cups bread crumbs, divided (I used Italian)
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil (depending on the size of your skillet, you need enough to completely cover the bottom by 1/8th of an inch)
- When the fish is just soft enough to cut, finely chop. He suggests freezing fresh fish for 30 min or defrosting frozen for 30
- Place in a bowl along with 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, mayonnaise, mustard, onion flakes, salt and cayenne pepper. Combine well. — this is where I used my food processor
- Shape the fish mixture into 1 1/2 ounce finger-shaped sticks. Set on a sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (oops I didn’t weigh out mine that may have played a roll in the size issue)
- Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a shallow pie pan.
- Place the remaining cup of panko in a second pie pan and the flour in a third.
- Roll each stick in the flour, then egg, followed by the panko.
- Heat the oil in wide, non-stick skillet over medium heat (or an electric skillet to medium high) until it shimmers. Add the fish sticks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (if not cooked enough pop it into a preheated 350 oven for 3-5 min to make sure it is cooked through. (I used Meat Thermometer – ON’H Instant Read Thermometer Cooking Thermometer Food Thermometer with Strong Magnet for Grilling Barbecue to check the temperature)
- Total cook time 8 to 12 minutes.
- Cool slightly before consuming.
A few things I learned…
- make sure the fish is defrosted a bit more before chopping
- chop very fine or just plan to put it into the food processor
- make the fish sticks smaller or plan to finish in the oven
- make sure you salt them when they come out of the frying process
- add a touch of water to the eggs to make it a bit smoother and easier to use in the breading station
- next time just use frozen french fries or tater tots or something else it was too much to do the potatoes and fish at one time.
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