Oven Baked Fish Nuggets, made with real fish, are the homemade alternative to boxes of crumbed fish from the supermarket. Make extra, and keep some nuggets in the freezer for a speedy dinner. Loved by the whole family.
Once upon a time, my go-to emergency meal was a box of crumbed frozen fish fillets. One box, together with a few sides, would feed Mr Grumpy & me. However the introduction of The Princess’s ever growing appetite to our lives suddenly meant that one box of fish was not enough. When I did the maths, crumbed fish in a box turned out to be quite an expensive meal. Far better, and cheaper, to make my own Oven Baked Fish Nuggets.
Fish is often considered quite a costly protein, although it needn’t be if you shop carefully. Buying local and sustainable fish in season can be substantially cheaper than always purchasing the most popular species. At one point this year I managed to save nearly $20/kilogram on a popular local species as it was in season and there was an abundance on the market at that time. Lesser-known fish species are usually cheaper than the popular varieties, and we have discovered new family favourites by purchasing a more obscure fish.
If you are on a budget, and would still like to include fish in your diet, consider purchasing frozen fish instead. Frozen fish is snap frozen on the fishing boats soon after being caught, resulting in a high quality product that is usually much cheaper than fresh fish. If you live far from the coast, frozen fish is often a better alternative anyway. Even though I live in a coastal city, I happily use frozen fish for curries and fish cakes due to the price.
I prefer to cook these nuggets on an oven rack. This allows the cooking juices to drip away, which helps keep the nuggets crunchy. I have also, on occasion, pan-fried the nuggets in a little ghee with great success. I like to serve them with sweet potato chips, a green salad, and tartare sauce, and have even tucked them into burgers and sushi for a quick lunch.
As the nuggets are quick to make, I often double the recipe. This gives me enough for dinner, and means I have another meal in the freezer. However, if you wish to freeze the nuggets only use fresh fish; frozen fish should not be re-frozen. Whilst boxes of crumbed fish may be a thing of the past in our house, I’m pretty happy with my own homemade alternative.