If I told my twins we were having fish for tea they would groan and most likely say something like “we don’t like fish!” However, if I offered to make fish fingers they would cheer. I learned very early on to call things by names which would make them acceptable to small and fussy children! So in an effort to encourage them to eat more fish, or trick them into it, (same difference!), I decided to try out making homemade fish fingers with them. Kids love eating things they have made themselves and these are really simple to make. There are a great many recipes out there with the same idea. I first came across a similar version by Rachel Allen using salmon, but you can use any fish. You can also use any flour and any breadcrumbs whether shop-bought or home made. I keep a packet of shop-bought breadcrumbs in the freezer so that I can use a handful for these whenever I need it. You can add Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs for more flavour if you like.
One small tip – things take longer than you can imagine if you are involving your kids so leave plenty of time! Oh, and be prepared for some mess….
You will need:
Fish (any fish, I used hake today, just make sure there are no bones in whatever you choose. 1 x medium fillet or 2 x small ones would be perfect for two toddlers)
2 x large spoons of Flour
1 x beaten egg
3 x plates or bowls
1 x baking sheet
Sunflower or vegetable oil
1 – Preheat your over to 190 degrees
2 – Sprinkle some flour onto one of the plates, the beaten egg onto another plate, and the breadcrumbs onto the third plate
3 – Slice the fish into “finger” sized portions
4 – Brush some oil onto the baking tray to prevent the fish fingers from sticking
5 – Dip the fish slices into the flour first
6 – Next dip the fingers into the egg making sure to coat them all over. You can loosen the egg with a little water or milk if you have a lot of fish to coat
7 – Finally roll the fish in the breadcrumbs and place them on the baking tray
8 – Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is completely cooked through.
These can be served with whatever your kids will eat. Rice and carrots feature regularly in our house, but mashed potato or home-made wedges are equally great options. They also make great sandwiches or fish “burgers” for a more casual lunch.
(For the delicious Rachel Allen salmon version see “Salmon fish fingers with a tomato and basil dip” in Home Cooking (Harper Collins, 2009) page 266.)