Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recipe for Whole Wheat Panko and Almond Crusted Oven-Baked Fish Sticks

Whole Wheat Panko and Almond Crusted Oven-Baked Fish SticksA few weeks ago I wrote a piece for BlogHer.com about making your own fish sticks, and I loved the idea of making fish sticks at home so you know exactly what's in them. I found a method for homemade fish sticks in Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast, but it took me two tries to get the right blend for coating the fish. For this keeper version, I combined the whole wheat panko crumbs that I'd been so excited to find, with some almond meal and a bit of Old Bay Seasoning. These crispy fish sticks served with Double Dill Tartar Sauce made a quick and tasty dinner, much better than the frozen fish sticks I remember eating as a kid!

I used tilapia fillets, trimming the ends where the fish was a lot thinner. I think cod would also be a good choice here. (These photos show half the amount given in the recipe.)

I cut each piece of fish into strips just over an inch wide. You could cut the fish pieces lengthwise if you wanted longer sticks of fish.

I used the bowl of my immersion blender to buzz together the whole wheat panko crumbs, almond meal, and Old Bay Seasoning. You could mash this together with a mortar and pestle or just smash with something heavy if you don't have a food processor or immersion blender.

I dipped the fish in egg, then in the crumbs, turning it over a few times and pressing the crumb mixture on.

Here's how my fish sticks looked ready to go into the oven. Bake at 475F/250C.

Here's how the fish sticks looked after they were done. Mine were baked for 20 minutes, but baking time will depend on how thick your pieces of fish are.

Whole Wheat Panko and Almond Crusted Oven-Baked Fish Sticks
(Makes 20-24 fish sticks, recipe adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast.)

4 pieces of tilapia, cod, or halibut (about 20-24 ounces of fish)
1/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs (or other whole wheat breadcrumbs would probably work if you can't find panko)
1/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (I used lemon and herb Old Bay, which is less spicy)
1 or 2 eggs (use two if your eggs are not extra large)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to season eggs

Thaw fish overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. If pieces of fish have an end where it's significantly thinner, trim that off. Cut fish into pieces just over 1 inch wide and let come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 475F/250C.

Use food processor or mini processor to buzz together the panko crumbs, almond meal, and Old Bay Seasoning (or mash together with mortar and pestle or crush with something heavy if you don't have a food process or mini processor.) Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil.

Beat egg, then season with a little salt and pepper. Arrange two bowls so you have a bowl with beaten egg and a bowl with the crumb mixture. One at a time, dip fish pieces first in the egg, then in the crumb mixture, turning over and pressing the coating on until they are well coated with the crumb mixture. Arrange fish pieces on baking sheet so they aren't touching.

Bake fish about 15-20 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and fish feels firm to the touch. (Actually cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish pieces. I rotated the tray after ten minutes, and after 15 minutes I started pressing with my finger to see if the fish felt firm. Mine took exactly 20 minutes to cook, but I removed a few of the thinner pieces after about 16 minutes.)

Serve hot. This was good with Double Dill Tartar Sauce, or it could also be served with Market Street Grill Creamy Cucumber Sauce for Fish.

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South Beach Suggestions:
If made with 100% whole wheat bread crumbs, these fish sticks would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Using the almond meals makes the fish sticks more low-glycemic, and almonds are South Beach Diet friendly.

More Ideas for Oven-Baked Fish or Fish Sticks:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Baked Tilapia with Onions, Peppers, Olives, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Halibut with Sour Cream, Parmesan, and Dill Topping from Kalyn's Kitchen
Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes from Kalyn's Kitchen
Make Your Own Homemade Fish Sticks from BlogHer.com (8 fish stick recipes)
Baked Fish Sticks from Pots and Plots
Crispy Baked Fish Sticks from Bella's Bistro
Baked Fish Sticks from Culinary in the Country
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Love this and will be hunting for whole wheat panko now! I guess I'll try it with the regular panko for now but this is definitely a must try!!!

  2. Judy, I found the whole wheat panko at Whole Foods. I was excited when I spotted them!

  3. Panko is one of my most favorite ingredients. I love baking with it. My hubby would really enjoy these.

  4. I'm still hunting for whole wheat panko, but I do have regular whole wheat bread crumbs on hand at all times. I think these fish sticks would be great for my grandkids -- a way to get them to try something new.

  5. I really like the idea of using almond meal in the breading (not to mention the wonderful whole wheat panko that I still have to buy). My kids are big fans of homemade fish sticks and I will have to try this version for them.

  6. Love whole wheat panko! I only use them now (after finding them while living out by you). Forget the store...the one that starts with an H? Ahh! Can't remember. But, love homemade fish sticks. Adding pecans to the breading is tasty too. :)

  7. I'd love it if the fish sticks were a hit with the grandkids or kids!

    Chris, I'm guessing Harmons? I don't shop there, but they do have a lot of stuff.

  8. Thanks for the link love Kalyn! Just one small detail--it's Pots and Plots, not Pots and Pans. :)

  9. I have some tilapia fillets that I picked up at Costco that I need to use, thanks for this idea. I hadn't thought of fish sticks! They sound so . . . crunchy.

  10. Never used whole wheat panko before! I will try this this weekend as my kitchen has been remodeled but now it's back and shinny! Yummy!

  11. Kait, so sorry, duh! Will fix right now.

  12. I love how it's baked and not fried! Definitely something to think about when eating snacks and bits such as these. Love that it's so versatile, too. I'm not sure what old bay seasoning tastes like, though, but I suppose an alternative is cajun?

  13. Rabbittrick, there is a link in the post for Old Bay Seasoning that tells what the ingredients are. It's a little different than Cajun Spice, but that might work.

  14. This batter blend sounds fantastic. Perfect for any kid, but also perfect for us adults who want to eat with our hands every so often!

  15. This is very healthy and delicious Kalyn. Perfect for kids and "kid's at heart"

  16. This looks yummy! However, we have 2 family members with celiac disease. Do you think I could use all almond meal or another nut meal without the wheat that they can't eat? One of them has an immediate seizure upon eating wheat or any other form of gluten grain. Thanks, Carol

  17. Carol I don't know for sure but I'd guess it would work with all almond meal, although the coating will be thinner. Let us know how it turns out.

  18. I'll bet the crust on these are delish! I wonder if this amazing crust would work on shrimp, too?


  19. Donna, not sure but I'm guessing it would work on shrimp, great idea!

  20. I never think to make fish sticks but this sounds great!

  21. I am always searching the internet looking for new ways to eat fish. Now, I have found one. I love panko breadcrumbs and great post!!!

  22. Just made this last night to break fast with and it was so good! Even my husband, who does not like almonds (weird, I know), loves it. So easy and I love the fact I didn't have to fry. Thank you for the recipe!

  23. Hana, so glad you liked the recipe and that it was a hit with your husband too.


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