Crispy Baked Fish Sticks

published Sep 13, 2021
Fish Sticks Recipe

Ditch the freezer section and make homemade fish sticks.

Serves2

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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Fish sticks on a plate with tarter sauce and a lemon wedge.
Credit: Renae Wilson

I often forget that many things we find in our local grocery store can easily be made at home — even more so when it comes to the stuff in the frozen foods section. Most times, homemade is better, but I aways try to ensure that the end product will be worth the extra time. Rest assured, fish sticks are most certainly worth it.  

To make these homemade fish sticks, you’ll need to batter then bake (or fry!) white fish like cod, haddock, or pollock. What you’ll often find in your grocery store freezer are fish fingers. These are battered too, but the contents are processed fish scraps and lots of fillers. Although making fish sticks takes a bit more effort, it’s super easy. Plus, you’ll know exactly what’s in them!

Credit: Renae Wilson

Can I Freeze Homemade Fish Sticks?

Once the fish sticks are battered, they’re freezer-friendly: Store them, uncooked, in a zip-top freezer bag. Thawing takes about 30 minutes at room temperature. With a 15-minute bake, they’ll be on the table in no time!   

Best Dipping Sauces to Go with Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks Recipe

Ditch the freezer section and make homemade fish sticks.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup

    plain, fine breadcrumbs

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/4 cup

    half-and-half

  • 1/3 cup

    cornstarch

  • 1 pound

    firm, skinless white fish fillets, such as cod

  • Cooking spray

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400℉. Place 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour onto a large plate.

  2. Place 1 large egg and 1/4 cup half-and-half in the now-empty bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.

  3. Cut 1 pound firm white fish fillets into 4-inch-long strips. Place in a medium bowl or a large zip-top bag, then add 1/3 cup cornstarch. Stir or shake gently until the fish is evenly coated.

  4. Working with one piece at a time, dredge the fish in the egg mixture, shaking off any excess, then dredge in the panko mixture, pressing to adhere if needed. Transfer to a plate.

  5. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the fish in a single layer, spacing them evenly apart. Lightly coat the tops with cooking spray.

  6. Bake until the coating is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: Replace freshly ground black pepper with lemon pepper for a brighter flavor.

Make ahead: Place the uncooked, breaded fish sticks on a plate and freeze until firm. Transfer to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator in a single layer, then bake according to recipe instructions. Cooked fish sticks are best served right away. (Reheating could cause the fish to become dry and rubbery.)

To fry: Heat 2 cups canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. To test if your oil is hot enough, sprinkle a few panko breadcrumbs in the oil; if the breadcrumbs bubble rapidly, your oil is ready. Working in batches, fry fish sticks until golden-brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.