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-Breaded Baked Fish Sticks
2 tilapia, cod, or other white fish fillets (about 3/4 lb.)
1 egg, beaten
1.25 cups panko
heaping 1/4 tsp. onion powder
heaping 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
heaping 1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Preheat the oven to 450. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking oil/spray.
Cut the fish into strips.
Beat the egg in one shallow bowl and use another shallow bowl or plate to mix together the panko, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, and canola oil.
Dip the fish strips into the egg and the into the panko mixture, coating on all sides. Place each strip on the prepared baking rack and bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, or until fish is flaky.
Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks