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Fish sticks are convenient, but frequently not a good buy.  Pick the breading off a thawed raw fish stick some time and weigh it on a postal  or kitchen scale.  See how much you're paying for crumbs, preservatives, salt and mystery grease.  Not all fish sticks are a bad buy, of course, mostly just the cheapest, smallest ones and most breaded shrimp.   In actuality, there's a tastier, healthier and usually cheaper way to serve this treat.   And when you buy un-breaded fish, you're paying only for fish, not for leftover crumbs.

Quick & Healthy Fish Sticks

boneless fish fillets
flour, corn meal, cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
Old bay seasoning or your choice of spices
salt
black pepper
egg or egg white
cooking spray

Cut fish into fish stick size, or squares if you prefer.  Don't make them too thick, and try to make them the same thickness and size.  Note that if you make them too thin, however, they will tend to be dry. 

If you wish to make extra to freeze, soak them for about ten minutes in milk.  Lay them out on wax paper, not quite touching, on trays or flat dishes which will fit in your freezer.  Freeze solid, then remove promptly and pack in labeled zipper freezer bags. 

Mix crumbs or flour with seasonings, salt and black pepper.  Make up a fairly good quantity.  What you don't use right away, pour into a labeled, zipper freezer bag for easy future use.  (Do not re-use unless stored in a freezer, as the fish juice can cause disease organisms to grow in the breading mix if left outside the freezer.)

To use frozen fish:  lay pieces out on a plate in a single layer for an hour or three in the refrigerator or for about 15 minutes on the counter.  They may still be partly frozen, but that's okay.   Don't leave out of the refrigerator longer or they may start to spoil.

Beat an egg; you may use the whites only if you are on a fat-restricted or low cholesterol diet.   Dip fish in egg and shake off excess.  Dip in flour/crumb mixture.  Shake off excess again.

Lay on a plate in a single layer.  Spray with cooking spray. 

Place a very little vegetable oil in a skillet or griddle to liberally grease the surface.   Place on medium heat.  When hot, add fish, sprayed side down. 

While fish browns on one side, spray the top side with cooking spray.  Turn to brown on the other side.

If you are cooking a large amount of fish, you can prepare them in the oven instead of on the stovetop.    Preheat oven to 375░ F.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.   Lay fish sprayed side down, not quite touching.  Spray tops and sides of fish.  Bake until hot and golden-brown, turning once if desired.

Serve hot with tartar sauce, ketchup or favorite dipping sauce.  Let kids, picnickers and sports fans eat them with their fingers.   Enjoy!

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