“Hankering” is a good word. Sure it’s not the most eloquent vernacular and yes there are better synonyms one could choose in lieu of “hankering”. One could use “desiring”, “yearning”, “craving”, “longing”; take your pick. Yet sometimes “hankering” simply fits the bill; it’s necessary.
Fried food is definitely one of those occasions. I’m not “big” on fried foods. In fact in general I don’t care for them with a few minor exceptions. When I say minor I mean three, precisely.
French fries, or chips as they are called elsewhere. (a term I truly believe suits them much better).
and fish sticks.
Every now and then I get a hankering for fish sticks. Yes you can bake them, but there is something authentically genuine about fried fish. Please don’t ask me to expand on my logic for in truth there is none to be found. It simply is the way my brain functions.
Until recently it had been quite some time since I’ve had fish sticks. I remember having some from a box purchased in the freezer section of my local grocer some 20 years ago. I still remember how awful they tasted. So it’s been awhile.
But in our many visits to EPCOT over the past couple of years I have rediscovered my fondness for fish sticks. There is a little kiosk in the UK Pavillion where Irish made fish sticks are served and they are truly delicious. It will however be a little while until we return; therefore I endeavored to make them.
White fish was an absolute requirement; it’s nearly a sacrilege to make fish sticks with anything else. Cod was not available and flounder had a price tag that could have been considered criminal. I actually used Swai fish. Have you ever heard of this? It was very mild, no overly fishy smell and actually quite delicious. Swai. Who knew?
White fish obtained the other requirement was they also had to be crispy. Tara doesn’t do soggy, breaded, fried anything. Enter Panko Breadcrumbs. I simply love these things.
From there it’s easy. One to two eggs, beaten; flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder; Panko breadcrumbs, one pan with an inch or so of oil and you’re in business.
Cut fish into strips.
Dip in egg.
Coat in flour.
Press and coat with Panko.
Rocket science right?
Throw in a little pair of helping hands and it’s a home run.
The key was to regulate the oil temperature. To prevent the Panko from charring like wood on a fire, I kept my oil at about 300 degrees or less. Fish cooks very fast so all it took was about 90 seconds or so on each side and voila.
My finicky Mr. Sweet Butter loves these and WizKid, eh he’s easy. The kid likes sushi so he’s simple to please. It’s when a meal passes the MrSB taste test that I know I’ve done good.
So now when we get a “hankering” for fish and chips we don’t have to head to Disney and a batch can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes.
Do you have anything that you normally don’t indulge in but every now and then just get a caving for it?
Happy Cooking and enjoy!
- 4 Medium white fish fillets
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon pepper, ground
- 2 teaspoons, salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- Dry fillets completely and cut into strips, 1½ inches wide and desired length.
- Whisk eggs completely and pour into a flat-bottomed shallow dish.
- Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; pour into a second dish.
- Lastly spread Panko crumbs evenly on the bottom of a third pan.
- Pour one inch of oil into a frying pan and heat to 300 degrees.
- Dip fillet strips in egg and let excess drain.
- Coat with flour and Panko.
- Adding two or three strips at a time, cook fish 90 seconds to two minutes on each side.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Serve with tartar sauce.