Apr 1, 2014

Healthy Baked Fish Sticks with Lemon Caper Sauce


A healthier and light alternative to the processed sticks found in the freezer aisle!
 
Making fish sticks from scratch is quick and easy. Once you try them, you'll never go back to prepackaged frozen sticks again!


Firm meaty cod fish holds it's shape perfectly during baking, and to get a crisp golden flavorful crust I combined panko crumbs with a little Old Bay and spices to get a faux-fried coating without the need to deep fry. I'm a dipper, I love dipping my food in condiments, and was really happy with how this lemon caper sauce turned out – you can really taste the fresh chives and lemon, which is the perfect compliment to the fish.

Although there's nothing like catching your own fish, that's not always possible. So when purchasing seafood, I always look for sustainable options, whether it's fresh or frozen. The first time I heard the term "sustainable seafood" was a few years back in San Francisco at an Alaska Seafood cooking demonstration where I learned that unlike many of the world’s other fish populations, Alaska’s are managed for protection against overfishing ensuring a healthy, wild and sustainable harvest for our future generations. So when I see the Alaskan Seafood label, I know I'm making a sustainable choice. I also have the (free) Seafood Watch App on my phone which I LOVE and always refer to before purchasing fish. It's simple to follow – you simply type the name of the fish and it gives you a green, yellow or red dot, plus suggestions for good alternatives. It's also a great idea to talk to your fish monger!



Healthy Baked Fish Sticks with Lemon Caper Dipping Sauce
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 5 sticks + sauce • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 229 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 15 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 31 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 709 mg • Cholesterol: 63 g

Ingredients:

Lemon Caper Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the Fish Sticks:

  • cooking spray (I use a mister)
  • 1 pound Alaskan skinless cod fillet, about 1-inch thick (thawed if frozen)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the crumbs:

  • 1 cup plain Panko crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


Directions:

Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450°F and adjust the rack to the center position. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with oil.

Slice the fish crosswise into 2-inch long strips, about 1-inch wide.



Combine egg whites, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

In a second bowl combine the Panko crumbs with Old Bay seasoning, dried parsley and remaining paprika.


Pat fish dry with paper towels and dip the fish into the egg mixture, then into crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the top of the fish with oil and bake until the crumbs are golden and the fish is cooked through, about 12 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and the fish is cooked through.

73 comments :

  1. Hi Gina- do these freeze well once cooked?

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    1. I would probably freeze them before cooking. Bread them, then freeze and you can bake them frozen.

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    2. Gina, it looks like someone's post needs to be removed :-/

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  2. These look great. I am downloading that app as soon as I get my phone out of my purse...that will be so helpful when I'm in the store. Last time I gave up because I just didn't know what kind to get.

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  3. Thanks so much for the app advice. These look so yummy!

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  4. Maybe I can tell my kid it's chicken sticks! Will try!

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  5. I'm definitely making this next date night! Who doesn't love a healthy food dish?!

    http://ashleydenaexo.blogspot.com/

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  6. Does the calorie count include the dipping sauce? I am always confused when your recipes have a dipping sauce or topping, ie salsa, if the calories given include those sauces or toppings. Would like to have those calories listed separately.

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    Replies
    1. You can always calculate the calories separately on your own. Either using Myfitnesspal.com or the Weight Watchers recipe builder.

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    2. its says the serving is 5 sticks plus sauce...

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    3. Yes, it always includes everything in the recipe. The sauce you can divide by 4.

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  7. I LOVE ALASKAN COD! It's my favorite! I will definitely make this minus the lemon caper sauce because I don't like capers! Maybe that means another fishstick is allowed for me?? :)

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  8. I love fishsticks and the sauce sounds delish. I'm very fussy about where my seafood comes from. Wild caught Alaskan Salmon for me but consumer beware ... they are talking about some sort of GMO kind of salmon. Oh, yuck! The money mongers would like to contaminate all of our food. :(

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  9. I love the lemon caper flavor combination so I know I would love this dipping sauce!

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  10. Could this be used with Salmon ?

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  11. Could you recommend a seasoning substitute for Old Bay since we don't have this in Quebec, Canada?

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    1. That's a shame. Try seasoned salt if you can find that. Old Bay is a salty/spicy seasoning.

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    2. You could add more paprika and a touch of garlic powder.

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    3. You can buy Old Bay seasoning on Amazon. com. I just looked it up for you.

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    4. You can buy the equivalent of Old Bay seasoning in a lot of fish stores in Quebec. I've also found Old Bay in the Odessa fish markets.

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  12. Yum! I love the sound of that lemon-caper sauce —I've been looking for springy recipes that don't give me the chills just looking at them (we had a snowstorm today and I can't remember the last time I wasn't freezing). This is definitely what I have been searching for!

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  13. I love how you brought up the app. It's definitely a staple for choosing my seafood. As an oceanographer, It's important to point out that the method of catching the fish (long line vs. trawl) really plays a HUGE role in how "sustainable" a fish is. From a health standpoint however, definitely check out the mercury and pcb levels too!

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    1. Great, thanks for sharing. So much to think about when heading out to the store to pick up food for dinner, right? I like to make friends with my fishmonger and ask him, it also raises awareness.

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  14. this looks lovely! my son will absolutely love it. congrats on the cookbook btw. so exciting. xx. gigi. www.gigikkitchen.com

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  15. I have a similar app in Ducth and it's ideal if you want to know what to buy... And these fish fingers... They look perfect. I've not even made fish fingers...ever... But that is now gonna change ! Sounds delicious!

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  16. I am allergic to yogurt. Does anyone have a suggestion as to what I can swap for the yogurt in the dipping sauce recipe? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. low fat sour creme

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    2. I'm guessing that if you're allergic to yogurt you're probably allergic to sour cream as well. Try a vegan yogurt or coconut milk. It will give a different flavor, but will still be creamy.

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    3. Thanks for the suggestions. There's something in the yogurt (maybe the cultures) that makes me really sick, but it's not a dairy thing....so I'll definitely try the low fat sour cream. Thank you so much!

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  17. Love the healthy fish stick option! Thanks for sharing :)

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  18. Love the recipe! We love fish sticks, but not the calories. Pinning :)

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  19. This should be really great for supper tonight

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  20. Would tilapia work in this recipe?

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    Replies
    1. It wouldn't make good sticks, you could also use halibut, or any firm white meaty fish.

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  21. I don't know why...but I'm a bit afraid of cooking fish. Weird I know! I worry I won't get it done and I hate undercooked fish. With that said, I'm going to get over this phobia and put cooking fish on my bucket list! LOL This sound so good and as a Lifetime WW gal love the healthier option and the fact that the P+ are already figured. Thanks! Pinning it!

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    Replies
    1. Honestly, fish is one of the easiest (and quickest) food to make, it's perfect for weeknight cooking. Don't be scared : )

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  22. These look quite good. Just not sure about the fish tho lol
    L x
    Http://workingmumy.blogspot.com

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  23. This looks so good! Last week I had some leftover panko crumb mix from my tarragon chicken cordon blue and rather than trash it I used it to coat my cod fillets and make fish and chips. It was nice and crispy. I love your recipe for lemon caper dipping sauce. :)

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    Replies
    1. You should NEVER reuse anything that has been in contact with raw meat/fish/poultry!!! You are asking for salmonella!

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    2. Pat, listen to the nice lady above. That is definitely not safe food handling practices. You could get really sick!

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  24. Carol Mitchell4/2/14, 11:59 AM

    Cookbook ! Cookbook ! Cookbook ! I am soooooo ready (hungry) for your cookbook to become one of my own. I have been a follower of yours for years, before your little one was born even !!! I am a true Gina fan.

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  25. I love baked fish sticks - so much healthier than store bought, and you end up with a bigger batch! Great recipe.

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  26. I'm not a fan of fish, but this looks like it could be done with chicken tenders!!! I love lemon and capers!

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  27. This looks amazing! Would tilapia work?

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  28. I made this yesterday and it was delicous !!!
    Thank you.

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  29. hi gina Im from Australia I haven't heard of Old bay seasoning ? what are the herbs by the way your recipes are always lovely :)

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  30. These were delicious!

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  31. I love the sound of these. I will even try them with the lemon and caper sauce. Your recipes are great for those of us who HAVE to watch what we eat. Thank you for caring.

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  32. Love these recipe, it is definitely delicious!

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  33. So delicious!! I have been alkalizing my body, using this healthy food techniques I found at http://triggerbody.com
    And now I'm melting off pounds like crazy! Just my 2 cents :)

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  34. Could you tell me how to make this more allergy friendly? No eggs, no dairy, no gluten. My grandchildren love fish sticks, but the ones that fit their criteria are so expensive.

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  35. Looks delicious and healthy.

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  36. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, It is awesome.

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  37. Nice post, i hope everyone will like your post..

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  38. I made these last night and the taste was really great. My only problem was that the breading fell off almost as soon as I touched them. The underside stuck to the baking sheet and then the rest would fall off when dipped in the sauce. Are there any tricks to making them more sturdy?

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  39. Every time I make fish sticks (baked, panko, etc) they turn out soggy. Any suggestions? This recipe looks great so I'd love a few tips...

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  40. Would it be okay to use Halibut?

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  41. Try cooking them on a rack to prevent sogginess. I have cod in my freezer! Trying these this week

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  42. Can't wait to try this recipe this week! Could i substitute panko crumbs for regular italian bread crumbs?

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  43. I just made these yesterday - used cod, all panko bread crumbs, and oh my they were soooo good! I think the panko makes them alot more crunchy. I srpayed my pan with oil before and again after I put them down on it and they were excellent. I have more of the cod left over for tonite's dinner and I am so making them again!!! Thanks Gina!!

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  44. Gina we loved the caper dipping sauce, honestly it really made the dish. Thank you.

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  45. Wow, these were really remarkable. The combination of the seasoning in the breading, with the amazing sauce, was so good!! If you're considering this recipe but on the fence, I recommend it.

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  46. I made this last night and it was so good! I almost did not make the lemon caper dip, not a big fan of lemon, but it made the meal. Thank you for this one!

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  47. I've never cooked with fish and I made this and it was awesome! My 3 yr old nephew couldn't get enough and it felt so good eating something healthy! Thanks Gina!

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  48. My boyfriend and I have gotten into the habit of making a couple of recipes on Sunday for the coming week, so that we have less temptation to get easy (bad for you) food after working a long day. We made this recipe and refrigerated (before baking) - it worked great, the fish came out very nice both days.

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  49. Yummy yummy in my tummy:) I really loved how these tasted. I'm trying to eat more fish and also looking for more options where they had fins and tails. I used 1lbs of Cod but definitely didn't get 5 sticks per serving and I ended up with a whole bowl of leftover breading and pre-breading stuffs. Any idea what I could have done wrong?

    Billie - billie7_1975@yahoo.com

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  50. How many calories do you think would be in each serving size if the sauce was taken out?

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