Fish Stick Tacos

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by Amy Flanigan on July 20, 2010 · 21 comments

Don’t look at me like that. I’ve never professed to be a professional chef. Or culinary wizard. (Only in my dreams do I prepare an amazing Thanksgiving dinner…and conquer my fear of Phyllo dough .)

So, fish tacos…made with frozen fish sticks…really, Amy?

Does it help to know I recognize this isn’t really a recipe and I know it’s not really cooking?

Does it help to know that I’ve been chasing my tail for the past two weeks and I’m just plain tired? Back hurts. Head hurts. Dogs are barkin’.

Does it help to know that sister Jen, who is totally more refined than I will ever be (wine connoisseur, sparkly earrings, best footwear ever), loves these too?

Come on. Admit it. You’re intrigued. You’ve been searching for a quick, uncomplicated, cheap meal. One that maybe even the kids will eat.

I’ve made these a gazillion times now. And they are, in a word, yummy. They just are.

See, I’m not an idiot. I’ve actually come to your rescue. You’ll be thanking me next week.

Fishstick tacos
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

• 1 (11 ounce) package frozen baked, breaded fish sticks
• 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
• 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 8 corn tortillas
• 1 bottle salsa of your choice (you won’t use it all)

Bake fish according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cabbage and mayo; toss to coat. Warm the tortillas and divide cabbage mixture among them. Add fish and top with the salsa.

Note: You can also substitute popcorn shrimp for the fish sticks.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy July 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Mike – Well, that only works if you drink, and have a decent place that delivers. But you definitely have the smarter idea!


Mike July 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm

If you’re “tired, unmotivated and lack energy”, isn’t that when you pour a glass of wine and order take out? ;)


Amy July 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Daphne – Well, not exactly health food. But using the baked kind is fewer calories AND you don’t have your house smelling like oil.

Greg – I think fish sticks were unkind to a lot of kids from our generation. I only recently rediscovered them, with positive results. But I totally understand your sentiments.


sippitysup July 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I have bad, bad memories of fish sticks as a child. It was always “babysitter food” at our house. But somehow the babysitters always managed to screw them up. I can barely look, let alone read… sorry. GREG


daphne July 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

hehehe, I’m actually a fan of these dinners! I made these before too..or at least a similar version. It’s cheaper and it’s sooo delicious! I console myself that at least i didn’t deep fried them… ;p


Amy July 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Jessica – Yes! It is coleslaw. The pre-shredded packaged kind. And jarred salsa. This truly is the lazy man’s fish taco. Lol. Thanks for coming over…stop by again!


Jessica July 21, 2010 at 7:50 am

What’s on your tacos…coleslaw? Love it. They look delicious. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen on tortillas stuffed with whatever I can find in the fridge or cupboard and called it dinner!


Amy July 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Dani – Now you sound like my mom! Lol. I guess this means you care, you really do care (in the voice of Sally Field.) I know, I know. I think I’m incapable of relaxing. Although, damn I need to find some quiet time or I might come unhinged :(

Tia – Glad you think so! And thanks for stopping by!


Tia July 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm

awesome time saving ideaL


Dani H July 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I personally don’t care for fish tacos, but love salsa on fish ~ go figure! But this is a FABulous idea, especially for kids! Please try to get a little time in to relax, Amy. Maybe let the kids and your parents have an afternoon (or overnight) together so that you can do something relaxing. A nap, a bubblebath… whatever would recharge you a little. Take care, sweetheart! *HUGS*


Amy July 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Jay – Ha! That is a great story. Those funny Texans ;-)

Anne – These are truly a lifesaver after a long exhausting day. And yes, I’ve made them with many different types of salsa, ranging from fruit/sweet to peppers/spicy.


Anne July 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Great story Jay! Lol. I can totally hear the lady’s voice. I was in desperate need of something like this last week! Better late than never though. You could totally change of the flavor by using different salsas.


Jay July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

About ten years ago I was in Houston at a conference and went with a group to a local chain mexican restaurant (Pappasitos). Being so relatively close to the “border” I figured they must have fish tacos. But, when I scanned the menu, these tasty treats were no where to be found. When I ask the waitress if they indeed had fish tacos she responded in a very thick Texan drawl, “Now why would anyone put fish on a taco?” Obviously this particular delicacy is from the Baja California side of the “border.”

Anyway, I love these tasty treats. As Jen mentions above, we had these last night. Very yummy and so easy.


Amy July 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

Melissa – oh ya, nothing compares to homemade of course, but I think these are great on the fly with limited time and energy. And no oil smell stinkin’ up the joint for 2 days afterward. No doubt you will alter them to make them even more fabulous. Actually, you already did in your comment!

Lisa – I hadn’t had a fishstick in about 25 years either! Swear. My girlfriend and I used to eat them in grade school, but I cannot remember buying them since then. As a grown up they sort of sound gross, but they were/are surprisingly good like this.

Joanne – Never? Wow. I thought that was a staple as a kid. I guess you’re more refined as well. Or your parents were. Ya, the stove…even in the summer I still use mine, so that would suck. And you don’t have a grill. Hm. Lots of salads this week?

Mike and Karen – Perhaps I should have added a line in the post that reads “Does it help to know I realize these will never compare to authentic fish tacos?” Of course they don’t! I’ve had the real deal in San Diego and even Hawaii…even made them from scratch at home. But the point was that these are a decent substitute when you’re tired, unmotivated, and lack energy.

Jen – Hee hee! Great minds… I think we’re all tired. And hot. You nailed it, Jen – no fuss. They’re so quick and make virtually no mess when you’re done. The kids love them, which makes it even easier for me. I’ve made them several different ways now; sometimes with fruit salsa, sometimes with Chipotle, sometimes with just cabbage, other times with the coleslaw mix that has the carrots, and sometimes with popcorn shrimp. All good.

Dad – I know you would never go near these. Ah, your restraint not to tease! And, how do you spell “connoisseur?” Paul isn’t behind this one…I actually looked that one up.


Dad July 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

Ah, my two favorite food groups! No muss, no fuss? Mmmmmm. Just like salmon croquettes when I was a kid. Can I thank you now and save next week for sincerity?

Well, I must say you made them look simply marhvelous, darlink.

Hey, Paul, is that how you spell “connoisseur?”


Mike July 20, 2010 at 7:21 am

Hmmm… I’m gonna take your word for it that they’re tasty. My wife makes the BEST fish (not-in-stick-form) tacos ever, so we’ll probably stick with those. A+ for originality though.


Jen July 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

Well, isn’t this timely! Just last night I made tacos with frozen fish sticks! The sauce I made was different than Amy’s, but they were SO yummy and SO easy.

Jay loves them. I love them. I mean; come on, who really wants to get out the eggs, the Panko, and all that oil? Not I. No muss. No fuss. Easy Peasy. Delicious!

Amy’s right – try ‘em. You’ll have seconds…and thirds…you’ll thank her. :o)


Karen July 20, 2010 at 7:43 am

I agree with Mike above on this one. My biggest concern is whats on the list of ingredients for the “fish” I make fish tacos all the time with frozen tilapia (not breaded) and the only ingredient is, well……fish. But I live 60 miles from Mexico and Mexican food is eaten daily here even though I am blonde with blue eyes.

I also make all my salsa from scratch. Takes only a few minutes and is way better than jarred. But I have to say overall I love your food creativity and photography and this will not turn me off to staying a loyal fan. :)


Joanne July 20, 2010 at 6:42 am

Would you believe I’ve never had a fishstick? Sad but true.

I had a very deprived childhood. Although seeing as how I didn’t like fish as a child….it’s probably my fault. At least in this instance.

These look tasty. I’m okay with the fact that the fishsticks come from a box. Strangely enough.

As for my “broken heart” it’s the oven that broke it. I’m pretty sure it’s a male. It’s completely unreliable and leaves just when you need it the most. Typical.


Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary July 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

My husband just said “hell yeah, I would eat that”.
I haven’t had a fish stick in like 25 yrs.


Melissa July 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

YUM. For serious. Yes, I make the beer battered ones, but they take a lot of effort. So I like these too. As long as you make a good tangy mayonnaise yogurt dressing and shake on lots of Tapatio. YUUUUUUM.


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