Fancy Fish Sticks

These fancy fish sticks are made with real, recognizable ingredients, including tender white fish, flour, eggs, and panko. Skip the store-bought frozen version and make these in the same amount of time.

A pile of fancy fish sticks on a piece of parchment with a dollop of ketchup beside them.

Fish sticks as you’ve never had them! These are easy to make and taste fantastic. Serve them with homemade ketchup and fries.–Bryn Williams

Are fish sticks really just for kids?

Wait just a second before you come down on us for feeding kids fish sticks. We’re proponents of feeding kids real foods, not just dummied-down versions of real foods. But when you think about it, how much more real does it get than fish, bread crumbs, and lemon?

Fancy Fish Sticks

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
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In a large shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In another shallow bowl, combine the beaten eggs with salt and pepper. Working with 1 piece of fish at a time, gently coat the fish first with the flour, turning to coat both sides and shaking off any excess, then dip it into the beaten egg, coating it well. Finish the fish stick by rolling it in the bread crumbs. Repeat.

Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large, deep-sided skillet until hot but not smoking. Fry the fish strips in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Transfer the fish sticks to paper towels to drain.

Season the fish sticks with salt and serve with the lemon wedges and, if desired, ketchup or tartar sauce. Originally published February 12, 2013.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Never purchase fish sticks again! With this recipe, making fish sticks is very simple, and you’ve the added benefit of knowing exactly what kind of fish is going into them. Topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, this makes for a great anytime meal.

Rather than deep-frying them, I panfried them in about 1/4 inch of oil, and I suspect that they could be baked as well.

In the future, I’d consider adding some seasonings to the panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs, but I prefer the texture of panko)—maybe some fresh herbs or some spices, depending on the fish.

Fish is considered the “F” word in this house. Over the years I’ve prepared various types using various preparations and all for naught. My picky duo was never impressed and would eat nary a nibble. Well, times they are a-changin’. My white fish of choice was tilapia since it was on sale, and I made my own bread crumbs using the remains of a stale baguette. I fried the fish in olive oil since I’m trying to count calories and didn’t think it’d adversely affect the outcome of the fish, which it didn’t. The fancy fish sticks weren’t overly fancy, but they were golden and crisp on the outside, tender and flaky on the inside.

I made a dipping sauce using a reduced-cal mayo, a smashed garlic clove, some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and served the fish with a side of steamed white rice and a spinach salad. It was a hit! Not sure I’ll bust out the fancy china for these sticks, but I’m thrilled to have a fish recipe that’s a family fave!


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  1. Made this last night to use up some frozen haddock fillets—my first time ever frying fish. My 5 year old turned up her nose at it when she saw me making it. By the time I sat down to enjoy this beautiful, crunchy, golden, delicious fish, she crawled into my lap and proceeded to eat most of my fish. Luckily I made plenty. =) Loved how amazingly easy this was—simple ingredients that I had in my pantry, I will never by fish sticks at the store again!

    1. Nicholle! How lovely to see your comment here. I can’t imagine a better compliment, and I’m glad beyond words that this recipe coaxed your daughter into having fish. I so appreciate you taking the time to drop us a note. Can’t wait to hear about the next recipe you try.

  2. Made these for my dad, who found himself on a funky-type diet. I used tilapia. I added a touch of paprika and cayenne to the flour, along with the s/p. I didn’t have enough panko, so I mixed the panko with seasoned bread crumbs (home made) and finely grated parmesan and fresh parsley, minced. Pan fried. HE LOVED THEM! My parents live in Tucson, I live in Phx. So I fried up about 4 lbs of these delicious fish sticks, and put them in sandwich bags, then in a gallon freezer bag so he can pull out a small bag at a time. He eats these for snacks, lunch, or whenever. Delicious. Thank you.

    1. Wonderful, JC! Love your spirit of improvisation as well as your spirit of generosity. He’s a lucky dad, that’s for certain. We so appreciate you letting us know how well they worked, and we look forward to hearing what recipes from the site you try next!

  3. I left a comment yesterday but it’s disappeared 🙁 About being the kid who only ate fish in the form of fish sticks when I was little. About being the kid sitting at the dining table until dinner time on Good Friday as I struggled to eat my fish lunch. About being the adult learning to love fish but secretly still loving fish sticks 😉 And how I need these in my life, obviously!

    Also: How can I be a recipe tester???

  4. I might have grown up Catholic…and my Aunt Jane might be Sister Mary Lizette…so you know I had PLENTY of fish sticks in the day…and you know what? I loved them, the frozen, tasteless knobs of mostly breading…although maybe I really loved tartar sauce?

    These are what I’m craving now, though…I need to call my aunt and serve her an old-fashioned Friday dinner!

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