Tilapia fish sticks

How’s this for a retro recipe?

I would just like to say that you are never too old to eat fish sticks. But making them yourself is the way to go.

This was another thing I found in Real Simple. I really heart that magazine. I pulled out the ’10 things to do with tilapia’ feature, because I know it’s one of those things we buy a lot even though we’re not sure what we’re going to do with it.

Here’s the basic technique. You can definitely season up your breadcrumbs to make it more interesting, or whip up a yummy dipping sauce. (I made a simple tartar sauce with light mayo, pickle relish, and a little black pepper.)

Cut 3 large tilapia filets into sticks. I got roughly 8 from each piece of fish.

Set up 3 pans for your batter station — I like to use cake pans because I have so many of them from the wedding cake project!

• 1/2 cup flour
• 2 beaten eggs
• 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

For the frying part, you can use a skillet, but I like to use a saute pan. Fill it up to about 1/2 inch with vegetable oil. I used a mix of olive and canola oil. You want this on medium-high heat.

You could also bake these in the oven. But you won’t get that pretty golden color, and you won’t get the same crunch you get with frying. This is definitely one of those recipes where you’re going to have to turn on the portion control to make up for the full fat. But I’d still rather do that than make something that doesn’t taste good.

OK, so when you’ve got a few sticks breaded, drop them into the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning them over if one size isn’t getting browned. Scoop them out and drain them over paper towels.

Serve with cole slaw, salad, oven fries, or just about any summery side.