Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks


In keeping with my tradition of posting a new fish recipe every year and a half, ta-da!

Zachary, barely a year old, is already pushing me to be a more varied eater.  The kid has already had plantains, curry, tofu, mangoes,  chipotles–all things I didn’t even try till I was in my 20s, I think.  Recently, he started eating the toddler meals at daycare.  Looking at the menu this week, I saw that he’d be having fish, which we’ve actually never given him (mostly because, well, you can see how frequently I make it).  I decided to add it to the menu just to make sure he didn’t  have any sort of allergic reaction to it or anything like that.  Of course, he ate it all up.

I went with fish sticks because they’re easy to make, pretty universally well-liked, and a good finger food for Z.  And yes, fish sticks may be a clichéd toddler meal, but these aren’t the frozen ones unearthed from the depths of your freezer (although they take just about as much time to make).

I used panko for these because it tends to crisp up better and I like the texture a bit more.  But, breadcrumbs would work, too.  You could make a dipping sauce with these and next time, I will.  I just decided what we were eating about 30 minutes before making it, so I didn’t have enough ingredients in the fridge to whip one up.  Obviously you could go the tartar sauce route or, for a healthier option, I think a lemony yogurt dip would be great.

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

34 thoughts on “Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

  1. These really look delicious – nothing like the frozen ones from the grocery store. Your post does remind me of the fish stick commercial though. The one where the little girl is complaining about eating minced fish? 🙂 I think it’s great that your son is already trying so many different flavors. My mom did a pretty good job of not serving us only “kid food,” but I am constantly coming across things I still haven’t tried!

  2. I love that you feed your son such varied food! And that he loves it! You’re going to have one good eater on your hands.

    I don’t think I’ve EVER had fish sticks actually. But it seems to me that the panko breading is key. Love that crispy crunchy crust!

  3. Yum, I need to make this. I have been eyeing the crappy boxed kind at the store and I keep slapping myself saying that the pregnant momma does not need this unatural crap. I will be making this VERY soon! Thanks girl!

  4. I’ll have to try these. Andrew has been eating fish sticks at the babysitter’s house as well, and I know he likes them. Thanks!

  5. My daughter absolutely adores fish sticks. Her palate isn’t as refined, however, and she’s totally willing to eat those crummy ones that come from a box. I’m going to have to wow her with these homemade treasures!!!!! I might even eat them and I detest fish!

  6. It’s hard to get fish sticks so crunchy only in the oven, but those ones look you’ve got it down. Another healthy sauce option would be to do a marinara or red sauce to go with.

    Hope this helps you get into more seafood!

  7. I just made these last weekend using leftover cod. But I didn’t add any seasonings like you though, I just rolled them in egg wash and panko 🙂 I like your dip suggestion as well using yogurt. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  8. I am definitely going to make these today. Thank you Elly for solving my what the heck to make dilemma. I am so glad this is the last abstain from meat day this year. Yay.

  9. Elly, I made these last night and they were delicious! The cooking time was more like 20 minutes, but that was probably because I cut the fish a little thicker. I served them with fresh tartar sauce and lemon wedges, and my husband and I really enjoyed them. Thanks a bunch! This one’s a keeper. 🙂

    1. Megan – I haven’t tried yet, but I definitely think these would freeze well. I’d use fresh fish because I think if you use frozen it will be harder to cut into strips and also to make the egg and coating stick.

  10. Wow, so glad I found this blog – some great stuff! Made these last night and my extremely picky children (who had never eaten fish) LOVED them and asked for more. Thanks so much!

  11. Hello from Houston, Texas! I was searching for a homemade fish stick recipe for my kiddos and was THRILLED to find this one. What a great flavor! I have only one recommendation–only use 1/2 of the crumb mixture at a time so that toward the end of your batch of fish it won’t become too difficult to stick onto the cod/tilapia pieces.

    Other than that, I look forward to making many, many more of your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Thanks for this great recipe! I made this last second and it was a hit with the family. Even for the hubby who hates fish sticks loved it. Keeping this quick and easy recipe! I see that most people used cod, I used tilapia filets and they were great!!!

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