Panko-crusted fish sticksChristmas was a lovely time spent with family. We enjoyed great food, quality family time and experienced the joy of tearing into present after present through the eyes of our daughter (I posted a couple Christmas photos on Instagram). The day after Christmas was spent hanging out with Juliet, taking a nap (when she napped, the best) and meeting my mom and brother for lunch. I love having laid back, relaxing days after the holidays.

I am off work until January 2 and I’m beyond ecstatic about this. I’m not sure I’ve ever needed a break from work more. It’s just been a busy past 6 months and having a toddler and working long, stressful hours…oh man, it’s tough. But that’s what time off is for; rejuvenating, recharging…so that you can return to the office happy, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

These fish sticks were a random, what should we have for lunch meal last weekend. Erik and I always have tilapia fillets in our freezer. Tilapia is a mild, white fish that you can spruce up in a 20 minute meal. And it’s an affordable fish as well. So after a quick tilapia fish sticks search online, I found this great recipe.
Panko-crusted fish sticksThis may just be my new favorite way of serving tilapia. It’s super easy to prep and the breading is so crunchy and full of flavor. The herb dipping sauce adds freshness with lemon and herbs. These were a hit with Erik and Juliet. She loves anything that comes with a “dip dip” and these fish sticks were no exception. And I love that they are so much healthier than prepared, in-the-box fish sticks.

Panko-crusted fish sticks with herb dipping sauce (recipe via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs tilapia filets, cut into strips
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (see note)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Place egg in a wide, shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the panko, Old Bay Seasoning and olive oil.

Dip tilapia strips into egg, shaking off excess, then into the panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake until lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, parsley, mustard and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Serve fish sticks with sauce.

Note, I didn’t have fresh parsley so I substituted 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill, which worked well.