Love and Olive Oil

Baked Panko Fish Sticks with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

Baked Panko-Breaded Fish Sticks with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

Fish sticks are kind of my guilty pleasure, my go-to frozen snack when Taylor is out of town.

He thinks they are gross. Especially when I dip them in mayonnaise.

Perhaps I made a mistake when I married him…

Regardless, a homemade version of my frozen box favorite was something even he could get behind. Much like my baked panko chicken tenders, this fish version is quick and crunchy, everything a fish stick should be.

Baked Panko-Breaded Fish Sticks with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

We whipped up a dipping sauce with lemon, capers, and parsley. Like a fancy tartar sauce, if you will. It’s the perfect compliment to the rich, buttery fish.

But let’s talk fish for a moment. Most fish sticks are probably made of cod, and if you can get some good cod, go for it. We have, however, found cod, much like the more expensive halibut, to be almost too flaky. It will work if you are very gentle, but these varieties of fish tend to fall apart with the lightest breeze. It only works here because these are baked; frying would be a severely frustrating experience.

Ask your fishmonger for a firm, white fish. We liked the Turbot best, but the seafood guru at Whole Foods also said that Porgy would work well too (they happened to be out that day though). You want a nice even filet, maybe 3/4 to 1-inch thick, that you can easily cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (your sticks should ideally be the same thickness as they are wide) about 2 to 3 inches long. If your fish is particularly problematic, there’s nothing wrong with making fish bites instead of sticks, as the smaller pieces would be easier to work with.

That’s some fishy geometry for you, right there.

Baked Panko Fish Sticks with Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

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  • 1 1/2 pounds firm, white fish filets
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

For Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place an oven-proof baking rack inside. Spray with cooking spray.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the fish filets across the grain into 1-inch-wide strips. Place flour in one bowl, whisk the eggs in another, and combine the panko breadcrumbs with salt and pepper in a third.

Dredge each piece of fish in the flour, tapping off any excess, then submerge in the egg, and finally press into breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Arrange on prepared baking sheet so that none of the pieces are touching.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish), flipping once part-way through baking, until breadcrumbs are golden brown and fish is opaque in the middle.

While fish is baking, prepare dipping sauce by combining mayonnaise, capers, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper and serve alongside fish sticks.

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  1. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for fight memory

  2. I dreamed of this recipe throughout my yoga class and about to make with cod! Mouth watering 

  3. I had these for dinner last night, and they were amazingly good! I’m not a fan of mayo, but my family tried it with the fish and said it tasted just like tartar sauce, which is a staple with fish in our house! I will be making these for lunch tomorrow too, they were just that good!

  4. Wow Lindsay! I love Fish Sticks! I would definitely try this one. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Fish sticks grew up! Love it! I’m a big fan of panko to crunchify things too.

  6. I love crunchy fish sticks. My mother used to make them all the time. I love the simplicity of your recipe.

  7. I love fish sticks and your recipe seems like one I could make at home successfully… and avoid the frozen food aisle!

  8. These are perfect.  I love that panko adds the perfect texture and crunch to anything!

  9. These look so tasty! I want to start eating and cooking more fish, and these look like a great beginner recipe. Thanks for sharing! 

  10. Love Love Love fish sticks, yours look so  delish!  Happy New Year!  xoxo

  11. We are eating fish very often as there is a market 300m away from my place. We slowly start to run out of ideas for recipes. It is a nice idea for next dinner :)

  12. Fish sticks were a huge favorite of mine as a good (good enough to be my birthday dinner for several years).  These sound so good and triggered my old cravings for fish sticks!

  13. I have actually never had fish sticks, but I do love fish!! These look so great and I am loving that they are baked and not fired. I sort hate frying. I mean, I will do it because it is so good, but I hate it!

  14. I totally used to LOVE fish sticks as a kid, but the last time I tried to make the frozen kind–well, let’s just say that we had all the kitchen windows open for a few days. Making our own sounds like a much better, MUCH tastier idea!

  15. Fish sticks are totally a comfort food I turn to when my husband isn’t around also.  So much so that tonight when I got home from work I checked the freezer on the off chance there were some in there.  No such luck and too cold to go to the grocery store to make some but I am definitely pinning this. Thanks.

  16. My husband would love these fish sticks! And the mayo sounds amazing :)

  17. I made your fish sticks for dinner tonight. They were delicious. I substituted cocktail sauce for the mayonnaise. Crispy and tangy!

  18. I laughed when you said your husband think them gross. I prefer to make them for myself and when entertaining, but frozen works just a good curled up with a fave movie.

    Lisa @ Girl at the Beach.

  19. My husband isn’t much of a fan of fish in general, especially fish sticks, so I only eat them when he’s not home too!  These homemade ones look good!

  20. I love using panko with fish! This looks fantastic! 

  21. I remember eating Captain Gordon fish sticks when I was growing up.  I probably haven’t had one in 20 years.  These look way better than the frozen ones.

  22. I am not crazy about frozen fish sticks myself, but these look delicious!

  23. Oooh – yum! Like fish fingers, but better. Homemade. And healthier. LOVE.

  24. I can’t wait to try these – we recently had homemade fish sticks at a fish market but they were fried. Inspired to try them baked!

  25. Yum! This is totally up my street, I’ll definitely be making this soon! 

  26. Haven’t had fish sticks in the longest time, but I can bet these are about a million times better than the last version I tried.  Plus, I’m obsessed with capers, so the sauce is right up my alley!  

    I LOVE turbot–and I’ve heard porgy is great too, but haven’t tried it yet.  Apparently it’s very sustainable, which is another major plus :) 

  27. Oh Lindsay! You’re a gal after my own heart. We love fish sticks in this house. I grew up eating Saturday night meals of fish sticks and tater tots. Nowhere near as fancy and beautiful as yours though! These are a must make.

  28. I have actually never had a fish stick! Crazy right? But, I love fish and I love panko…plus lemon and capers is one the best combos with fish! These look like a must try….I’d rather have  a home made fish stick for my first experience fo’ sho’! Pinned!

  29. These look delicious, I think I’ll have to try the recipe very soon!

  30. WOW!! that looks so delicious! have to try that asap!!

  31. I LOVED frozen fish sticks growing up! and I see nothing wrong with eating them as an adult either, especially when they’re homemade like these. they look so freaking delicious… and that sauce…. yum! I’ll be trying these ASAP!

  32. I don’t eat fish anymore, but growing up, I have VIVID memories of fish sticks for lent, for when the budget was being stretched, and just…all the time. But they never looked nearly as good as yours. Omg they’re beautiful! And love the capers in the mayo! pinned

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