I don’t write much about religion here, because, well, I don’t really practice much of it. I was born/baptized Catholic, but had a rather less-than-devout upbringing. Not that I didn’t go to church on occasion, and I suffered through 8 years of PSR, but organized religion just wasn’t a huge part of my life.
Please don’t confuse my lack of participation in the Church with lack of faith. My dad instilled a very strong sense of faith in me, and even though we didn’t warm a pew on Sundays, I have always had a strong belief in something “greater than myself.”
While I haven’t been a practicing Catholic in many, many years, I still find it difficult to deny myself the traditions observed by it’s followers. And as we enter the season of Lent, I can’t help myself but get drawn in by the allure of meatless Fridays and fish fries.
So, you will see me making an effort to prepare more fish recipes in the coming months. Not just because of the season. Because if I forget the day of the week (which happens quite often) and eat a cheeseburger for lunch, I’m not going to flog myself in punishment. But fish is also quite tasty and really good for you. Although I’m sure frying it cancels out any health benefit.
However, if you are eating fish for the religious custom, or maybe you are just a little like me, this recipe is perfect! Because it is quick, easy, affordable, and… fried.
Homemade Fish Sticks
3-4 Tilapia fillets
1 egg + 1 tbsp water
1 cup breadcrumbs (I like to use a mixture of regular crumbs and something crunchy like panko or corn flakes)
2-3 tsp seasoning of your choice
CUT tilapia in strips. I just split each one into two “sticks” because that’s how I roll. In a pan, heat up enough oil to coat the pan generously. In the meantime, dunk your fish into the egg and coat with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Set aside until oil is hot. (You’ll know it’s ready when you put the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil and it bubbles. That’s my ghetto frying thermometer.) Pan fry the fish until golden on each side and cooked through. This won’t take long. And serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
I was totally going to take photos of this recipe for you. But someone ate them all before I had the chance. That’s how good it was. I’ll be making it again soon enough, so maybe I’ll have better luck next time.
A few notes… You can really change the flavor of this dish with different seasonings in the breadcrumbs. My favorites are Mexican/Southwest (chili powder, cumin, cayenne), Italian, and lemon pepper. Or you can use a store bought blend. Which is what I did this time. And it was stellar. Served with homemade tarter sauce? Fantastic. Just be wary that many blends already have salt added. Oops.
If you are lucky enough to have a Penzey’s Spices near you, you should go buy this blend. I’ve used it on chicken, pork, and now fish and it’s great every time. And even if you don’t have a Penzey’s, you can order through their online catalog. You’ll be glad you did.