It was time to reclaim the pleasures of this frozen finger-food delight. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD
Credit: Image: Randy Mayor

This month's makeover question: Could we capture the real crunch appeal of those super-convenient frozen-aisle fish sticks but get them out of the nutrition doghouse? After all, your basic fried fish stick, dunked in tangy tartar sauce, can add up to about half a day's sodium allowance and half a day's saturated fat.

The answer is yes, and in our version you get delicious fresh-fish flavor that grown-ups will love. Our makeover starts with strips of meaty halibut, seasoned and breaded in a panko-pumpkinseed coating—the seeds add extra crunch and heart-healthy fats. The fish is then oven-baked on a lightly oiled, preheated pan to crispy perfection. Splashed with lime and served with a zesty rémoulade sauce, our fish sticks have 40% fewer calories, half the sodium, and double the crunch and flavor.

750 calories per serving
1,212mg sodium
9g saturated fat
Minced, processed fish
Prebreaded, soggy, and frozen
From deep fryer to freezer

425 calories per serving
597mg sodium
2.5g saturated fat
Fresh, sustainable fillets
Crispy, crunchy, and fresh
From oven to table