Tonawanda News

June 9, 2013

Grown-up fish sticks

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The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — When I was growing up I very rarely ate prepared frozen foods. We sat down to dinner for a freshly cooked, lovingly prepared meal every night. The exception was on nights when my parents went out and we were treated to TV dinners, chicken pot pies or fish sticks. Oh, how I loved those nights! 

I particularly loved the fish sticks. 

These days I don’t particularly want to eat frozen prepared food but I still like fish sticks. It’s just that nowadays I like my fish sticks with a little more pizzazz than the frozen ones we had on my parents’ date night. 

With just five ingredients — and I do mean five — and about 30 minutes, you can whip up these toasty, coconut-crusted, gluten-free fish sticks that I am sure your family will love. 

And by the way, those five ingredients even include a simple but amazing sauce. The sauce is ready in about 30 seconds. All you do is stir together some mayonnaise and gluten-free tamari soy sauce. 

You can serve these as an appetizer or steam some carrots or broccoli for a complete meal. Or you can add a little salad and maybe some mashed potatoes or rice and you have a well-rounded, kid and adult friendly meal on the table in not much longer than it would have taken to cook up a batch of frozen fish sticks. 

And trust me – these will taste so much better.

Gluten-free coconut fish sticks

11⁄2 pounds tilapia filets 

1⁄4 cup plus 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce 

1 large egg 

21⁄2 cups coconut flakes 

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

Position oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. 

Line two baking sheets with foil and spray generously with gluten free, non-stick cooking spray. 

Cut the tilapia filets in half lengthwise down the center line. Half again lengthwise then cut in half crosswise. 

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl with 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce. Place the coconut flakes on a plate. 

Dip the strips of fish into the egg, shake off the excess liquid and then dip into the coconut. Press down so the coconut adheres to the fish strips. 

Place on the prepared baking sheets and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake until fish is golden brown and feels firm to the touch, about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure to rotate the baking sheets from the top rack to the bottom rack halfway through. 

Whisk the remaining 1⁄4 cup gluten-free soy sauce with the mayonnaise. Serve the fish sticks with the sauce.

Carol Kicinski is a gluten-free cook, magazine editor and blog writer. Find more of her recipes at www.simplygluten-free.com.