Fish sticks are a strange product of modern convenience. Those uniform rectangles don’t seem like they should be called food, let alone fish. Nevertheless, I like them — the Trident brand sold at Costco, anyway. They’re not too greasy and the fish isn’t ground up and extruded.
On that appetizing note, let me just say that I do not consider fish sticks, not even my favored brand, seafood. I like fish sticks for what they are — crunchy, easy to prepare, and fairly nutritious for fast food. Because of this, fish sticks are one of my freezer staples.
Everyone knows how to read the back of the package and heat up the fish sticks, but take a moment to note how you arrange the fish sticks for baking. Do you line them up like good soldiers, evenly spaced, the way I do, or do you, like my sister, Jacqueline, find that ridiculously hilarious and dump yours out in a random pile? I think this says something about a person; I’m not sure what.
So here are my Quick Fix ideas for this rectangular food.
Quick Fix #1: Fish Taco
The best fish tacos I ever had were made with fresh mahi mahi on the beach in Kauai. This is not that kind of fish taco, but it’s not too bad in its own right.
The basics: Warm corn tortillas on a lightly greased griddle. Add fish sticks and thinly sliced cabbage and/or lettuce. Top with sour cream, grated cheese, and salsa.
Optional additions: Avocado slices, rice, black beans, corn, chopped red onion, tomatoes, cilantro.
Quick Fix #2: Wrap
Warm a burrito sized flour tortilla with a slice of cheese (American cheese makes it taste more like a standard fish stick sandwich, but try something different like Cabot’s horseradish cheese). Spread tartar sauce on the tortilla. Add lettuce or arugula. Stack about 4 fish sticks on one end of the tortilla. Roll and secure with a toothpick.
Quick Fix #3: The Obvious
Same as above, except substitute a hamburger bun.
Quick Fix #4: Finger Food
Sometimes I just have fish sticks, tartar sauce, and a side of celery/carrots/cucumbers. You can use the tartar sauce as a veggie dip. Relatively low carb, if you care about such things, and very quick.
What’s your take on this rectangular fish?
HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE
This is the way my mom always made it, and it has more flavor than the typical Hellman’s. As with most things my mom makes, there’s no real recipe. Here are the approximate amounts for a serving or two. Adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
- 1 T mayonnaise
- 1 t ketchup
- 1/2 t sweet relish (more if you like it more tart)
- 1/2 t horseradish (spicy horseradish gives it a good kick)
If you’re in a hurry, just blop mayo, horseradish, and relish (ketchup optional) right onto the fish sticks.