Lemon Garlic Fish Sticks with Jalapeño Tartar Sauce.
Oh my gosh. Say hello to lemon garlic homemade fish sticks.
We are in looooooove. I mean, major lust and love because of these babies.
If you want to make a creative, out-of-the box meal tonight, I have the answer. Because FLAVOR. And if you observe ash wednesday and the lenten season, you’ve got a new exciting fish recipe under your belt!
Pssst. If fish sticks aren’t your thing, this is basically a crunchy lemon garlic baked fish and you can do whatever you would like with it! Anything! Throw it on a sandwich. Have it with a side of fries. Throw it on a salad!
Don’t freak about the whole stick thing. Promise.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve made fish sticks on the blog!! Years ago I made these crispy fish sticks which are so good – and classic. I also made this potato chip crusted fish sandwich which remains one of my favorite fish recipes of all time.
The funny thing is that I never really ate fish sticks as a kid. My mom didn’t buy them. But they were EVERYWHERE come lent. They were marketed like crazy in grocery stores and ads and all over our school lunches. I can still see the blue box in the advertisement.
But I just… couldn’t.
However, then I grew up and realized I could when I made them at home.
So here, we have some grown up fish sticks, but ones that kids love too!
Just look at that texture!
The breading is a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and crushed potato chips. SUPER CRUNCHY was the goal and that goal was achieved! Super crisp. Garlic, lemon zest, lemon pepper – all comes together with this breading so the texture is phenomenal. It sticks, it’s crispy, it’s irresistible. It’s flavorful and light and the texture will have you crying tears of delicious joy!
And the tartar sauce? Well. OMG.
I also always thought I hated tartar sauce , but that was only until I learned that it is mayo + relish. Okay, I can handle that. In fact, last year I made some tartar sauce to go along with this incredible fish sandwich and now I’m in love. It tricked my tastebuds and changed my life.
This version is OUTSTANDING! You grate fresh jalapeño right into the sauce. It gives it a wonderful fresh jalapeño flavor without the heat. My kind of sauce! And a slightly green color too. It might be the best jalapeño flavored thing I’ve ever tried. Yes yes yes. I love it.
From now on, I’m grating the jalapeño and that’s that.
While this is such a retro throwback type of meal, you can totally make it however you’d like. Serve it with some parmesan roasted broccoli or smashed potatoes. That flavor profile is comforting and classic. Or skip the tartar and do ketchup or BBQ sauce if you must. Add some chili and lime to the breading instead of lemon. Make an open face sandwich with slaw. Cover it in hot sauce! Put it in a taco!
There are just so many ideas. I can’t take it!
Enjoy dinner tonight.
Homemade Fish Sticks
- 1 pound fresh or thawed cod, tilapia or other whitefish
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup crushed potato chips
- 1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoons sweet relish
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated jalapeno pepper
- ½ lemon, juiced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.
- Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Cut it into “sticks” or pieces of a desired size.
- Place the eggs in one bowl and lightly beat them. In the other bowl, place the crushed chips, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, lemon pepper, lemon zest, salt and smoked paprika. Stir until combined.
- Dip each piece of fish into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Press the crumbs gently to adhere to the fish. Place the fish on the sprayed wire rack and repeat with remaining fish.
- Bake the fish for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crispy and golden on the outside and opaque on the inside. Serve immediately with the jalapeno tartar sauce.
- Whisk together the ingredients until combined.
Make me the happiest and make them.