You have to be kidding! Fish sticks? Really? I don’t think we’ve had fish sticks in our house in almost 20+ years. When we moved from NW Ohio to Maryland, we found fresh fish so much tastier and the idea of any frozen, coated fish was looked upon with total disdain. So what to do? I thought of just putting a fish stick on a pretzel, add a dash of garlic and wrap it in a spinach leaf. Voila! Done. But I gave it a few days to sink in and figuring out how to put it all together. Finally. I created something. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. I mean, I made a pesto which involved the spinach and garlic. But I still had to create something with the fish sticks and pretzels. I had some leftover cooked rice and I was reminded of rice-fish balls and well, as they say, the rest is history. To get a better idea of what the flavor would be like — I baked up a few fish sticks to eat. They call it minced fish — I call it a hint of fish. Still, I decided it might have a flavor but if not, I can add flavors. I was out of fish sauce which would have enhanced the flavor so I used Worcestershire. I added some soy sauce and then dribbled some sesame oil. I can’t say exactly how much since I dribbled and prayed it would be enough. My measurement below is what I think should be used. My wife tasted the pesto and was impressed with the flavor but thought I was a little heavy handed with the garlic. I think so, too. Another thing I didn’t watch was the salt. There was salt in the rice, pretzels and probably fish sticks. I added more salt via the pesto and also added some into the fish mixture. It was a tad too much. Still, my taste testers — wife and mother-in-law — enjoyed the meal and thought they were good. I’d attempt these with real fish, get rid of all the extra breading found on the fish sticks. I also considered using quinoa but since I had the rice already cooked, went with it. I tried one patty without pesto; it was okay but the pesto definitely added flavor!
Fish Stick Rice Patty w/ Spinach Pesto
This will make enough to feed 3 people, 2 patties each. Patties are approx 3" in dia.
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic (I used 2, too much)
- 1/4 c mix of pistachios and toasted pine nuts
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in blender. If too thick, add more olive oil. Try to pulverize the pine nuts and pistachios as much as possible.
Fish Stick Rice Patty
- 14 fish sticks
- 1 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil (add more if you desire a smokier flavor)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pretzels
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Thaw fish sticks and attempt to rub off as much of the coating as possible. As much coating crumbs should be tossed to eliminate extra breading.
- Place pretzels in blender and grind to a 'flour' with just a few larger crunchy bits. Set aside in a bowl.
- Put the fish sticks in a blender and chop finely. Don't puree!
- Put finely chopped fish sticks in a bowl with rice, onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce and egg. Mix together well.
Note: You might have to add an extra egg to hold the consistency together. I found by squeezing the mixture tight, it held - the test is the coating step next.
- Place the patty into the pretzel 'flour' to coat the patty.
- Put the patty on a cookie sheet. I used an aluminum covered cookie sheet; no oil.
- Bake for 10 mins. Flip. Bake another 10 mins.
- Remove from cookie sheet and place about 1/2 tsp or so dollop of pesto on patty, spread it around.