Despite being the ultimate retro food, I’m rather pleased that fish fingers have survived the test of time and haven’t been relegated to the “let’s all laugh at what we ate in the 70’s” lists. I loved a fish finger tea as a kid, and never had any quibbles about keeping a stash in my freezer as emergency tea supplies for my own toddlers. I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t like them, they are the definition of easy, “yellow” food, completely inoffensive and easy to eat.
As an adult however, I sometimes want a little more than the “yellow” qualities of a frozen fish finger, and my girls are also at the age where they will embrace something a little more adventurous.
We’ve experimented with a few different versions and this is definitely our favourite. The crumb coating is flavourful without being too far removed from the classic, and they are baked with a light coating of oil rather than fried which leaves them crunchy without absorbing a lot of fat.
While fresh fish is going to be more expensive than a box of frozen fish fingers, it doesn’t have to be too much more. Any white fish works well and a little goes a long way with 250g comfortably feeding a family of 4. Defrosted frozen fish also works very well, I’ve made with both fresh and frozen and really can’t tell the difference.
There are so many ways to eat these – they are lovely served in a butty, alongside homebaked chips and minted peas, with creamy mash or baked sweet potatoes.
My favourite is definitely the butty option 🙂
Grown up fish fingers
Makes around 16 fingers
- 2 large white fish fillets (around 250g), sliced into strips
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan
- 1 tsp dried parsley, or a small handful of fresh, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A little oil or melted butter
- Preheat oven to 175°C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Lightly brush the greaseproof with the oil or butter
- Have the egg and flour to hand in separate bowls. In a third bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley and add a pinch of salt & pepper
- Take a strip of fish, dip into the flour to coat, then into the egg, and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. This should leave you with a lightly coated strip
- Place onto the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining fish strips. This is a messy task which little fingers love to help with!
- Once all your fish is coated, place the tray in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking. You can test that the fish is cooked by gently breaking the strip in two, the fish will be firm and lose all transparency once done
This is also delicious with salmon or chicken strips. Chicken will need an extra 5 minutes cooking time.