These crispy baked fish sticks with tartar sauce are made with a flavorful lemon pepper panko coating. Your whole family will love this healthy, homemade version of a childhood classic.
My husband grew up on the North Shore of Boston, just 30 minutes from Gloucester. Needless to say, he grew up eating his fair share of fish sticks out of the yellow box in the freezer aisle. You know the ones – with the man in the yellow jacket on the ships of Gloucester.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to love fish sticks as a kid but the great thing about making your own is that you can control the quality of ingredients. Fresh lemon zest and Japanese panko create a perfect, crispy crust without any butter or oil. Our 2 year old normally isn’t a huge fan of fish but he and my husband were fighting over the last bites. Mission: Accomplished.
One final note: homemade fish sticks literally took me 10 additional minutes. For me, there is nothing better than spending 10 minutes in the kitchen with my family gathered around at the end of a busy day. Yes, throwing the frozen sticks in the oven might be a few minutes faster. But once you see how much more flavor and how much less guilt comes with the homemade variety you will never look back.
No forks required.
Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds white fish (i.e. walleye,cod, tilapia, etc.) - skin removed and cut into strips
- 1 egg
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Set out two shallow glass dishes (pie plates work well). In the first dish, whisk one egg until light and fluffy.
- Combine panko, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and lemon zest in the second dish.
- Sprinkle both sides of the fish strips with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Dip fish in egg then coat evenly with panko mixture. Place on lined baking sheet and continue until all fish is coated in panko.
- Spray fish sticks with cooking spray then bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make the tartar sauce while fish is baking by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerating until you're ready to serve.