One of my most favorite places on earth is a Seattle seafood institution: Ivar’s.
If you’ve ever been to Seattle you’ve probably been to Ivar’s, and if you ever make it to Seattle in the future, make sure to put it on your list of places to go! You’ll sit by the waterfront and be surrounded by seagulls who act more like friendly trained golden retrievers. They’ll catch fries thrown in the air, or just eat them right out of your hand. One of my favorite Ivar’s locations is actually south of downtown Seattle at Coulon Beach Park. I spent a lot of time there as a child and now I love taking my own kids there.
Here’s something my family has always made fun of me for. Every time I go to Ivar’s I order the same thing- chicken strips and fries! Don’t ask me why- but I love chicken strips with tartar sauce, and Ivar’s tartar sauce is so good. And the fries…. fries doused in vinegar and dipped in tartar sauce is one of life’s wonderful little pleasures.
When I was kid though, I was all about the fish sticks, and I wanted to make some at home for my kids. I used a quick breading that involves both panko and normal bread crumbs and I kept them lightly seasoned so it wouldn’t be overwhelming when you slather them in tartar sauce. I could dip just about anything in this tartar sauce by the way- so easy to whip up and so good! This is a great way to introduce fish to young kids since it’s similar to a chicken nugget. I actually explained to my boys that these were “chicken nuggets from the ocean dipped in pickle ranch” and it went over great!
For the fish sticks start with a good, fresh white fish. I used cod, but halibut or talapia should work well too. Slice it into fish stick sized pieces. I didn’t realize that they would shrink up so much so mine ended up more like stubby nuggets, but hey, it works.
This is a similar process to my Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers. Dredge each piece of fish in seasoned flour, then in beaten eggs, and then in a combo of bread crumbs and Panko.
Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake them for only about 10 minutes- quick and easy! Let cool for a few minutes and serve with the yummy tartar sauce.
Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 lb white fish such as cod, halibut, or tilapia
1 Tbs canola oil
6 Tbs flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 C mayonaise
2 Tbs sour cream
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 Tbs finely minced onion
1 T minced dill pickle
1 pinch seasoned salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Tartar Sauce: Mix all tartar sauce ingredients and stir well to combine. Chill for at least one hour before serving. (The longer the better, make ahead if you can!)
Fish Sticks: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Crack egg(s) into a shallow dish and beat lightly (start with one egg and crack another if you run out). In a separate shallow dish combine flour, seasoned salt, pepper, and paprika. In one more shallow dish combine panko and bread crumbs.
Cut fish into sticks about 3-4 inches long and 1/2-1 inch tall.
Working with a few pieces of fish at at time, dredge first in flour and then shake off excess. Then dip each piece in the beaten egg, and finally the bread crumb mixture. Make sure all sides are well coated with bread crumbs and then place fish on the baking sheet.
When all pieces are on baking sheet, place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with tartar sauce for dipping.