Fish sticks were a favorite childhood meal of mine; the frozen kind, of course, served with canned green beans and plain white rice. I’m going to up the nutrition on this kid-friendly meal, by making my fish sticks from scratch, and serving them with baked sweet potatoes and steamed fresh green beans. Here’s what you’ll need:

To begin, place 1 pound of raw cod fillets, 1 egg, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a food processor.

Pulse 15 times to make a chunky paste.

Place some plastic wrap on your scale and measure out 1.5 ounce portions. 

Shape into fish sticks!

Transfer the sticks to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate to firm them up, 20 minutes. You can make these in advance and hold them in the fridge for a few hours.

When you’re ready to cook, heat an inch of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Monitor the temperature carefully, and hold it at 360 to 365.

Meanwhile, set up a breading station with 3 plates. One with 1/2 cup flour, one with 2 beaten eggs, and one with 1 cup panko bread crumbs.

Roll the sticks in the flour.

Then the egg, letting excess drip off.

Last, the panko.

Place the breaded sticks back on the sheet tray. Fry the sticks in 2 batches, 3 to 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Tongs work best to handle the delicate sticks.

Place on a paper towel lined rack to drain.