food 4 tots

Oven baked fish fingers

oven baked fish fingers, fish fingers, fish sticks, fish nuggets, fish bites, toddlers, Food-4Tots, fish and chips


Source: Adapted and modified from You Can Cook (A step by step cookbook for kids) by Annabel Karmel and Annabel Karmel Family Cookbook.

Japanese panko crumbs, breadcrumbs, Oven baked fish fingers, fish fingers, fish sticks, fish nuggets, fish bites, toddlers, Food-4Tots, fish and chips
380g skinless fish fillets (such as sole, flounder, tilapia or other firm white fish) [note 1]
5 tbsp plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
20g dried breadcrumbs (normal)
20g panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs), refer to photo at the right [note 4]
20g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
Pinch of salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into strips (1/2 inch thick x ¾ inch width). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Set up your assemble line. Get ready with 3 bowls (even plates or small pan sheets are possible) which are large enough for coating the strips.
  4. The first one is for flour.
  5. The second one (preferably use bowl) is for egg. Crack an egg and whisk well. You may want to add a little bit (eg ¼ tsp) of milk or water to dilute the beaten egg.
  6. The third one is for breadcrumb mixture. Mix breadcrumbs, Parmersan cheese, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper together.
  7. Toss each strip in the flour and shake off any excess. To minimize any messiness, continue for the remaining strips before moving on to the next step.
  8. Next, dip the strip into the egg mixture and allow extra egg liquid to drip back into the bowl.
  9. Then coat the strip with the breadcrumb mixture. Slightly press the strip into the crumbs to make sure it is well coated. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes. It will help the coating adhere to the strip better.
  10. Prepare a baking sheet (I lined it with non-stick parchment paper but it’s optional). Brush/ spray some oil on the sheet/paper.
  11. Arrange strips in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Drizzle or spray some oil over the strips.
  12. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the fish is cooked through (eg flakes easily). Turning halfway through. Adjust the baking time according to the thickness of your fillet. Do not overcook the fish as it will be dry and hard.
  13. Transfer to serving plates and allow it to cool a little before serving.
  14. Best to dip in some sauce such as ketchup, sweet chilli sauce or tartar sauce.


  1. Instead of strips, you may also cut them into the size of mini nugget.
  2. You may not use all of the coating, but having more will make your work easier.
  3. Use either a pair of tongs or clean hands to coat the fish.
  4. Crushed cornflakes or cream crackers also make a good coating. Wrap them in a tea towel or put them in a plastic bag. Then, smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits up with your hands. Alternatively, you may use only normal breadcrumbs.
  5. For kids who are not ready for paprika and garlic powder, you can omit them. It works equally well too.
  6. If you don’t have oven, you can pan-fry these fish fingers too. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat, pan fry the fish fingers for 1½  to 2 minutes on each side until golden and the fish is cooked. Drain on kitchen paper and allow to cool a little before serving.

oven baked fish fingers, step by step, fish fingers, fish sticks, fish nuggets, fish bites, toddlers, Food-4Tots, fish and chips

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  1. Alice says:

    So tempting fish fingers! Good to share and satisfy our stomach! 😀

  2. noobcook says:

    woah, this is so good. And oven-baked means less oily too, can indulge in a few more =)

  3. tigerfish says:

    I love fish fingers too! esp when they are homemade. yum yum…

    Used to eat them with bread when I was much younger. Dad and Mom say it’s breakfast! ahhaha

  4. Oh I looove your playful plate! This will bring wonderful conversation and laughter for lunch/dinner time! My kids actually prefer fish than chicken and this will definitely be a great hit at our house. And I like it’s oven baked recipe. I need to learn how to use oven for deep fry dish. I should try with paprika and garlic powder next time. You really write thorough recipe and I love it!

  5. I love the fact that it’s oven – baked and it can look super crispy and crunchy too!

  6. I love fish fingers.. love your photos especially the one you’ve made a face of you and your son

  7. Saw your picture on Tastespotting. My little guy turned a year old yesterday. I love making his food and am always looking for new ideas. These look great!

  8. LK, love fish fingers! Yours look so deliciously golden! And they are healthy too 😀

  9. I use to love fish sticks as a kid. Of course those were the gross frozen boxed variety. I may be 25 now but I am definitely going to try this recipe. It looks scrumptious and fun. Thanks for the nostalgic trip down memory lane. Gorgeous photos too!

    • food-4tots says:

      Russell: Before I discovered this baked version, I had been eating the frozen boxed variety for many decades. Hahaha! Thanks for your wonderful compliments! 😉

  10. says:

    Wow, those look way better than the frozen fish sticks I grew up on. Yum!

  11. Ching @ LCOM says:

    How cute and irresistible! Simply delicious!

  12. thalassamov says:

    homemade fish fingers were my mother’s weapon for us kids hating fish.
    ur receipe looks amazing! gonna try it next week with pangasius.
    thank u! 🙂

  13. Wendy says:

    I love your fish fingers. What kind of fish is that in your picture? The fillets I found at my markets are too thin to make it into fingers.

  14. I love the way fish is prepared here. looks healthy as well since it’s oven baked, means no cooking oil.

  15. I love fish sticks (at any age)! These look crispy and delicious.

  16. This dish has been on my must try list for a long time! You have re-inspired me to try it out soon!

  17. mycookinghut says:

    I love fish fingers! I love the second photo, so cute! 🙂

  18. Jackie says:

    These do sound really good. They also sound like a great way to get my kids to try fish. I will have to give it a try. I love the face made with fish and veges.

  19. evelyn says:

    After reading your blog and also the link on which type of fishes to feed toddlers, I am completely loss for words. Because, Snapper, Grouper, Alantic Salmon (Norway), cod, sea bass are commonly found in the supermarket which considered to avoid for small children. And these are the fish I typically served on our dinner. Oh dear, and I juz bought the hallibut from NTUC to make the fish finger 🙁

    • food-4tots says:

      Evelyn: This is something new to me too. According to the reading resources, salmon and cod are still considered safe for toddlers. I think the best is to avoid the high mercury fish and eat the rest moderately based on the recommended amount and frequency. 😉

  20. evelyn says:

    Guess so, anyway my boy has eaten a lot of fish since baby. Thanks for the advice 🙂

  21. Baby says:

    Hi there, I love your blog, simply because it’s a pleasing layout and I believe you are a very detailed person. Looking at the comments, it seems many have yet to try your recipe, safe for a couple of persons. You used western names for your fish recipe. Could you use also local names. Halibut, flounder – where did you get your fish. Did you use frozen? For one, fish like Sole is only found in Tekka market, where the guys will tell you they can fillet it up and u can make a fish and chip . So please use local names, what exactly did you buy at the local market. We know they mainly have snapper, threadfin, pomfret, salmon, cod fish, selar -kembong

    • food-4tots says:

      Baby: Thanks for dropping by and your kind words!! I bought my fish from both NTUC supermarket and wet market (Tampines). I haven’t been to Tekka market so far. I bought halibut fillet from NTUC at the chiller section. It is prepacked and the name of the fish is stated on the price tag. So sorry that I don’t know their local names.

  22. Ling says:

    Hi Lai Kuan,

    I just tried this dish tonight. I didn’t have all the ingredients for seasoning the breadcrumbs and hence used salt, pepper, Italian herb mix and a bit of Cajun seasoning – stuff I have at home. I used only panko as I don’t have the typical breadcrumbs too.

    Taste wise is a bit bland. Perhaps I didn’t use Parmesan cheese? And my breadcrumbs didn’t really brown…it was sort of beigy. Maybe I used all panko.

    But I concocted my own tartar sauce at home and it went well with the fish fingers 🙂

    Hoping to try this again with all ingredients as recommended in your blog 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and BTW, you’re such a creative food decorator! 😀

    • food-4tots says:

      Ling: Thanks for your kind feedback and wonderful compliment. Do give this recipe another change and let me know how it turns out. Glad it goes well with your tartar sauce!

  23. PC says:


    Can I make this in a batch & freeze it?
    If yes, do I freeze it after it’s coated with breadcrumbs? And how long can I put it in freezer?


    • food-4tots says:

      PC: Yes, it is possible to freeze them. After coating with breadcrumbs, put them on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Freeze for 2-3 hours until solid, then transfer to a zip lock bag. Cook them direct from frozen. You may need to extra 30 seconds of cooking time. You can freeze it for 5-6 days. Happy trying! 😉

  24. ting says:

    hi there, your fish fingers look so good with its golden brown colour. mine was a pale yellow instead. wonder if my oven was not hot enough. i didnt want to bake them longer than stated in case they turned out dry. also i used only panko crumbs. do u think it made a difference? i also used frozen fillet that was thawed. did u use freash fish? thanks. so far i can only find frozen halibut in supermarts.

    • food-4tots says:

      Ting: May I know what do you mean by only panko crumbs? How about the rest of the ingredients as listed in the recipe? I think there is nothing wrong using thaw fillet. I used thawed halibut from NTUC. Did you preheat your oven for 15 minutes before baking? Maybe you can leave the fish fingers in the oven for another 2-3 minutes after the baking time (without switching on the power). Also, make sure your fish fingers are well-coated. Hope it helps! 😉

      • ting says:

        i typed too fast – i meant i used only panko crumbs. maybe i didnt coat enough crumbs. hope to try again. tks. 🙂

        • food-4tots says:

          Ting: Did you mean that you only omitted the breadcrumbs from the recipe? If so, then it is better to add it as it will add some brownish to the fish fingers. Give it a try and let me know the outcome. 😉

  25. Good morning, I featured this recipe on my blog today, it looks great! Thanks for allowing me to share. Here is the link

  26. CreativeMind says:

    HI, love this recipe so much! anyways would like to ask if its possible to replace the plain flour with wholemeal flour as a healthier option?

    • food-4tots says:

      CreativeMind: I haven’t tried it out myself but your substitution sounds feasible. Other than that, you can also use wholemeal breadcrumbs to replace normal breadcrumbs. Hope it helps! 😉

  27. Joyce says:

    This was super yum. My 6-yr old liked it so much he had triple serves and my 16-mth old just went umm-umm-crunch away, thank you for this fantastic recipe!

  28. Cynthia says:

    Hi, love your blog. May i know the oven temp setting you use?

  29. Justine says:


    Your website is really helpful giving me ideas to cook healthy food for my toddler! I tried the baked fish fingers yesterday and the result wasn’t too good. The crust was whitish with small parts burned.

    Not sure if its the oven fault or because I didn’t follow ur recipe strictly. I only used plain flour, egg and bread crumbs. I had preheated the oven to 200degree 10mins before using it. Halfway through baking I noticed the fish fingers taking a long time to brown so I had increased the temp to 225 and eventually to 300. I even changed to tray to a higher level so it’s nearer the heating element. In all, the fish fingers took 20mins to bake.

    Do u think its the oven? Cause mine is the tabletop kind. I be having my built in oven soon and looking forward to baking it again.. And hope to see better result.

    Oh ya.. Best part even though my fish fingers didn’t turn looking nice, my son seem to love it anyway haha..

    • food-4tots says:

      Justine: Thanks for your sweet compliment! It should be any problem using a table top oven. I’m using one now. I think 300 degree is too high. Maybe you can bake them at 200 degree for 10 minutes (turning them halfway) and later grill for another 5 minutes (turning them halfway) to get the crispy and browning effect. If possible, use panko crumb and include Parmesan cheese. Hope it helps! Do give it a try again and let me know the results. 😉

  30. […] sticks this week. These are a great source of protein but do read the wise warning from food-4tots here about mercury content in certain […]

  31. Rachel says:

    I just made this for dinner, and my 5 year old asked me if I can make it for dinner every day!! It was a total hit!

  32. Karen says:

    My boy has been avoiding fish for almost half a year now. Tried many different recipes of cooking fish but nothing could whet his appetite for fish. He will usually take one bite and spit it out and push the rest away. Chanced upon this recipe and decided to try. He ate 2 pieces!I’m so happy. This is really easy to make and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Myra says:

    Hi! How can I get in touch with you regarding speaking at a event for mothers? I emailed you on Friday but I’m not sure if you received my email.

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  35. Judee says:

    I tried these once and although they were DELISH and crispy (if eaten immediately after cooking) I couldn’t get them to brown either. They were pale with dark brown patches. I’m wondering if it’s the amount of oil you used. Can you be really specific about how, how much and what kind? You’ve suggested baking AND grilling. Do you mean broiling when you say grilling? I’d really like to get these right so my grand kids will eat some fish. Thanks.

    • food-4tots says:

      Judee: You don’t need a specific amount of oil for this recipe. First, make sure the baking sheet is well-coated with oil. Then, drizzle 3-4 drops of oil onto the fish fillets, depending on their size. My oven has a grilling function with heat source coming from the top. If this is the same for broiling, then you can use it. Another trick you can try is to dry fry (without oil) the panko crumbs until light golden brown first before using them. 🙂

  36. Satita says:

    Hi! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I tried to cook it but for some reason, the coating has never turn golden brown, but the fish is cooked. Do you have any idea what did I done wrong?

    Thanks in advance for the tips!

    • food-4tots says:

      Satita: This is quite a common scenario. Try baking them on a lightly greased baking parchment. This will help them to turn golden brown. Some people dry fry the panko crumbs until they turn slightly golden brown. But if you do so, you need to monitor the baking process closely to avoid them from getting burned.

  37. Yummy. Never thought aout making my own fush fingers, looks good. Thanks.


  38. […] made these to accompany a homemade fish and chips dinner. (I loosely based the fish on this recipe.) It all ended up being a  much bigger undertaking than I usually take on for a weeknight, but it […]

  39. Gemma says:

    Hi, my youngest is possibly yeast intolerant (still awaiting testing and confirmation) so, would I be ok using just the panko breadcrumbs rather than a mixture?

  40. JOSEFINE says:

    This is a an awesome recipe. I’m a new mom, and just having a difficulty to think of food menu to offer my kiddo which is healthy, I will add this to the menu this week. Thanks!

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