Homemade fish sticks have nothing in common with the fish sticks I grew up with...they are not uniformly rectangular in shape, they are not dry and they ARE full of flavour. They do take a bit more work to prepare, but then again, anything that takes work is usually worth the effort!
As I have mentioned before, tartar sauce is a must with fish in our house; this one is made from roasted red pepper mayo...slightly different, and quite delicious!
Before you start, roast a red pepper, and peel and seed it.
1/2 roasted red pepper
Put the pepper into the blender, and puree until smooth.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Puree to combine.
With the centre stopper of the lid removed, and the blender running, slowly add:
1/2 cup olive oil
Remove the mayonnaise from the blender; it is not as thick as mayonnaise usually is, this is more of a sauce consistency.
1/2 roasted red pepper, minced
salt and pepper to taste
To turn the red pepper mayo into tartar sauce, add:
1 tablespoon minced capers
1 tablespoon minced dill pickle
1 tablespoon minced green onion
Hot sauce, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Cover and refrigerate the tartar sauce until it is time to serve the fish sticks.
Turn the oven on to 375F and have a baking sheet ready for the fish sticks. Set up a breading station: one bowl with seasoned flour, and second with seasoned egg wash and a third with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Pat the fish dry if it was frozen.
Cut the fish into pieces that are about 1" wide; do not worry about them all being a uniform shape.
2 basa fillets
Bread the fish by placing each piece into the flour, then the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to make sure the breadcrumbs stick.
Place the breaded fish sticks onto the baking sheet.
Bake until the crumbs are crunchy and golden, and the fish is fully cooked, about 20 - 25 minutes.
I served my fish sticks with mixed greens, and roasted rosemary potatoes and corn on the cob. The tartar sauce can be put on the plate along with the fish, or passed at the table.
- To make the mayonnaise thicker, add another egg yolk and another teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
- A quicker way of making the mayonnaise is to use purchased mayonnaise and stir in the pureed roasted red pepper (store bought or roasted at home).
- To roast and peel the peppers, I have added a link with all the information you need: How to roast peppers
- The tartar sauce can be made a day or two ahead.
- I use fresh breadcrumbs when breading. I freeze my bread ends and stale bread, and when I have a large amount I throw them into the food processor and make breadcrumbs. I store these in the freezer, and they are very handy to have. Panko or purchaed breadcrumbs can be used instead.
- Chopped herbs such as parsley, thyme or dill; spices such as cayenne pepper; fresh garlic or green onions; lemon zest can all be added to the breadcrumbs for extra flavour.
- As the fish fillets are not an even thickness throughout I usually place two of the thinner pieces on top of each other and bread as one fish stick. This evens out the cooking time.
- The fish can be cut and breaded earlier on in the day; it can also be breaded and frozen. Cook from frozen as defrosting will make the crumbs soggy.
- Any firm fish can be used...halibut, cod, salmon to name a few.