If you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, consider leaving behind the tried-and-true frozen fish sticks for this fresh and flavorful dinner.


  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, finely grated.
  • ¼ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ pounds cod, haddock or mahi-mahi fillets
  • Marinara or tartar sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and ¼ tsp. salt. Toss together until well combined, breaking up lumps of cheese. Spread mixture out in an even layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake crumbs for 3-4 minutes, or until golden in spots.
  3. Scrape up crumbs and redistribute, returning to oven until golden all over, about 2 more minutes. Watch carefully so crumbs don’t burn. Scrape crumbs into a shallow bowl, cool briefly and break into fine crumbs by hand or with a fork.
  4. Mix together flour, ½ tsp. salt and pepper in another bowl. In a third bowl, whisk egg whites until slightly frothy.
  5. Cut two-thirds of fish into 1-inch wide strips, using thicker parts of the fish. Blot fish dry with paper towels. Dip each strip in flour mixture, coating all over. With one hand, dip first strip in egg whites. With another hand, roll fish in crumbs and place on baking sheet. Repeat.
  6. Put fish sticks in the oven until cooked to center, about 5-8 minutes for ¾-inch-thick fish. Serve with sauce for dipping, if preferred.

Makes four servings.


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Author: Lindsey Arevalos, MHA, MS, PRIME Project Coordinator

Lindsey Arevalos is Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services and PRIME Project Coordinator, managing federal funding opportunities and coordinating multiple projects to improve the health care delivery system under the Affordable Care Act. She earned a bachelor of science degree in nutrition, with a minor in psychology, from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Agriculture with a specialization in food science and nutrition and a Master’s of Health Administration in Operations from Cal Poly.

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