Growing up I ate a lot of fish sticks. I was an extremely picky eater and really hated fish no matter how it was cooked. I forced myself to eat the fish sticks so that I could obey my parents and not go hungry. They did their best to put food on the table for my brother and I and I did have some favorite family dishes but fish sticks were not one of them. Over the years I have learned to like fish more and my favorite way to eat it has always been when it is breaded. What I have found is that it really matters how the fish is breaded and how long the fish is cooked. The results with the right breading and the perfect cooking time are delicious.
Another really important factor for your health is that you are not frying any food in fragile or damaged oils/fats. Saturated fats are the best for frying as they can withstand hot temperatures and won’t break down thus putting free radicals and cancer-causing elements into your body. I never use vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, corn oil, soy oil or any other oil you see in a liquid form in a clear bottle on the grocery store shelves. They are all damaged through processing with chemical solvents and way too high in inflammation-promoting Omega 6’s (which through the SAD diet we already get way to many of anyway.) Instead, the best fats to use for frying are coconut oil, avocado oil, palm shortening, beef tallow, or pork lard.
The photo taken above is using coconut flour. That is what I always make these with. However, if you have a coconut sensitivity or don’t like coconut you can make these with almond flour as well and will get more of a crunch to your fish stick.
Whenever I announce that we are having the golden beauties for dinner my kiddos jump for joy and run all over the house. They love these. Honestly, what child doesn’t love finger foods?
You can serve this alongside some roasted carrots and sauteed kale. What a protein-packed, nutrient-dense meal!
These fish sticks are GAPS Friendly and Not AIP Friendly.
- 3 Fillets (24 oz.) Wild Caught Cod or any white fish, cut into bite size or small "sticks"
- ¾ C. Coconut Flour (can sub almond flour instead if you want more crunch)
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ tsp. Paprika
- ⅛ tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 Tlbs. Tapioca Starch (leave out for GAPS)
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- ¼ C. - ½ C. Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Palm Shortening, Beef Tallow, or Pork Lard (for pan frying)
- In a shallow breading bowl or tray combine all the dry ingredients. Whisk together until all are combined and there are no lumps.
- In a separate bowl add beaten eggs.
- Near your stove top line up, in a row, your fish, eggs, & dry bowl of breading ingredients.
- Heat your fat in a saute pan to medium heat. Make sure it is hot enough so when you touch a piece of the fish to the oil it sizzles but doesn't pop. *The trick is that you do not want it too hot to burn the breading and you don't want it too cool so it makes the fish soggy.*
- Once your oil is up to temperature start battering your fish. Take one fish stick and dip it into the beaten eggs. Then, with the other hand dip the egg covered fish into the dry breading. Coat it all around and press in a bit if you need too. Gently shake off any excess into the bowl.
- Lay your fish gently in the hot oil and let it fry for about 1-2 minutes on one side (until golden brown) then very delicately flip the fish stick on the other side to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Sometimes I use a small set of tongs or a small very flat metal spatula to lift the fish from the under side.
- Once the fish is cooked, remove it and put it on a paper towel lined plate. You can do many fish sticks at a time and I suggest keeping them in a warm oven as you do the same process on all the other fish sticks.
I love the fact that my kids love these and are truly excited about eating fish. It makes this mamma’s heart swell knowing I am feeding them foods that are healthy for them and that they like!