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Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe

This recipe is a delightful treat for seafood lovers. The crispy panko coated fish sticks are easy to prepare and are perfect for a quick snack or a light meal. The combination of white fish coated with panko breadcrumbs and then fried until golden and crispy is simply irresistible. The quick tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar add a delicious tangy and spicy kick to the fish sticks, making it a must-try for anyone who enjoys a good fish dish.

Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe

Photos of Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are easily available at any supermarket. One ingredient to note is panko breadcrumbs, which are a type of flaky breadcrumb from Japanese cuisine. They're larger and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs and when used as a coating, they give a light, airy, and crispy texture. Another ingredient is malt vinegar, which is a brown vinegar made from malted barley and is commonly used in British cooking. Its mildly acetic flavor adds a nice zest to the fish sticks. Lastly, the chili oil used in the chili malt vinegar can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket.

Ingredients for Crispy Panko Coated Fish Sticks

Mayonnaise: A thick, creamy sauce often used as a condiment. It provides a creamy base for the quick tartar sauce.

Pickles: These add a tangy flavor to the tartar sauce.

Lemon juice: Gives a fresh and tangy flavor to the tartar sauce.

Malt vinegar: A type of vinegar made from malted barley, it adds a tangy flavor to the fish sticks.

Chili oil: Adds heat to the malt vinegar.

White fish: The main ingredient of this recipe, it's light and flaky when cooked.

All purpose flour: Used for coating the fish sticks before frying.

Eggs: Used as a binder for the panko breadcrumbs to stick to the fish.

Panko breadcrumbs: These Japanese breadcrumbs are larger and lighter, giving a crispy texture to the fish sticks.

Salt and pepper: Used to season the fish sticks.

Vegetable oil: Used for frying the fish sticks.

One reader, Gris Flowers says:

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This crispy panko coated fish sticks recipe is a game-changer! The fish turns out perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar add a delightful kick. It's a family favorite and a must-try for seafood lovers!

Gris Flowers

Techniques for Achieving Perfectly Crispy Panko Coating

How to make tartar sauce: Combine mayonnaise, pickles, and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Adjust the ingredients to achieve the desired consistency and flavor.

How to make chili malt vinegar: Mix malt vinegar and chili oil in a small bowl. This mixture can be used as a dip for fish sticks or french fries, or lightly brushed on freshly fried fish sticks.

How to cut and season the fish: Ensure the fish is bone-free, then cut it into 3-inch long strips and 1/2-inch thick. Season the fish strips with salt and pepper.

How to coat the fish: Coat the fish by tossing it in all-purpose flour, then in whisked eggs, and finally in panko breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs onto the fish for a good crust.

How to heat the oil: Heat enough oil in a skillet over medium heat to fill it about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. The oil is ready when a few breadcrumbs sizzle immediately and float to the top.

How to fry the fish sticks: Add the fish sticks in a single layer in the skillet without crowding it. Fry for 3 minutes on each side until they are nicely browned. Remove and let them cool on paper towels.

How To Make Crispy Panko Fish Sticks

Panko fish sticks are a great afternoon snack for your kids. They’re healthier plus they pair really well with any dip you like.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



For the Quick Tartar Sauce:

  • 1cupmayonnaise
  • 1cuppickles,minced, about two small pickles diced
  • ½juice from lemon
  • pinchsalt and pepper

For the Chilli Vinegar:

  • ¼cupmalt vinegar
  • 1tbspchili oil

For the Fish Fingers:

  • 1lbwhite fish,firm, skinless, such as cod, pollack, or haddock, ask the fishmonger to skin the fish, if needed
  • 1cupall purpose flour
  • 3large eggs,whisked
  • 2cupspanko breadcrumbs
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¼tspblack pepper
  • 2cupsvegetable oil,for frying


  1. Make the tartar sauce: Stir together the mayonnaise, pickles, and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, taste, and add more seasonings if you like. I like my tartar sauce very chunky. Use fewer pickles if you like or substitute up to half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt if you want to reduce calories in the dip. This dip will keep well in the fridge, covered, for at least a week.

  2. Make the chili malt vinegar: Stir the malt vinegar and chili oil together in a small bowl. You can use the mix as a dip for fish sticks or French fries or also lightly brush it on freshly fried fish sticks.

  3. Cut and season the fish: To prep the fish, first make sure fish has no bones. I usually just run my hands along the filet and you will be able to feel any bones that might be there. If you do find some, you can use a pair of clean tweezers to pluck them out. Cut the fish into strips about 3 inches long strips and 1/2-inch thick. Season fish strips well with salt and pepper.

  4. Coat the fish: Place the flour, whisked eggs, and panko crumbs in three separate bowls. Set a baking sheet nearby. First, toss fish with all-purpose flour to coat. Shake off any extra flour. Then transfer fish to eggs. Coat well. Finally, move to panko breadcrumbs and really press the breadcrumbs on the fish so they have a good crust. Transfer the coated fingers to the baking sheet. Let the fish sticks rest while you heat the oil.

  5. Heat the oil: Over medium heat, heat enough oil in a skillet to fill the the skillet about 1 1/2- to 2-inches deep. (I use about two cups of oil in my large skillet.) The oil doesn’t need to completely cover the fish sticks. The oil is ready when you can add a few breadcrumbs and they sizzle immediately and float to the top.

  6. Fry the fish sticks: When oil is hot, add fish sticks in a single layer in the skillet without crowding the skillet. You will probably need to cook in two batches. Fry for 3 minutes, after which the fish sticks should be nicely browned on the underside and can be flipped. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the second side. Then remove and let cool on a few paper towels while you cook the second batch.

  7. Serve! Serve fish sticks while warm along with tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar, if using. If you make the fish sticks in advance, reheat them in a 350°F oven for a few minutes until they are warmed through.


  • Calories: 1810.19kcal
  • Fat: 166.80g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.10g
  • Trans Fat: 0.89g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 95.97g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 48.09g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.70g
  • Fiber: 2.36g
  • Sugar: 1.38g
  • Protein: 33.78g
  • Cholesterol: 218.72mg
  • Sodium: 950.96mg
  • Calcium: 103.65mg
  • Potassium: 456.73mg
  • Iron: 3.26mg
  • Vitamin A: 60.45µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.84mg

Expert Tip for Perfecting the Panko Coating

When frying your fish sticks, it's crucial to maintain the right oil temperature. Too hot, and the panko breadcrumbs will burn before the fish is cooked through. Too cool, and the fish sticks will absorb too much oil, becoming greasy. A cooking thermometer can be a great help in maintaining the ideal frying temperature, which is typically around 350°F (175°C). If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping in a breadcrumb. If it sizzles and floats to the top, the oil is ready. Remember, the temperature will drop when you add the fish sticks, so adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a steady temperature.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Crispy Panko Coated Fish Sticks Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar a day in advance to save time on the day of cooking.

Assembly line: Set up a station with the flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs in close proximity to streamline the coating process.

Double batch: Make a larger batch of fish sticks and freeze the extras for a quick meal on a busy day.

Bake instead: For a healthier alternative, consider baking the fish sticks instead of frying them.

Team effort: Enlist the help of family or friends to speed up the coating and frying process.

Substitute Ingredients For Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe

  • mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to mayonnaise and provides a tangy flavor that complements the dish well.

  • pickles - Substitute with capers: Capers offer a similar briny and tangy flavor to pickles, adding a delicious twist to the tartar sauce.

  • lemon - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar provides a slightly milder acidity and can be used as a substitute for lemon juice in the tartar sauce.

  • malt vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar offers a slightly sweeter and fruitier flavor compared to malt vinegar, adding a unique twist to the tartar sauce.

  • chili oil - Substitute with hot sauce: Hot sauce can provide a similar kick of heat and flavor to the tartar sauce when used as a substitute for chili oil.

  • white fish - Substitute with cod: Cod is a great alternative to white fish for making fish fingers, as it has a mild flavor and a firm texture that holds up well when coated and fried.

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with cornstarch: Cornstarch can be used as a gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour for coating the fish fingers, providing a crispy and light texture.

  • eggs - Substitute with buttermilk: Buttermilk can be used as a substitute for eggs to help the breadcrumbs adhere to the fish, while also adding a subtle tangy flavor.

  • panko breadcrumbs - Substitute with crushed cornflakes: Crushed cornflakes can be used as a substitute for panko breadcrumbs to create a crispy coating for the fish fingers, adding a slightly sweet and crunchy texture.

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with canola oil: Canola oil is a neutral-flavored oil that can be used as a substitute for vegetable oil for frying the fish fingers, providing a high smoke point and a light texture.

Plating Ideas for Crispy Panko Fish Sticks

  1. Elevate the tartar sauce: Create a visually appealing presentation by using a small quenelle or dollop of the tartar sauce on the side of the plate. This adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the dish.

  2. Incorporate fresh herbs: Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley or dill to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the overall presentation.

  3. Utilize a serving platter: Arrange the crispy panko-coated fish sticks on a sleek and modern serving platter, allowing the golden-brown color of the fish sticks to stand out against the backdrop.

  4. Add a touch of acidity: Drizzle a small amount of the chili malt vinegar in a decorative pattern on the plate to provide a visually striking element and enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.

  5. Create a balanced composition: Arrange the fish sticks in a visually appealing manner, ensuring that they are evenly spaced and presented in a way that is visually appealing and inviting to the eye.

  6. Incorporate contrasting textures: Consider serving the fish sticks on a bed of crisp, vibrant lettuce leaves to provide a textural contrast and elevate the overall presentation.

  7. Use elegant serving utensils: Opt for sleek and modern serving utensils that complement the overall aesthetic of the dish, adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  8. Consider the plate shape and color: Select a plate that complements the colors of the dish, such as a white or neutral-toned plate that allows the vibrant colors of the fish sticks and garnishes to shine.

  9. Emphasize the golden crust: Highlight the crispy panko coating by presenting the fish sticks on a dark-colored plate, allowing the golden crust to stand out and become the focal point of the presentation.

  10. Incorporate edible flowers: For an extra touch of elegance, consider adding a few edible flowers as a delicate and visually stunning garnish to elevate the overall presentation of the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Panko Coated Fish Sticks

  • Food processor: A food processor can be used to finely chop or blend ingredients, such as pickles for the tartar sauce or to make the panko breadcrumbs finer for coating the fish sticks.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the ingredients for the tartar sauce and for breading the fish sticks.

  • Skillet: A skillet is used for frying the fish sticks, providing a large surface area for even cooking.

  • Baking sheet: A baking sheet is used to hold the coated fish sticks before frying, allowing them to rest and set while the oil heats up.

  • Tongs: Tongs are helpful for flipping the fish sticks while frying, ensuring they cook evenly on both sides.

  • Paper towels: Paper towels are used to drain excess oil from the fried fish sticks, helping to keep them crispy.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Crispy Panko Fish Sticks

  • To store leftover fish sticks, allow them to cool completely to room temperature before placing in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the cooled fish sticks by arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the fish sticks are frozen solid.
  • Once frozen, transfer the fish sticks to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Frozen fish sticks can be stored for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
  • To reheat refrigerated fish sticks, place them on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
  • For frozen fish sticks, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the fish sticks on a baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. No need to thaw before reheating.

The Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Fish Sticks

  • To reheat leftover crispy panko coated fish sticks, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature will help to warm the fish sticks thoroughly without burning the panko breadcrumb coating.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Arrange the leftover fish sticks in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching each other. This will allow the hot air to circulate evenly around the fish sticks, helping them to reheat more efficiently and maintain their crispiness.

  • If desired, you can lightly brush the fish sticks with a small amount of olive oil or spray them with cooking spray before reheating. This will help to revive the crispiness of the panko coating and prevent the fish sticks from drying out during the reheating process.

  • Place the baking sheet with the fish sticks in the preheated oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until they are heated through and the coating is crispy once again. The exact reheating time may vary depending on the thickness of your fish sticks and the efficiency of your oven.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the fish sticks in an air fryer if you have one. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and arrange the fish sticks in a single layer in the basket. Air fry for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. This method is particularly effective for maintaining the crispiness of the panko coating.

  • Avoid using the microwave to reheat your leftover fish sticks, as this method can cause the breadcrumb coating to become soggy and the fish to overcook, resulting in a rubbery texture.

  • Once the fish sticks are heated through and crispy, remove them from the oven or air fryer and let them cool for a minute or two before serving. This will allow the coating to set and the fish to cool slightly, preventing any potential burns from the hot interior.

  • Serve the reheated crispy panko coated fish sticks with your favorite dipping sauces, such as tartar sauce, ketchup, or lemon wedges, and enjoy your delicious, crispy leftover treat!

Interesting Trivia About Panko Coated Fish Sticks

The crispy panko coated fish sticks recipe is a great way to introduce fish to picky eaters, as the crispy coating and flavorful tartar sauce can make it more appealing. Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and development. By making your own fish sticks at home, you can control the quality of the ingredients and avoid the preservatives and additives often found in store-bought versions. It's a fun and delicious way to incorporate more seafood into your diet.

Budget-Friendly: Making Panko Fish Sticks at Home

The cost-effectiveness of this crispy panko coated fish sticks recipe is quite favorable. The main ingredients, such as white fish and panko breadcrumbs, are generally affordable and readily available. The addition of homemade tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar enhances the flavor without significantly increasing the cost. With careful planning, this recipe can be a budget-friendly option for a household. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its balance of cost and flavor. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a reasonable choice for a family meal.

Are Panko Coated Fish Sticks Healthy or Unhealthy?

The crispy panko coated fish sticks recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The fish sticks are deep-fried in vegetable oil, which adds a significant amount of unhealthy fats and calories to the dish.
  • The coating consists of all-purpose flour and panko breadcrumbs, which are refined carbohydrates that offer little nutritional value.
  • The tartar sauce is made with mayonnaise, which is high in fat and calories.
  • The chili malt vinegar, while adding flavor, does not contribute to the overall healthiness of the dish.

However, there are some positive aspects:

  • White fish is a good source of lean protein and essential nutrients.
  • The recipe uses pickles and lemon juice in the tartar sauce, which can add some vitamins and minerals.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of deep-frying, try baking the fish sticks in the oven. Coat the fish in a mixture of whole wheat flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs, then place them on a baking sheet and bake at 425°F for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Use a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour, such as almond flour or coconut flour, which are lower in carbs and higher in fiber and protein.
  • Replace some or all of the mayonnaise in the tartar sauce with Greek yogurt, which is lower in fat and higher in protein. You can also add more pickles and lemon juice to boost the flavor without adding calories.
  • Serve the fish sticks with a side of fresh vegetables, such as a salad or roasted broccoli, to add more nutrients and fiber to the meal.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Fish Stick Recipe

The recipe for crispy panko-coated fish sticks is a delightful and versatile dish. The quick tartar sauce adds a zesty and creamy element, while the chili malt vinegar provides a tangy kick. The step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it accessible for home cooks. The use of panko breadcrumbs ensures a satisfying crunch, and the seasoning of the fish with salt and pepper enhances its flavor. Overall, this recipe offers a delightful twist on a classic dish, perfect for a family-friendly meal or a casual gathering.

Enhance Your Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese, then roast until tender and crispy.
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts: Coat brussels sprouts in a sweet and spicy honey sriracha glaze, then roast until caramelized and delicious.
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans: Wrap green beans in crispy bacon and bake until the bacon is perfectly cooked and the green beans are tender-crisp.
Mango Avocado Salad: Combine ripe mango and creamy avocado with a zesty lime dressing for a refreshing and colorful side salad.
Coconut Curry Carrot Soup: Simmer carrots in a fragrant coconut curry broth, then blend until smooth for a velvety and comforting soup.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Panko Coated Fish

Crispy Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries: These zucchini fries are a healthier alternative to traditional fries, and the crispy parmesan coating adds a delicious flavor.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi: This shrimp scampi recipe is bursting with flavor from the garlic butter sauce and is perfect served over a bed of pasta or with crusty bread for dipping.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This refreshing and tropical chia pudding is made with coconut milk and fresh mango, making it a perfect healthy dessert or breakfast option.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Panko Fish Sticks

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a flavorful filling using a mix of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then stuff it into mushroom caps and bake until golden and bubbly. Serve these savory stuffed mushrooms as a delicious appetizer for any gathering.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Coat large shrimp in a seasoned flour mixture, dip them in beaten eggs, and then coat them in shredded coconut before frying until golden and crispy. These crispy coconut shrimp are perfect for dipping in a sweet and tangy sauce for a tropical-inspired appetizer.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Pie: Enjoy a classic apple pie with a flaky, buttery crust and a warm, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a comforting and delicious dessert.

Why trust this Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful twist on traditional fish sticks, providing a crunchy and flavorful coating using panko breadcrumbs. The homemade tartar sauce and chili malt vinegar add a unique and zesty touch to elevate the dish. The step-by-step instructions ensure a foolproof cooking process, resulting in perfectly crispy and golden fish sticks. With the use of fresh white fish and quality ingredients, this recipe promises a delicious and satisfying meal that you can trust to impress your family and friends.

Want to share your own twist on this Crispy Panko Fish Sticks Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and let us know how you make this tasty dish!
Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?
Yes, you can use different types of white fish such as cod, haddock, or pollock for this recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the fish.
Can I bake the fish sticks instead of frying them?
Yes, you can bake the fish sticks instead of frying them. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and place the coated fish sticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle or spray the fish sticks with a little oil and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy.
Can I make the fish sticks ahead of time and reheat them later?
Yes, you can make the fish sticks ahead of time and reheat them later. To reheat, place the fish sticks on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for a few minutes until they are warmed through.
Can I freeze the fish sticks?
Yes, you can freeze the uncooked fish sticks. After coating the fish with the panko breadcrumbs, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the fish sticks to a freezer bag or airtight container. When ready to cook, fry them directly from frozen, adding a couple of extra minutes to the cooking time.
Can I substitute the mayonnaise in the tartar sauce with a different ingredient?
Yes, you can substitute some or all of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt to reduce the calories in the tartar sauce. You can also add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the Greek yogurt for a tangy flavor.

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