Panko Fish Fingers with Lemon & Garlic Mayonnaise with Tilapia Fish | Fish Recipes | Fishwife

Ryan Nienaber fish recipes fishwife fresh fish tilapia

So lets be honest, store bought fish fingers can be quite “fishy”.  I mean what’s in those perfectly uniform fingers after all?  If you’re like me and actually want to know what you are serving your family on their dinner plates, then this is a recipe for you!  Not only are they crispy, golden and delicious, but they are also a winner with your kids.  They can be enjoyed as a meal or served as party snacks at a braai. Your friends and family will be begging for more!

What I love about this recipe is that you can make your fish fingers in advance and freeze them for future use.  If you do decide to freeze them, place them on a tray in single file on some wax paper.  Once frozen, you can put them in a tupperware or freezer bag, this will prevent them from sticking to each other.  Just remember that you will need to allow them some time to defrost before frying.

This recipe will require the skin to be removed from the fish. To remove the skin, place the fillet on the board skin side down. Make a small incision through the meat toward the skin, starting on the tail side. Gripping the skin with your one hand and keeping the knife still with the other, wiggle the skin away from the knife until the skin is removed and you end up with a lovely clean fillet. I find it easier to use a knife which is blunt as it doesn’t cut through the skin.

When cutting your tilapia fingers, remove the blood line. This section can have a few tiny bones so it is best removed. You will end up with a thin piece and a thicker piece. Leave the thin piece as is and cut the thicker piece in half again.  This way each tilapia fillet will give you three fingers.

This recipe is based on 6 fish fingers from two tilapia fillets, but you can increase the ingredients to serve more or to create extra for home freezing.

The next step is to coat your fingers by rolling in flour, coating with egg and finally rolling in panko crumbs.  Make sure your fingers are evenly coated and then set aside on a plate or tray for shallow frying.  I found that frying in butter is the best as it gives the fish a lovely nutty, salty flavour.

Serve with a quick and easy lemon and garlic dipping mayonnaise and a side of sweet potato fries. Yum!

Panko Fish Fingers with Lemon & Garlic Mayonnaise

Serves 2
A family favourite. Golden delicious fish fingers for dinnertime or as a party snack.

Prep Time

10 min

Cook Time

6 min


  1. 350g Greenfish tilapia fillets (2 fillets)
  2. 3/4 cup of flour
  3. 2 eggs (beaten)
  4. 1 cup panko crumbs
  5. 150g butter


  1. 1/2 cup of good quality mayonnaise
  2. 1 tsp crushed garlic
  3. 2 tsp lemon juice
  4. a good pinch of crushed peppercorns


  1. Remove the bloodline as previously explained, and section each fillet into 3 fish fingers.
  2. Place the flour, eggs and panko crumbs in three separate bowls.
  3. Roll the fish fingers in the flour, coating evenly.
  4. Roll the fish fingers in the egg, coating all sides.
  5. Finally, roll the fish fingers in the panko crumbs, coating all sides and set aside on a plate or tray.
  6. In a pan, heat the butter on a medium heat until bubbling and fry for approximately 3 minutes a side until golden brown.
  7. Place on paper towel to absorb any excess butter.
  8. Serve with your lemon & garlic mayonnaise.


  1. Combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper in a small bowl.

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