Do you love fish sticks but just can’t find the time to prepare them? Were there moments when you wanted them but worried that it was too oily or too greasy? Well, microwaving fish sticks might just be the answer to that!
Fish sticks, also called fish fingers, are one of the most popular staple snacks in many countries. It is known to be versatile since you can pair it with almost any of your favorite dips, sandwiches, or salads. Believe it or not, it may even be counted as the main course for dinner!
Aside from that, fish sticks are also very convenient to make. Besides the usual frying and baking, microwaving is a much easier way to get them done. Here are some of the things you need to know about microwaving fish sticks.
Can you microwave fish sticks?
Yes, you can microwave fish sticks for 3 to 4 minutes to cook or even just reheat your fish sticks using a microwave. However, the coating may not be as crispy as you expect compared to the fried or baked ones.
Most of the ready-made fish sticks products you can buy in supermarkets are already pre-cooked. They are then flash-frozen to make them last longer while remaining fresh. With that, it is perfectly safe to microwave your fish sticks as long as you make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of cooking fish sticks in a microwave?
Like any other cooking method, microwaving fish sticks also has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. You must be aware of these so that you may know what to expect after.
Let’s start with the advantages.
- One of the good things microwaving fish sticks brings is that it makes them less oily. This makes for a more nutritious meal since it helps in lessening your intake of fat. You can now say goodbye to the pints of butter or cooking oil you would usually use when preparing your favorite snack.
- Another thing that is great about this method is that it is undeniably faster. Unlike other common ways of cooking fish sticks, such as frying, baking, and others, using the microwave saves you almost half the usual preparation time. So you can count on this as your best option whenever you’re in a rush.
- Moreover, what sets this apart is that it makes cleaning easier. There is no need to wash greasy pans and tongs if you’d decide to just microwave your fish sticks. You just need to wipe off the bread crumbs from your table, and you’re good to go! If there is one thing you need to clean, that would be the microwave tray – which you can just put in the dishwasher.
We have discussed the advantages of microwaving fish sticks. So now, we then go to what its disadvantages are.
If you have experienced cooking fish, you would know that it can easily burn. Well, the same thing applies when microwaving fish sticks. There will always be a risk of overcooking your fish sticks if you leave them in the microwave for too long, especially with the wrong heat setting. Not only can overcooked fish sticks be unpleasant to eat, but they may be inedible if burnt.
Furthermore, microwaved fish sticks will not have the crunchy texture and golden-brown color they are usually known for. You can properly achieve this through deep frying or baking. More often than not, fish sticks cooked using a microwave would come out a little bit soggy and soft in texture and pale in color.
How to Microwave Fish Sticks
There is no secret trick to microwaving fish sticks. It is as easy as what it says. Here are the quick steps to enjoying your microwaved fish sticks the right way:
- Prepare a microwavable plate or flat container and line parchment paper on it to prevent the fish sticks from sticking to it.
- Arrange 4 to 8 pieces of fish sticks on the plate and make sure they are evenly spaced so that the heat is properly distributed on each one. Do not cook too many fish sticks in one go. This may cause other pieces to be undercooked.
- Make sure the fish sticks are placed around or near the edge of the plate and not only in the middle. This is to let all the sticks cook at the same time. The pieces that are placed in the middle of the plate will cook more quickly since the heat from the microwave is directed to it.
- Put the plate inside the microwave and set the heat setting to HIGH.
- Heat the fish sticks for 1 to 2 minutes. After that, flip the fish sticks to cook the other side. Heat it for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Check your fish sticks and flip and heat for 30 seconds again if needed.
- Once satisfied, take out the plate and check the internal temperature of the fish sticks to see if it is thoroughly cooked. The temperature should reach no less than 165° F or 74° C. Continue heating if the needed temperature is not yet achieved.
- Serve and enjoy it with your favorite dips and dishes.
Tips to microwave fish sticks
Just like any other dishes and snacks, there also are some things that you need to keep in mind when microwaving your fish sticks. It is important that you also observe these tips before, during, and after microwaving them to make sure that you can truly enjoy your favorite treat.
Before you even start cooking your fish sticks in the microwave, make sure that they are thawed properly. If you want this to be done quickly, you may just place your fish sticks first in your microwave and put them on the “thaw” setting. But, if you have time to spare, you may follow these easy steps:
- Remove your fish sticks from the freezer.
- Prepare a deep bowl and put your fish sticks in it. Make sure that your fish sticks are still inside their packaging or container when you put them inside the bowl.
- Fill the bowl with lukewarm water until the packaged fish sticks are fully or mostly submerged.
- Set it aside for about 30 minutes or until the fish sticks are fully thawed.
- Once thoroughly thawed, remove the packaged fish sticks from the bowl and proceed with the steps of microwaving them.
Now that you are ready to cook your fish sticks in the microwave, you may want to make sure you get the temperature right. For this, you may check its packaging for any brand recommendations that can tell you its desired temperature for cooking. Remember that different fish stick brands may require different heat settings, especially when microwaving them.
Additionally, you should also consider your microwave wattage so that you can adjust the number of minutes your fish sticks need to cook. For example, aA microwave with a high wattage may require you to cook your fish sticks for a shorter amount of time. On the other hand, more minutes may be needed if you are using a low-wattage microwave.
Never forget to check the internal temperature of your fish sticks after cooking. This may sound like a step that may be skipped, but please don’t. You need to make sure your fish sticks are thoroughly cooked not only to make them edible but also to ensure your health and safety.
An important thing to remember is that the key to having the best-microwaved fish sticks is PATIENCE. There may be times when we get a little too excited to finally enjoy those delicious snacks even if it only takes a few minutes. No matter what happens, do not rush the cooking process. Trust me, you don’t like those fish sticks burnt or raw.
Lastly, if there are any leftover fish sticks, make sure that you store them properly. Using an airtight container and putting the uncooked fish sticks in the freezer immediately helps in preserving their freshness which can last until about 6 months. Even so, always check your fish sticks for any unpleasant odors, discoloration, or molds whenever you decide to reheat or cook them again.
Now that you know this, enjoying fish sticks has never been easier and faster. This article showed you how you can properly microwave your fish sticks and discussed the pros and cons of microwaving instead of conventionally cooking them. It also presents some useful tips when it comes to handling your favorite snack.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get those microwaves heated and have those fish sticks in no time.