Homemade Fish Sticks With Tartar Sauce

These baked homemade fish sticks are crisp and golden on the outside and really juicy and flaky on the inside. They are perfect served with creamy tartar sauce.

Homemade Fish Sticks With Creamy Tartar Sauce. The fish sticks are crisp and crunchy on the inside and juicy and flaky on the inside.

Homemade fish sticks are such a simple, satisfying finger food. If I’m in the mood for a healthier, heartier snack, fish sticks are perfect. If made right, they are juicy and flaky on the inside with a crisp and crunchy crust. I’ve made these fish sticks as a dinner entree too, in which case I like to leave the fish fillets whole.

Any firm white fish fillets will work for this recipe, which I got from Cook’s Country and have been using ever since. The tartar sauce is the traditional complementary sauce and I give you my version of it. It’s perfectly creamy, tart and of course, with plenty of pickles.

To get the really crisp and golden breading on the fish sticks, you have to toast the bread crumbs first, which is a brilliant technique, since the breadcrumbs are already golden before they start baking and get really crisp in the oven. If you use untoasted breadcrumbs, they will be pasty and soggy, even if you bake them longer. The fish also gets dredged in a thick coat of mayonnaise, eggs and mustard, which makes sure that the breading really sticks well to the fish and flavors the fish so it’s extra tasty. An added benefit is that most kids will gobble up these fish sticks and not turn up their noses that you offered them seafood:). 

Ingredients:

Homemade Fish Sticks:

  • thick white fish fillets (cod, haddock, halibut, tilapia, etc.)
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • all purpose flour – for dredging the fish
  • Old Bay seasoning or other dry herbs and spices, such as onion/garlic powder, paprika, dry parsley, basil, chives, etc.
  • mayonnaise – the mayo + mustard combination makes it almost like a batter and helps to create a thicker, crispier coating on the fish
  • eggs
  • Dijon mustard
  • panko breadcrumbs – these breadcrumbs are slightly larger and drier, so they are my favorite to use to create a breading
  • Tablespoon butter – to toast the breadcrumbs

Tartar Sauce:

  • Greek yogurt – tangy, creamy and thick, it’s the perfect base for the sauce
  • mayonnaise – a classic ingredient for Tartar sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning – complements that flavor in the fish
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • pickle relish or chopped pickles – adds some crunch and brininess to the sauce
  • shallots or onion
  • Dijon mustard
  • lemon juice or vinegar – the acidity breaks through the richness of the sauce
Ingredients For Homemade Fish Sticks and Tartar Sauce

How To Make Homemade Fish Sticks:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with oil.
  2. Prep the fish. Cut the fish into 1 – 1 1/2 inch thick strips. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Instead of fish sticks, you can bake the fish in whole pieces, you will just need to bake it longer, 30-40 minutes.
  3. Set up the breading station. I like using shallow bowls (the kind you use for pasta) or pie plates/cake pans.
    • In a shallow dish, place 1/2 cup of flour, the Old Bay seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
    • In another shallow dish, place mix the remaining 1/4 cup flour, the mayonnaise, eggs and mustard and mix to combine.
    • Toast the breadcrumbs with the butter in a skillet on medium heat until golden, cool slightly and place in another shallow dish.
  4. Coat the fish. First, dredge the fish in the flour, then in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs, pressing with your hands to make sure the breadcrumbs adhere well.
  5. Bake the fish sticks. Place the breaded fish sticks on top of the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the Tartar Sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the tartar sauce together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  7. Serve the baked fish sticks with the tartar sauce. 
How to make homemade fish sticks step by step tutorial
Crunchy, golden homemade fish sticks that are juicy and flaky on the inside, served with creamy Tartar sauce.

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Homemade Fish Sticks With Tartar Sauce

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These baked homemade fish sticks are crisp and golden on the outside and really juicy and flaky on the inside. They are perfect served with creamy tartar sauce.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 32 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/22 lbs thick white fish (cod, haddock, halibut, tilapia, etc.)
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 22 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pickle relish or chopped pickles
  • 1/2 Tablespoon shallots or onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/21 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with oil.
  2. Cut the fish into 1 – 1 1/2 inch thick strips. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Instead of fish sticks, you can bake the fish in whole pieces, you will just need to bake it longer, 30-40 minutes.
  3. In a shallow dish, place 1/2 cup of flour. In another shallow dish, place mix the remaining 1/4 cup flour, the mayonnaise, eggs and mustard and mix to combine.
  4. Toast the breadcrumbs with the butter in a skillet on medium heat until golden, cool slightly and place in another shallow dish.
  5. Set up a dredging station with all the shallow dishes, the fish and the prepared baking dish. Dredge the fish in the flour, then in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs, pressing with your hands to make sure the breadcrumbs adhere well.
  6. Place the breaded fish sticks on top of the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tartar sauce together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Serve the baked fish sticks with the tartar sauce.

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11 Comments

  • Olga T

    Hi Olga. I want to make these tomorrow but wanted to see what other seasoning I can use instead of Old Bay seasoning. Or where could I buy it? I’m not sure I’ve seen it in our grocery stores, maybe I just haven’t paid attention to it before. Can’t wait o try them. Hope my kids will like these šŸ™‚
    Thanks šŸ™‚

    • olgak7

      I’ve seen it in every grocery store I’ve ever been in. It’s a very common spice. However, you can just omit it or add whatever seasoning blend that you like, Olga.

  • Dana

    I made the bread sticks using regular bread crumbs and a blend of salt, pepper, parsley and savoury instead of old bay (I don’t think we can buy it in NL). It was so messy to make; my fingered were totally breaded by the time I was finished. But it was so delicious I wanted to make them again.
    The next time I dumped the flour in a plastic bag, then dumped in the fish and shook. Perfectly floured! I removed the fish to a bowl, dumped out the excess flour, and dumped the Dijon/mayonnaise sauce into the same bag, followed with the floured fish, and gently , making sure all the fish was covered. Then I got a second dry plastic bag, dumped in the bread crumbs (I didn’t want the bread crumbs sticking to the original bag), and dumped in the coated fish and shook again. Once again, the fish coated perfectly and there was virtually no mess. And much faster too!
    Thanks for the great recipe – I have never made breaded cod before, but it will be making an appearance on a regular basis now.

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