As all too many parents know, getting kids to eat fish can be an endless challenge. Just yesterday, a grandmother told me that her two grandkids, aged 3 and 7, had never even tried fish. Zowzers! Pretty astounding but I truly feel the pain of any parent who can't seem to turn their kids on to fish, especially when certain kinds of fish offer a whole host of health benefits.
Whenever the fish monger at our local farmers' market has fresh sole in season, I buy a bunch of filets from her to make a huge batch of Crispy Fish Fingers. I bake some fingers that night for dinner, the rest I freeze for another night when I have to get a quick dinner on the table.
These Crispy Fish Fingers live up to their name. They are seriously crispy on the outside, and moist, flakey and mild in flavor on the inside. They're delicious and nothing like the boxed kind you may have been forced to eat as a child -- for starters, they're made with just a handful of ingredients and therefore a whole lot healthier. Plus, with just a light coating of herb infused mayonnaise for the bread crumbs to grab onto, it's like having a little tartar sauce baked into every bite.
So don't be scared anymore to offer your kids fish, or be fearful that they will turn their noses up at anything you serve. Keep trying different varieties and experimenting with ways of preparing it and eventually you'll hit pay dirt. My guess is that when you take a chance with something simple like these beauties, it won't be too long before fresh fish moves quickly into their food-o-sphere!
Crispy Fish Fingers (serves 4 )
- 4 sole or tilapia filets, fresh or frozen, thawed
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Slice the fish into 1/2 inch x 2 inch strips or \\\\\\\"fingers\\\\\\\".
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until smooth and well combined. Separate the sauce in half and set half aside.
4. Place the bead crumbs on a plate. Make an assembly line with 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture and the breadcrumbs.
5. Gently roll the fish fingers in the mayonnaise mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat.
6. Place the coated fish on a metal rack that has been set on a baking sheet and sprayed with oil. Lightly spray the fish sticks with oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish is flaky inside and golden brown outside.
7. Use the second 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture as a dipping sauce for the cooked fish.
Note #1: This may seem like a small amount of sauce, but the fish only requires a thin coating of it before rolling in the breadcrumbs . You’ll need to lightly press the fish into the mayonnaise mixture, or sort of brush it on with your fingertips.
Note #2: If you have a convection oven, set it to 425F and cook the fish for 12 minutes.