The cookbook I used as inspiration for this recipe called the finished product fish sausages and claimed that they were a traditional Hungarian recipe dating back to the 17th century. That was a compelling enough reason for me to make them; the fact that I had a pound of fish ready to go in the freezer and all of the other ingredients on hand was icing on the cake.
I suppose I should have seen it coming by looking over the recipe, but I feel like I was duped. Traditional fish sausages? Let’s call a spade a spade here. These are modern-day fish sticks, literally an upgraded version of the kind you’d find in the freezer section of your local grocery.
That’s not a bad thing at all. Frozen fish sticks were an old standby when I was growing up. I wondered whether I should post them anyways. They might not be super authentic, but they were pretty darn tasty. I should also note that Hungary is a landlocked country so Hungarians would likely use a freshwater fish. But cod was listed as a good substitute and, well, you guys know my favorite saying: use what you have to make what you want. Done and done.
Hungarian Fish Sticks
Yield: 4 servings
* 1 pound fish fillets, such as perch, pike, carp, or cod, skinned and boned
* 5 Tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
* 2 Tablespoons milk
* 2 teaspoons dried parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 2 eggs, well beaten
* 1/2 brown rice flour
* 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
* Oil, for shallow frying
* Lemon wedges, sprinkled with paprika
Grind or coarsely process the fish in a blender or food processor. Combine the breadcrumbs and the milk and add to the fish. Add the parsley, salt, pepper and paprika and one of the eggs and stir to combine.
Shape the mixture into sticks, about 3-4 inches long. Carefully roll in the brown rice flour, then in the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet or frying pan and cook the fish sticks until cooked through and golden brown all over. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges sprinkled with paprika or your favorite dipping sauce.
Note: I'm an odd bird who hates fresh parsley but doesn't mind the dried stuff. If you like fresh parsley, feel free to substitute it for the dried.
Adapted from Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking