Homemade Fish Fingers
fish fingers

Homemade Fish Fingers

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Make your own tasty homemade fish fingers, which are so much better than shop-bought.

History of Fish Fingers

Launched in 1955 the first fish finger in Britain was a resounding success. More than 60 years later the frozen brick of fish is just as popular.

Box of Birds Eye fish fingers

Fish fingers were developed in an old Birds Eye factory in Great Yarmouth by Mr HAJ Scott in the 1950s.

The fish finger is Birds Eye’s staple product and 15 billion have been produced to date.

Introduced to the UK market in 1955 with the sales pitch: “No bones, no waste, no smell, no fuss.” An immediate hit, they sold 600 tonnes in the first year. These days, the figure is closer to 28,000 tonnes. Birds Eye claims that three-quarters of us get our first taste of fish from a fish finger.

Did you know that Birds Eye patented fish freezing using chilled air at -45C and pressure-freezing cartons of fish in the early 1920s?

Credit: GettyImages/FoodCollection

Try a Fish Finger Sandwich

Have you tried them in a sandwich? No? You don’t know what you’re missing!

fish finger sandwich

Now have a go at making John Torode’s really tasty homemade fish fingers using fresh fish fillet. My grandchildren love them!

Also try his homemade scampi, great with tartare sauce.

A Deep Fryer is Best

For best results, instead of an oil-filled pan, I use a countertop deep fryer like this one from (affiliate link)Amazon.

Deep Oil Fryer

The most important benefit of deep oil fryers is the ability to control the oil temperature accurately. This takes away all the guesswork and gives consistent results.

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Homemade Fish Fingers

Make your own tasty homemade fish fingers, so much better than shop-bought.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: 🇬🇧 British
Keyword: fish, Kids
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1596kcal
Author: John Torode



  • 4 pieces of thick cod or haddock each about the size of your hand (225-250g per piece)
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 100 g polenta
  • 100 g fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten with a little milk
  • 500 ml vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Skin the fish. Now turn it so that the sloping edges of the fish are facing you head on, this will allow you to cut against the grain – if you don’t the fish will fall apart as it cooks. Cut each piece of fish into four thick strips – they will be bigger than shop-bought fish fingers.
  • Put the flour on a plate and season well. Mix the polenta and breadcrumbs together in a shallow dish. Pour the egg mixture into another. Line up the dishes in front of you with the flour first and the polenta last.
  • Roll each fish finger in the flour, dip it in the egg mixture, then lift it out and let the excess egg drain off. Finally roll the fish in the polenta breadcrumbs. Make sure each finger is well coated and the crumbs are patted down. Repeat until you have coated all the fish fingers.
  • To cook: Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or large frying pan until it reaches 180c and is shimmering. Gently lay a few of the fish fingers in the oil, but don’t overcrowd the pan or the temperature will drop and the fingers won’t be crispy. Fry the fish fingers until golden brown underneath, then carefully turn over and gently fry the other sides until golden. The fish will be cooked through. Repeat until all the fish fingers are cooked.


Calories: 1596kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 131g | Saturated Fat: 103g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

You may also like one of my other recipes …

scampi and chips
Homemade Scampi
Homemade scampi is so much better than those from supermarkets.
Check out this recipe
tartare sauce
Tartare Sauce
A must-have side dish with all your fish
Check out this recipe
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