Super crispy from the outside and juicy from the inside, these Homemade Fish Fingers are a breeze to make. You just can’t go wrong with this delicious and easy recipe.
Here are some more fish recipes that are my favorite from the blog – Furikake Salmon, Crispy Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw, Honey Garlic Fish, Spicy Fish Fry, Kerala Fish Curry, and Chettinad Fish Fry.
About Fish Fingers
These Homemade Crispy Fish Fingers are a delicious appetizer where batons of boneless fish are mixed with a spicy seasoning, coated with flour and egg, and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. You can easily bake or air fry them for a healthier version.
This yummy appetizer is super crispy on the outside, and soft and juicy on the inside, and is just what you need to kick off your game or movie night.
Fish fingers are super easy to make and come together in under 50 minutes using a few simple ingredients.
Fish – You will need boneless fillets of any white fish cut into fingers (batons). Tilapia, cod, swai, or haddock works great. Use fresh or frozen fish to make this fish finger recipe. If using frozen fish, make sure to thaw it before using it.
Marination – Marination ingredients give a very nice flavor to this dish – I have used freshly squeezed lime juice, ground turmeric, red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, and ginger garlic paste to make the marinade.
You can adjust the red pepper flakes and black pepper as per your taste.
Batter – Coating the fingers with a batter before frying makes them crispy and crunchy from the outside. I have used a mix of cornstarch, all-purpose flour, rice flour, eggs, and baking soda to make the batter.
You can also add lemon zest, onion powder, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, and garlic powder to the batter.
Bread Crumbs – Finally, you will need bread crumbs to coat the batter-covered fish. Crumbs will keep the batter in place and make the fish fingers even crispier. I used panko breadcrumbs but you can use Italian style or regular fine breadcrumbs.
How To Make Fish Fingers
Marinate The Fingers
Start by washing 10 oz (300 g) boneless fish fillets. If using frozen fillets, make sure to thaw them.
Once washed, wipe them well using a kitchen towel.
Cut the fillets into batons (fingers) using a sharp kitchen knife following the natural lines of the fillet. The strips should be approximately ½ inch wide and 2 inches long.
Transfer the fingers to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
Mix everything well using your clean fingers and set aside for 10 minutes.
Make The Batter To Coat The Fingers
Stir together 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon rice flour, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, 2 large eggs, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda in another medium-size mixing bowl.
Add the marinated fish to this mixture and keep it aside for another 10 minutes.
Fry The Fingers
Heat 4-5 cups of vegetable oil over high heat in a medium-size skillet.
Once the oil is hot, set the heat to medium.
Coat the fish fingers with bread crumbs and drop them in hot oil.
Note – Do not coat the fingers with breadcrumbs and keep them. Coat them one by one and keep dropping them in oil immediately after coating.
Deep fry the fingers until golden brown on medium heat. Keep flipping them once in a while using a slotted spoon. Do not overcrowd the pan while frying the fingers. Fry them in batches, otherwise, they will not turn out crispy.
Once the fingers are browned and crispy, drain them on a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve hot with a dipping sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any white fish like cod, haddock, basa, tilapia, catfish, barramundi, etc works great for making this recipe. Salmon also works fine.
Avoid using lean fish like tuna, and swordfish as they dry out quickly.
If you are looking for a healthier version of this snack, then you can bake it instead of deep-frying, it comes out equally delicious.
I suggest toasting the breadcrumbs for 5 minutes before coating the fish pieces with them. The cook time of fish is less and the crumbs will not brown well in that time. Toasting the crumbs lightly before coating the fish with them make sure they are perfectly browned as soon as the fish is cooked.
To toast the crumbs, spread them on a baking sheet and lightly spray them with oil. Bake for 5 minutes at 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Remove the tray from the oven and let the crumbs cool down slightly. Then use them to coat the marinated fish fingers.
Once you finish the process of coating, keep the fingers aside. Keep a metal rack on top of a baking sheet and spray it with olive oil or any oil of your choice.
Place the breadcrumbs-coated fingers on the rack and put the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fingers are nicely browned and the fish is cooked through.
Arrange the coated fingers in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer.
Fry at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 10 minutes.
Open the basket, shake the fingers once, and then fry them again for another 2 minutes. You will get a beautiful appetizer without a drop of oil.
Coat the fish as per the recipe. Now drizzle a few teaspoons of oil in a pan and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is slightly hot, add the breadcrumb-coated fish fingers and cook from all sides till they turn crispy and brown.
Preheat your grill to medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Brush or spray your fish fingers with some oil.
Cook from all sides until crisp and golden.
If you don’t have bread crumbs, you can use poha (flattened rice) instead. Just grind them coarsely and use them instead of bread crumbs. They are a healthier alternative to breadcrumbs. You can also use crushed cornflakes to coat the fish.
Pro Tips By Neha
Add some shredded parmesan cheese to the marinade for a nice umami flavor.
Add a little mayonnaise to the batter to make the covering crunchier.
Make sure to pat dry the fish before marinating.
Fry on medium heat for the best result.
Do not use lean fish otherwise, they will become too dry.
These also taste great with Mayonnaise, Tomato Ketchup, or Dahi Chutney.
You can marinate the fingers and store them in the fridge for about 2 hours. The time you want to serve, coat them with flour, and bread crumbs, and deep fry them. Serve hot with your favorite dip.
You can also freeze uncooked breadcrumb-coated fingers to fry later. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and arrange the coated fingers on the tray in a single layer. Cover the tray with plastic wrap. Freeze them completely (4-5 hours) and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Freeze for 15 to 18 months.
Make sure to thaw these before you deep fry them. Once you thaw them, you have to use them immediately, you cannot freeze them again.
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Homemade Crispy Fish Fingers Recipe
To Marinate The Fish
- 10 ounces boneless fish fillets (300 g, fresh or frozen)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
To Make The Batter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon rice flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
To Coat The Fish
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
To Fry The Fingers
- vegetable oil
Marinate The Fingers
- Start by washing fish fillets. If using frozen fillets, make sure to thaw them.
- Once washed, wipe them well using a kitchen towel.
- Cut the fillets into batons (fingers) using a sharp kitchen knife following the natural lines of the fillet. The strips should be approximately ½ inch wide and 2 inches long.
- Transfer the fingers to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add salt, lime juice, turmeric, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and ginger garlic paste.
- Mix everything well using your clean fingers and set aside for 10 minutes.
Make The Batter To Coat The Fingers
- Stir together all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, eggs, and baking soda in another medium-size mixing bowl.
- Add the marinated fish to this mixture and keep it aside for another 10 minutes.
Fry The Fingers
- Heat 4-5 cups of vegetable oil over high heat in a medium-size skillet.
- Once the oil is hot, set the heat to medium.
- Coat the fish fingers with bread crumbs and drop them in hot oil.
- Note – Do not coat the fingers with breadcrumbs and keep them. Coat them one by one and keep dropping them in oil immediately after coating.
- Deep fry the fingers until golden brown on medium heat. Keep flipping them once in a while using a slotted spoon. Do not overcrowd the pan while frying the fingers. Fry them in batches, otherwise, they will not turn out crispy.
- Once the fingers are browned and crispy, drain them on a plate lined with paper tissues.
- Serve hot with a dipping sauce.