These Homemade Fish Fingers are ultra crispy and super easy to make. Plus, they’re baked – not fried!
Look, I’m a sucker for a box of Birds Eye frozen fish fingers, but there’s just something so satisfying about making your own fish fingers! Plus they’re so delicious too. Follow me…
CRISPY Fish Fingers
Okay, so the key to these fish fingers being so crispy is an awesome breadcrumb. Two game-changers regarding the crumb:
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These are perfect because they’re so big and airy, meaning they crisp up really well.
- Pre-Toasting – Before coating the fish, you’ll want to toast the breadcrumbs until golden. Because the fish cooks so quickly, if you don’t pre-toast the breadcrumbs the fish will dry out by the time the breadcrumbs crisp up. Plus, you get some added flavour with the butter.
If you didn’t want to fry in butter, you can always toast the breadcrumbs in the oven with a few sprays of oil. Just spread out on a baking tray, spray with oil and toast at 180C/350F for 4-5mins.
Process shots: add butter to pan (photo 1), melt (photo 2), add breadcrumbs (photo 3), toast until golden (photo 4).
Making Fish Fingers
What fish is used in fish fingers?
Some store-bought fish fingers use a combination of different white fish, but classically you’ll see something like cod being used. Personally, I like using cod, but most white fish works great as fish fingers. Haddock and Pollock are my next picks.
What cut of fish to use?
Loins or fillets are great, just try and get large (and preferably long) pieces so they’re easy to dice into wedges. In all cases you’ll want to make sure the fish is skinless.
Breading the fish fingers
Once you’ve diced your fish into wedges, you’ll want to pat them dry, then dredge through flour, egg and the toasted breadcrumbs. I like to sneak some parmesan in to the breadcrumbs, just for an extra punch of savoury flavour AND for a little extra crispiness too. I also season the flour and breadcrumbs with a little paprika, onion & garlic powder and salt & white pepper.
Process shots: dice fish (photos 1&2), pat dry (photo 3), coat in seasoned flour (photo 4), coat in beaten egg (photo 5), coat in seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan (photo 6).
Baked Fish Fingers
No need to fry these! They come out perfectly crispy in the oven.
Using a Wire Rack
This isn’t a deal-breaker, but by elevating the fish fingers on a wire rack, you allow the hot air to circulate the fish fingers a little better. This in turn helps crisp them up more evenly.
You’ll want to bake them at a fairly high temp, just so the breading gets a chance to crisp up before the fish dries out.
Process shots: spray fish fingers with oil (photo 1), bake until golden/crispy (photo 2).
Top Tips for making Fish Fingers
- Size of wedges: When you slice the fish into wedges, you’ll want to slice them slightly larger than what you plan them to end up like. They shrink a fair bit in the oven, so just be careful you don’t end up with fish stumps instead of fingers 😅
- Removing moisture: It’s important to thoroughly pat the fish fingers dry before you coat them. The more water that’s left on the fish, the more they’ll steam in the oven and the softer the breadcrumbs will be.
- Leaving to rest: Once they’re out of the oven, just let them rest for a couple of mins, just to allow the final bit of steam to escape. They’ll crisp up slightly more as they rest.
Serving Fish Fingers
Once they’re out of the oven I like to finish with a pinch of salt, just for a final bit of seasoning, and to help draw out the final bit of moisture from the breading. I also like a gentle squeeze of lemon juice when serving up, but that’s totally optional!
These are great with Fries, Wedges or even Mash, classically paired with peas or baked beans. Also great in a Fish Finger Sandwich (soft white bread, lemon juice or malt vinegar, lots of butter and either ketchup or Tartar sauce). You could also whip up some Fish Finger Tacos!
After another similar recipe? Check out my Homemade Filet-O-Fish!
Alright, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these fish fingers shall we?!
How to make Fish Fingers (Full Recipe & Video)
Homemade Fish Fingers
- Small Pan & Wooden Spoon (for breadcrumbs)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board (to slice fish)
- Paper Towels (to dry fish)
- 3 Large Shallow Bowls (for dredging fish)
- Wire Rack & Baking Tray (to bake fish fingers)
- Small Pot or Bowl (for seasoning)
Ingredients (check list):
- 1.2lb / 600g Skinless Cod Loins or Fillets (see notes)
- 1 1/4 cups / 75g Panko Breadcrumbs (see notes)
- 1/3 cup / 50g Flour
- 1/4 cup / 20g finely grated Parmesan
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 heaped tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp EACH: Paprika, Salt
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, White Pepper
- Oil Spray, as needed
- Breadcrumbs: Add 1 heaped tbsp butter to a pan and melt over medium heat. Add Panko breadcrumbs and fry for 5mins, or until the breadcrumbs turn golden, stirring & shaking the pan frequently. Place in a dish to one side and leave to cool.
- Seasoning: In a small pot or bowl combine 1 tsp paprika & salt with 1/4 tsp onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Place to one side.
- Prep Fish: Slice fish into 12 large wedges. You're looking to get them around 1" x 4.5-5", which seems quite big, but they will shrink so cut them slightly larger than what you imagine them ending up like. Thoroughly pat the fish dry with paper towels, then speedily move on to the next step, as the fish becomes watery the longer it rests (can pat dry again just before dredging if you need to).
- Coat: Line up 3 large shallow bowls. The first with flour with half of the seasoning mix. The second with 2 beaten eggs. The third with the toasted breadcrumbs, parmesan and the rest of your seasoning mix. One by one dip the fish into the flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs, ensuring you fully coat at each stage (especially the breadcrumbs).
- Bake: Space out on an oiled wire rack above a baking tray (don't cram together or they'll steam on each other as they cook). Spray them with oil, then pop them in the oven at 220C/425F for around 12-15mins, or until golden and crispy all over. Allow to rest for a few mins (they will crisp slightly more as they cool).
- Serve: Finish with a pinch of extra salt (optional) then carefully remove from the wire rack and serve up!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
If you loved this Fish Fingers Recipe then be sure to pin it for later! Already made them or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!