Even if you’re heading in a more flexitarian direction with your family food, exposing children to a wide variety of fish is really important – so much so that the government recommends two portions per week. Oily fish like salmon and sardines pack a punch of heart-healthy omega-3 whilst white fish is a brilliant source of low-fat protein, which is all good for your growing brood!
I must confess to being a fish finger snob, though. If I do make a purchase, I make sure it’s a finger made from fillet so that it’s less processed, and I have also struggled to move away from childhood comfort food of cod towards a more sustainable alternative like pollock, it just doesn’t taste the same. I know, what a fusspot. So, it makes sense that I try making my own, less processed version.
With this recipe, you can mix up the type of fish you use and the items you serve it with. As with any fussy eating advice, I recommend serving up a wide variety of fish types regardless of whether it’s been previously rejected. Just make sure you have some safe foods served up alongside so that you don’t have a starving child on your hands by bedtime!
As a sandwich (obvs) – including comfort condiments such as ketchup and mayo, but also some salad or avo
With a sweet potato jacket or wedges and veggies like carrots and broccoli
With chips or fries and a salad
As tacos – basically fish fajitas in wraps, avocado, salsa, cheese etc
5 mins prep
20 mins cooking time
25 mins total
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil and oil spray if desired
- Fish – typically 1 fillet or loin per adult and half per child – cut into finger shapes or chunks
- 50-100g polenta (grained variety)
- 1/4 tbsp sweet smoked paprika (this is for colour, so can be swapped out for a similar alternative)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (also for colour)
- 1 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
- Preheat oven to 200*C or 180*C fan.
- Split the oil between two low-sided baking trays and preheat in the oven as you would for making roasties.
- Mix sweet paprika, turmeric and garlic powder into polenta grains and place grain mix on a plate, you will use this to coat each fish finger, so you need a flat surface.
- Gently dip each fish finger into polenta, turning over to coat fish thoroughly – there is no need for egg or oil, the fish should be wet enough to simply get coated – place on a clean plate – some may break up, that’s fine.
- When oil is hot, take the baking trays out of the oven and gently place the fish fingers on baking trays well spaced out and gently turn over to coat with oil, this will make them crispy and take colour. Use oil spray if you prefer less handling.
- Bake in the oven for 10-20 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish and the temperature it started at – I usually let the smells guide me – a cooked smell emerges as a signal that I should check them. Turning them halfway is also good for getting a crispy coating, but not essential.
- When the time is up, and the smell is good, check one of the fishfingers to be sure you’re not serving up raw fish! Pop back in for a few more minutes if the fish doesn’t flake apart or look opaque all the way through
By Alex Thurman from Feedthebrood.com for Lovedbyparents.