Anyone with a focus on healthy eating who also happens to have small children at home inevitably faces a bit of stiff competition from the McDonald’s and Pizza Huts of this world. These companies are competing for our children’s palates and they really pull out all the stops. For one thing, their advertising budget is just a smidge larger than the budget for Mom’s Kitchen, so they do have a tendency to catch our children’s attention. Case in point, the “Fishy Fishy” jingle for the Fish McNuggets or whatever they are called. My kids giggled hysterically the first time they saw that commercial and they go around singing the song just to crack each other up. So naturally they think that the fish nuggets must be really delicious and they’ve asked me if we can go and try them.
My answer to this? Um, child, have you met me? Because your mother does NOT take you to fast food chains (and your father is only allowed to do so on the rarest of occasions). I’ve never really liked fast food much, ever since I realized in my teens how awful I felt after I ate it. And I like it even less now that I am a mother with kids whose health I care about deeply. So it doesn’t matter how catchy and cute the jingles might be, we ain’t going.
I am not a parent who restricts her kids from all goodies and treats, but any time I can find or make a healthy alternative, I try to do so. And making fish sticks or nuggets at home is far from difficult, although it can sometimes be messy. This time around, I found a great way to coat the nuggets without getting my hands all covered in the egg and the coating. Heretofore, I always dipped in the egg and then the coating by hand. But I had the rather brilliant idea of mixing the coating in a tupperware container, and then just adding the fish pieces after they were dipped in egg and shaking the heck out of it. Worked like a charm for a firm fish like mahi mahi – more delicate fish like tilapia might not stand up as well.
Coconut oil was the perfect thing to cook these nuggets, as it complemented the shredded coconut and made them really crispy. Like any coated fish, they do get a little less crisp as they sit so serve immediately (or they can be gently warmed in the oven to re-crisp). All in all, a good healthy and flavourful answer to fast food fish nuggets!
1 1/4 lb Mahi Mahi
1 large egg
1 cup almond flour
2/3 cup finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
4 lime wedges
Set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet.
Cut mahi mahi into 1 or 2 inch pieces, as you prefer. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Whisk egg in large shallow bowl. In a large plastic container with a lid, combine almond flour, coconut, salt and pepper. Put on lid and shake to combine.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the fish to the egg and toss to coat, and use a fork or slotted spoon to transfer pieces to the almond flour mixture, shaking of excess egg.
Place lid on container and shake until fish pieces are well-coated. Transfer fish pieces to skillet and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side (thinner pieces will cook faster). Crust should be a light golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack and repeat with remaining fish.
Serve with lime wedges.