Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce

CATEGORIES: Condiments, Sara, Seafood

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!

Let’s Cook:

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.




  1. These were delicious and easy. The breading takes a little time, but well worth the effort. Didn't make the tartar sauce, just served them with ketchup (for the kids) and homemade lemon-y mayo (for us). My three year old ate it up! Hallelujah!

  2. I am a Pacific Northwest native myself – just recently moved from Oregon to Washington – and I also am not a huge fan of fish. I TRY to be, but it just doesn't work. I do like a handful of fish things (tuna is good!) and fish sticks/breaded fish fillet is one thing I will actually eat. I've never bought fish at the store, but my hubby loves it, so maybe I will actually pick some up and try this! My little guy also loves chicken nuggets, so it'd be nice to get him to try some fish in "nugget" form. You've given me hope!! 🙂
    [Also, thanks for the tip about Ivar's! We just visited Seattle earlier this month and the hubs was dying for a good fish place. We will definitely try them on our next visit.]

  3. I don't make enough fish and I know that my family would eat it if I did. I think this is the perfect dish to start with! Thanks!

  4. I love your site. A friend sent me the link a few months ago and I have tried many of the recipes and have loved them.
    We just moved to the Seattle area and when I saw that you were born and raised here I would love to get your restaurant recommendations. I am hosting a college reunion here with six of my girl friends in a few weeks and I want to show them a really good time but being so new I don't know all the "local" places. If you have any other site seeing things that are must dos, I would love to hear those suggestions too. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you send me way!!

  5. Mmmm…Ivar's! I was just recently home in the Seattle area and wasn't able to make it to our favorite location which also happens to be yours the Coulon Beach. My dad would dock the boat and we'd stop for lunch there. I'm going to make this recipe and hope that it curbs my craving for the insatiable taste of Ivar's. When you live in Arizona, you don't get much seafood – just a LOT of Mexican.

  6. Loved this entry! You just brought up memories of Maine for me. Love your fish sticks.

    I will take this recipe with me.

    Have a great evening.

    Mari from Dom. Rep.

  7. I think I might just try these out! My hubby will think I'm nuts, but they look so tasty right now!

    AND YEAH for Seattle natives! I live in the area still and love the fresh seafood options we have here. Can't beat it!

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