These fish sticks are best when eaten immediately if possible, or store them for no longer than a day or so in the fridge and reheat for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350°F oven.
You can certainly freeze these fish sticks after you make them but just know they won’t have the same crispy texture. Bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350°F.
For the quick tartar sauce:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup minced pickles, about two small pickles diced
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of salt and pepper
DAD ADD: Chili Malt Vinegar
- 1/4 cup malt vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili oil
For the fish fingers:
- 1 pound firm, skinless white fish, such as cod, pollack, or haddock (ask the fishmonger to skin the fish, if needed)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1 Make the tartar sauce: Stir together the mayonnaise, pickles, and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, taste, and add more seasonings if you like.
I like my tartar sauce very chunky. Use fewer pickles if you like or substitute up to half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt if you want to reduce calories in the dip. This dip will keep well in the fridge, covered, for at least a week.
2 Make the chili malt vinegar: Stir the malt vinegar and chili oil together in a small bowl. You can use the mix as a dip for fish sticks or French fries or also lightly brush it on freshly fried fish sticks.
3 Cut and season the fish: To prep the fish, first make sure fish has no bones. I usually just run my hands along the filet and you will be able to feel any bones that might be there. If you do find some, you can use a pair of clean tweezers to pluck them out.
Cut the fish into strips about 3 inches long strips and 1/2-inch thick. Season fish strips well with salt and pepper.
4 Coat the fish: Place the flour, whisked eggs, and panko crumbs in three separate bowls. Set a baking sheet nearby.
First, toss fish with all-purpose flour to coat. Shake off any extra flour. Then transfer fish to eggs. Coat well. Finally, move to panko breadcrumbs and really press the breadcrumbs on the fish so they have a good crust.
Transfer the coated fingers to the baking sheet. Let the fish sticks rest while you heat the oil.
5 Heat the oil: Over medium heat, heat enough oil in a skillet to fill the the skillet about 1 1/2- to 2-inches deep. (I use about two cups of oil in my large skillet.) The oil doesn’t need to completely cover the fish sticks.
The oil is ready when you can add a few breadcrumbs and they sizzle immediately and float to the top.
6 Fry the fish sticks: When oil is hot, add fish sticks in a single layer in the skillet without crowding the skillet. You will probably need to cook in two batches.
Fry for 3 minutes, after which the fish sticks should be nicely browned on the underside and can be flipped. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the second side. Then remove and let cool on a few paper towels while you cook the second batch.
7 Serve! Serve fish sticks while warm along with tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar, if using. If you make the fish sticks in advance, reheat them in a 350°F oven for a few minutes until they are warmed through.