These tender, protein-rich Homemade Fish Sticks are coated with a crispy breading and a surprise ingredient for extra nutrition! Dish out your favorite dipper, and bite into one of these crunchy homemade fish sticks!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why You Will Love These Homemade Fish Sticks
Fish sticks have a bad reputation for a lot of adults. My homemade version is absolutely worth giving them a second chance.
- These crunchy fish sticks have a texture that kids find irresistible: crispy on the outside and tender, mild, and easy-to-chew on the inside.
- Even toddlers who are still learning to become proficient at chewing can nibble on these tasty sticks
- White fish has a very mild flavor and is a great way to introduce seafood to kids.
- My recipe calls for flaxseeds in the breading giving these an extra crunch and also an extra boost of nutrition
If your kids need a little enticement to dig into this fish dish, don’t underestimate the power of a good dip. Homemade ranch, or even ketchup go a long way with kids.
Best Ingredients to Use for Homemade Fish Sticks
- White Fish: White fish is actually not a type of fish (and not always white!) It is a mild flavored, often slightly sweet, quick cooking fish. It can be hard to choose a type of fish if you aren’t familiar with it. These are my favorite types of fish for these fish sticks:
- Cod: moist and firm with a distinctive large flake and slightly sweet flavor, and is considered one of the best types of white fish to cook at home because it adapts well to most cooking methods. It is high in selenium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Pollock: flakes beautifully, has a lean texture and mild taste. This fish is very sustainable and typically comes from Alaska. It is high in protein, and is has the most omega-3s of any white fish.
- Haddock: typically use in fish and chips because of its light, slightly sweet flavor. It is super lean and is full of B vitamins.
- Halibut: known is the ‘steak of seafood’, halibut has a firmer texture but still flaky and a pure snow-white color. It has a delicious mild flavor, but can be one of the more expensive white fish options.
- Flaxseed: These little seeds are loaded with nutrients – omega 3s, fiber, protein and other vitamins and minerals. They have a mild, nutty flavor and a crispy, crunchy consistency. You can buy ground flaxseeds or grind them yourself at home. Either way, they give these fish sticks a boost of nutrition, flavor and texture.
- Breadcrumbs: There are typically two kinds of breadcrumbs available in most grocery stores. Traditional style bread crumbs, and Panko, which is a Japanese style breadcrumb. Panko flakes are larger, and more airy which gives foods a light, very crunchy coating. Traditional bread crumbs have a finder crumb and give your fish sticks a bread-like coating. Either will work for this recipe, it just depends on the texture you are going for.
- Oil: You will want a neutral tasting oil that has a higher smoke point. I recommend avocado oil because it is less refined, but you can also use canola or extra virgin olive oil.
How to Make Crunchy Homemade Fish Sticks
If you’ve made your own chicken tenders before, you’ll be a pro at making homemade fish sticks. Set up a little assembly line for yourself to get started. That way, you can be super-efficient at cook-time.
Setup Your Assembly Line:
- First Dish: Egg Mixture
- Second Dish: Breading Mixture
- Third Dish: a large empty plate for placing prepped fish sticks before cooking.
Start the Process:
- Start by cutting your fish into even pieces so that all of your fish sticks cook through at about the same time.
- Move through your assembly line with each piece of fish. You can do a few pieces of fish at a time, but don’t try to do them all at once because they won’t get coated properly.
- When all the fish sticks are breaded, heat your oil in a saute pan.
- When it is good and hot, place as many fish sticks as will fit in your pan in one layer.
- Cook for about four minutes per side until the breading gets nice and brown and crispy. The fish will be flaky and tender at this point.
- As soon as they’re done cooking, serve them up! Offer them alongside a veggie and your kids’ favorite dippers, like barbecue, honey-mustard, tartar sauce, or ketchup.
More of Our Favorite Homemade Crispy Eats
Toddler Perfect Chicken Nuggets – Crunchy on the outside and made with our special method so they are extra easy to chew and eat for young kids!
Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips – Crispy and flavorful, these baked chicken strips are a great lunch or dinner.
Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders – Tender on the inside with a crispy first bite, these have a sweet hint of coconut that makes them super delicious!
Homemade Fish Sticks
- Cut fish into 8 even 'sticks' and set aside. Whisk together eggs and pepper in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, combine the flaxseed, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese; blend well.
- Coat fish sticks in egg mixture, allowing excess to fall off fish; then, dip in bread crumb mixture, coating both sides. Place onto a clean dish until ready to cook. Continue until all fish sticks have been coated.
- Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place half the fish (or less if you are using a smaller skillet) into skillet in a single layer. Cook on each side for 4 minutes, allowing to brown evenly. Set aside and cover to keep warm. Add more oil to the skillet as needed, allowing to reheat before cooking remaining fish sticks. Serve warm with your favorite tartar sauce. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie