Fish fingers are one of the most ideal appetizer and finger foods. They are easy to make and can be prepared a few hours ahead of time.
My version is egg-less because there are some of my family member who are deathly allergic to eggs. I use maziwa mala (fermented milk) to help the bread crumbs stick to the fish fillets. Unflavoured yogurt or butter milk are very suitable substitutes if you don’t have access to fermented milk.
I normally start by marinating the tilapia fish fillet in a mixture of light soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly cracked black pepper and garlic. This stands on the counter top for about 15 minutes as I prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cooking the fish fingers is also quite fast because they take 3 minutes per side.
Season your fish fingers and all other components as you go along. These other components include the fermented milk, bread crumbs and flour for dredging the fish fillets. Use unsalted butter to finish off your fish fingers in the pan because salted butter will throw off your salt balance.
The red bell pepper that is used to flavour the bread crumbs adds to the aesthetics of the whole dish as well as sweetness. That pop of red colour makes the fish fingers very kid friendly.
Always be careful not to burn the fish fingers or to over-cook them. Because let’s face it, who would enjoy dry fish? I’m guessing no one..
- 250g Tilapia Fillet
- 250Ml Mala (Fermented Milk)
- 2 Cups Bread Crumbs
- 1 Cup All purpose Flour
- 1/4 red Bell Pepper finely diced
- Bunch of Dhania (coriander) Leaves
- Spring Onions Finely Chopped
- 1tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1Tbs Royco
- 15g Unsalted Butter
- 2Tbs Oil
- Lemon Wedges for Garnishing
- Mix the soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, black pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Pour marinade over the tilapia fillets, make sure all sides are covered, put in a kitchen plastic bag or appropriate container with a lid and set aside for 15 minutes on the counter top.
- Add the royco and freshly cracked pepper to the fermented milk and set aside.
- To the breadcrumbs add the finely diced red bell pepper, dhania leaves, spring onions, red chili pepper and slat to taste. Mix well and set aside.
- To the all purpose flour add freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well and set aside.
- Dredge the tilapia fish fillets in the flour to coat them lightly and then transfer to the maziwa mala mixture. Makes sure the sides are covered.
- Transfer the fillets to the bread crumb mixture and make sure that the fish fingers are evenly coated by the bread crumbs.
- Pre-heat you vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat and cook the first side for 3 minutes and turn over.
- Once you turn the second side add the butter to finish off the fish fingers.
- Serve the crispy and succulent fish fingers with lemon wedges.