Make your own fresh fish sticks with tilapia filets and forget those soggy frozen fish sticks.
Total Cost: $6.22 recipe / $1.56 serving
1lbapproximately 4 tilapia filets $4.99
1/2cupall-purpose flour $0.08
1tspcajun seasoning $0.10
2large eggs $0.24
1 1/2cupspanko breadcrumbs $0.65
1/4cupvegetable oil $0.16
Thaw the tilapia filets (if frozen) by running the sealed packets under cool water for about 5 minutes. Slice each filet length-wise into two or three pieces (depending on width) and then horizontally to yield 4-6 sticks (see photos below).
Prepare the breading station by collecting three bowls. In the first bowl combine the flour and cajun seasoning (or salt, pepper, any other seasonings). In the second bowl whisk two eggs. In the third bowl place the panko bread crumbs.
Bread the tilapia sticks by first coating in seasoned flour then dipping in egg and finally coating in panko crumbs. Place the breaded sticks on a plate until all of the sticks have been breaded.
Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium/high heat. When the pan is very hot it is ready for the fish (a drop of water will sizzle furiously when dropped in the skillet) . Place half of the sticks in the pan and cook on each side until golden brown in color. Drain the fish sticks on a plate covered with paper towel. Wipe out the pan, add the rest of the vegetable oil (2 Tbsp) and cook the second half of the fish sticks the same way.