Salmon fish sticks 
What’s better than fish sticks?  These are, my friend.  As a proud Pacific Northwest resident, I feel like an ambassador of salmon, the mighty pink fish of Puget Sound.  So, I proudly present salmon as you’ve never had it before.  The flavorful, crisp batter turns this magnificent fish into the finger food of your dreams. 

Total kitchen time: 1 hr
Makes: 2 people swim upstream for more

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. center-cut salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 cranks  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup light beer
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 qt. safflower oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
  1. Slice the salmon fillet against the grain to form sticks, about 1″ square by 5″ long.  Pat the sticks dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, paprika, baking soda, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add the beer and stir until the mixture forms a sticky paste.
  3. Spread the panko flakes in an even layer on a plate.  Then, carefully dip each salmon stick into the batter, wiping off the excess.  Roll the sticks in the panko to coat and set aside.  You want to be very delicate as you handle the fish because it will have a tendency to break apart easily.
  4. Heat the oil to 350°F in a large, heavy bottomed skillet.  Make sure you have enough oil to cover about1.5″.  Add the fish sticks, no more than 3 at a time, and fry until golden.  You’ll want to turn the fish once during the frying to ensure that it is cooking evenly.  It should only take about 1 minute or so per side for nicely done fish.  Set the fried fish sticks on a stack of paper towels to drain. 

For the dippin’ sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. pimentos (and about 1/2 tsp. of the liquid they’re stored in)
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until roughly combined.

For the slaw:

  • 1 cup red cabbage, finely shaved
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outside layer of the carrot and discard.  Then, peel the inner flesh of the carrot into long, thin strips.  Coarsely chop the strips to about 3″ in length.
  2. Combine the carrot shavings and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Allow me to reiterate how awesome this meal is.  If you are cooking for children, this is your ticket to Salmonville.  Enjoy the trip, and remember to write!

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