October 03, 2007

Homemade Fish Sticks

1 1/2 lb tilapia fillets*, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch strips
1 1/2 cup panko
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons Old Bay**
sea salt***

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the panko, Old Bay, pepper and cornstarch and arrange on a plate. Pour the buttermilk into bowl. Dip the fish into the buttermilk (or soak the fish in the buttermilk for up to 20 minutes for slightly better flavor and sticking ability) then dredge in the panko mixture. Place in a single layer on the line baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.

*Or other firm, white fish like catfish or orange roughy.
** Paprika or cayenne would good too, if you can't find Old Bay Seasoning in your area.
***For that fresh from the sea flavor. I used the tasty Terras de Sal, which is harvested the old fashioned way by hand.

My thoughts:

Homemade fish sticks (or fish fingers if you prefer) are not really something I had thought of making before, but I was feeling sort of nostagic for my preschool days and thought I'd try a slightly more adult and healthier homemade version of my old frozen favorite. These fish sticks are delightful-fresh tasting, moist and flaky with just a hint of spice. As an added bonus they were made without any added fat. If you are not totally fat adverse, however, I recommend serving it with a little bit of homemade tartar sauce for dipping. They are also very good with a little mustard on the side.