If you love fish, you probably are a fan of fish sticks. The size makes them perfect for everyone– those who want to eat just a few and those who want to eat a lot more! And, there are so many different ways to make them. Everyone agrees that they like their fish sticks moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. But, are you a fan of Mediterranean seasonings? Do you like everything a little hot and spicy?  Or, perhaps you want a hint to Italian with some Parmesan in the crust? At NC. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market in Raleigh, we are picky about our fish sticks. They have to be done so they are flaky and moist, but have a nice brown crispy outside. Well, we’ve found three delicious, different, and easy recipes for you to try. We promise you they won’t disappoint!

What Kind of Fish Should You Use for Fish Sticks?

You can use different kinds of fish for fish sticks. The best fish sticks are made using a firm and meaty white fish like cod or halibut. But, you can also use a salmon or mackerel for a higher dose of healthy Omega-3 fats. You don’t have to use fresh fish; frozen fish is just as good!

Do Fish Sticks Have to be Fried?

The answer to this question is a resounding “no.” Historically, fish sticks were always fried, but that was before we became more health-conscious. Now we have options for baking and air frying that we didn’t have (or think of) in the past. 

Three Delicious, and Easy, Fish Sticks Recipes

Baked Fish Sticks with a Mediterranean Pop

These baked fish sticks, using salmon, will be perfect every time, tender on the inside and crispy on the outside! Serve these with healthy sides like steamed veggies, sweet potato fries, white bean salad, or chickpea salad.

What You Need:

  • Fish – 1 ½ pounds of salmon (or a white fish like cod or halibut)
  • Seasonings – Black pepper, oregano, and paprika
  • For dredging and coating – a dish with flour, a dish with egg wash of 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, a dish with a combination of breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Lemon zest and lemon juice – zest of one lemon and lemon juice are added when you take the fish out of the oven
  • Garnish – a little parsley, if you have it
  • Sauce – tartar, tzatziki, or tahini sauces are delicious on these fish sticks

What You Do:

  1. Heat the oven. Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and put the rack in the middle.
  2. Pat the fish dry and season with salt on both sides.
  3. Cut the fish into pieces that are about 3 inches long (1 ½ inches thick and 3 inches long).
  4. Combine 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, and 1 teaspoon oregano and season the fish on both sides.
  5. Using your dredging station, coat the fish sticks with flour first, then dip into the egg wash, and finally coat the fish pieces in the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture.
  6. Place the sticks on an oiled baking sheet. The oil at the bottom of the sheet makes the fish sticks nice and crispy.
  7. Dab the tops of the fish sticks with extra virgin oil, being careful not to brush the coating off.
  8. Bake in the heated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked. If they need more color, place the pan under the broiler briefly.
  9. Transfer the fish sticks to a serving platter. Add lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. Serve with your favorite sauce for dipping.

Healthy Fish Sticks in an Air Fryer

If you are looking for an alternative to regular frying (and something else to cook in your air fryer), look no further than this fish sticks recipe! You can substitute the seasonings in the ingredients with ½ teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning or a Creole Seasoning if you’d like. Serve with sides of healthy veggies (green beans, asparagus, or brussels sprouts), air fryer hush puppies, or french fries.

What You Need:

  • 1 pound cod fillets
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil and a spray bottle

What You Do:

  1. Slice the fish into 1-inch strips (or whatever size you want) and pat dry.
  2. Using an oil spray bottle, spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs and seasonings and put in a bowl large enough to dredge the fish.
  4. Set up the dredging station with the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the egg in one bowl, and the flour in another bowl.
  5. Dip the fish in the flour, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs.
  6. Place the fish sticks in the air fryer basket. Spray with cooking oil. Don’t stack the fish.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  8. Open the basket and flip the fish. Spray with cooking oil and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish is crisp.

Delicious Fried Fish Sticks

This recipe is a take on a sweet and savory Italian theme because it uses sun-dried tomatoes and sweet gherkins. The chopped dill is perfect for salmon fish sticks. Try this for a mouth-full of flavors that truly enhance the delicious flavor of the fish!

What You Need:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 sweet gherkins, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges, for serving
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 ¾ pounds fish (code, halibut, or salmon) fillets, cut into 4-inch by ¾-inch strips
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

What You Do:

  1. To make the tartar sauce, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the sun-dried tomatoes, gherkins, red onion, dill and lemon juice. Season the tartar sauce with salt and cayenne pepper.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the water. In another shallow bowl, mix ½ cup of the flour with salt and cayenne. In a third shallow bowl, combine the potato flakes with the remaining ¼ cup of flour and season with salt and cayenne. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and another one with paper towels.
  3. Working in batches, dredge the cod in the flour. Dip the fish in the egg, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Then coat the fish in the potato flakes, pressing so it adheres. Transfer the fish to the wax paper-lined baking sheet.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 ½ inches of oil to 325 degrees. Working in 2 batches, fry the fish in the hot oil, turning once, until deep golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish. Serve immediately with the tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Come See Us for North Carolina Fish at Its Best!

At N.C. Seafood Restaurant located at the Farmers Market in Raleigh, you will find some of North Carolina’s most delicious fish cooked the way you like it.  We have only the best quality fish in our restaurant. Take a look at what people are saying in our reviews! Call us at 919-833-4661 or order online for your next meal!