Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Crunchy Oven Baked Fish Sticks

Living on Maui means being blessed with easily accessible, good quality seafood.  Part of eating healthy for me involves eating fish at least once a week, trying for more like twice each week.  I'm always looking for good recipes for fish that aren't too labor intensive but are "big eats" from a flavor standpoint and "little eats" from a calorie perspective.  I also look for "little eats" with regard to sustainability, meaning not buying fish that are close to depleted.  A good source to find out what to buy and what to stay away from (both when purchasing for home cooking as well as what you order in a restaurant) is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.

You can even print out a Seafood Watch pocket guide for your region of the country that will help you make informed choices when purchasing seafood.

We have a standing joke, my hubby and I, about the "fish of the day" in most of the local restaurants.  We always ask but then as the waitstaff is answering we chime in with them "Mahi Mahi".  90% of the time we're right.  OK, I know it is only funny to us!  We can be goofy, what can I say?

Mahi is a good fish that is plentiful, cooks up well and has a good texture.  I can get fresh Mahi at all the grocery stores any time I go, so it is frequently what we'll eat on fish night at home.  I've done alot of grilled Mahi, pan seared Mahi, Mahi curry...but I really wanted some fried fish!  Probably comes from living in the South for a long time (you know, fried fish, fried hush puppies...)

I saw this recipe on Dani Spies website recently and used it for the inspiration for my Crunchy Oven Baked Fish Sticks.  Dani's turned out prettier than mine but we loved the taste of the ones I made, so no fish stick envy!  Perhaps the olive oil she mixed in with the panko, or the type of panko?  Anyway, she has some great recipes on her site so take a look around. 

Crunchy oven baked fish sticks; makes 3 servings, 4 oz each
Approximately 181 calories, 10 grams carbs, 2 grams fat, 31 grams protein per serving

12 oz medium firm fish
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
3/4 cup whole wheat panko
1 TBSP finely chopped garlic (I didn't have fresh so I used from a jar)
1 TBSP finely chopped ginger
ground pepper
Ponzu sauce for dipping
Cooking spray to coat pan
Salt if desired

Wash and dry the fish; slice into strips.  Mix the egg substitute, soy, and fish sauce together in a bowl and add the fish.  Put in the fridge and marinate for 15 minutes.  Remove fish and let it sit for a few minutes to get the chill off.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray, and mix the panko, garlic, ginger and pepper together in a shallow dish-use your hands to distribute the ginger and garlic throughout.

Taking a few pieces of fish at a time, shake most of the egg marinade off and drop in the dish with the panko mixture.  Using your other hand, gently shake the dish to coat the fish, patting the panko mixture in bare spots if needed.  Place the coated fish on the baking pan and repeat until all the fish is coated.

Coated and ready for the oven
Bake for 12 minutes. Salt before serving if desired (I didn't-the soy marinade and the ponzu sauce was plenty).

Fresh from the oven

They were crunchy with "big eat" flavor.  I think next time I will try pulsing the panko in the food processor briefly as it was more like little nuggets than the flaky panko I'm used to.  Perhaps a function of the whole wheat?

What are your favorite fish recipes?   I'd love to also hear if you have adapted any favorite recipes, fish or other,  from your childhood or your region to be healthier.  Don't forget to be a responsible fish consumer (check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium guidelines.)


  1. I didn't know there was whole wheat panko. Yippee!

  2. @anonymous: Yep, I felt the same way! It is more granular than regular panko, so you may want to give a few pulses in the food processor.