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Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks: The Secret to Low-fat Frying
When I got married a few years ago, we had guests from all over the country for several days of parties. After it was over, everyone agreed that the most memorable food was an array of fried appetizers -- okra, artichokes and french fries -- served in tiny little baskets straight out of the fryer.
Who doesn't love fried food? The problem, as we all know, is that frying is not particularly healthy. That is why faux-frying techniques are such great news. At EatingWell, where I'm the food editor, we have an easy oven-frying technique that delivers a crisp, seasoned exterior and moist, tender interior without all the fat and calories of deep-frying. For the basic technique, coat your food in breading of some sort, spray it with oil and then bake it on a rack. An oil spray bottle does the job nicely, and cooking spray works as well.
Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks is just one of the oven-frying recipes we've created with great success here.
You can make these homemade fish sticks in about the same amount of time it takes to bake a box of the frozen kind, but you'll only be eating a fraction of the fat.
Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks Recipe Ingredients
Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup whole-wheat dry breadcrumbs (see note) or 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1 cup whole-grain cereal flakes
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 pound tilapia fillets (see note), cut into 1/2-by-3-inch strips
Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks Recipe Instructions
Preheat oven to 450 F. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.
Place breadcrumbs, cereal flakes, lemon pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt in a food processor or blender and process until finely ground. Transfer to a shallow dish.
Place flour in a second shallow dish and egg whites in a third shallow dish. Dredge each strip of fish in the flour, dip it in the egg and then coat all sides with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on the prepared rack. Coat both sides of the breaded fish with cooking spray.
Bake until the fish is cooked through and the breading is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.
Ingredient notes: We like Ian's brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled "Panko breadcrumbs." Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. (To make fine dry breadcrumbs, process until very fine.) Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250 F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
U.S. farm-raised tilapia is a better choice for the environment because it is usually grown in closed farming systems that limit pollution.
Fish Sticks Recipe Nutrition Facts
Per serving: 289 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 57 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 4 g fiber; 373 mg sodium; 436 mg potassium
Nutrition bonus: Folate (19 percent daily value).
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 2 starch, 3 very lean meat
Fish Sticks, Healthy
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Homemade Low-Fat Fish Sticks & the Secret to Low-fat Frying
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