Lime and Tarragon Aioli with Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

By • May 21, 2011 • 54 Comments

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Author Notes: Tarragon and lime are a beautiful match and I like to use as a dipping sauce with homemade fish sticks. The aioli takes on a faint green hue and paired with the crunchy fish sticks it makes a delicious meal and is a change from the traditional tartar sauce. This is great finger food and takes no time at all to prepare. I like to use a garlic infused olive oil in the aioli. - sdebrangosdebrango

Food52 Review: Well, she had me at "fish" and "sticks". The tarragon and lime are a new combination to me, and their aioli sends these beauties over the top. The balance of canola and olive oils is perfect, as it allows the tarragon and lime to shine through, and nothing gets in the way of satisfying crunch on a nice light fish. The roasted garlic and its infused oil are the icing on the so to speak cake. I used talapia because it was what I had, and I would be hard-pressed to imagine a fish, sticks or otherwise, with which this wouldn't be fantastic. Next time around, and there will be many of those, I think I'll grill a good sandwich roll, slather it with this lovely aioli, stuff some fish sticks inside, and call it a sandwich. Wonderful invention, sdebrango! - boulangereboulangere

Serves 4

The Aioli

  • 2 large cloves garlic (give it a quick crush to release the flavor but don't pulverize)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (the zest of one whole lime)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh taragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper (3 turns of the pepper mill)
  • 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  1. To make the garlic-infused olive oil, add the 2 peeled, lightly crushed garlic cloves to the olive oil in a small saucepan and simmer on very low heat. Be very careful not to let the garlic get brown. Turn off the flame after just a few minutes and let the garlic sit in the oil until it softens. Let cool before making the aioli. I like to make this infused oil ahead of time -- sitting overnight gives a more profound garlic flavor.
  2. Add egg yolks, the cooled cooked garlic cloves, lime juice, lime zest, tarragon, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. With blender running slowly add the vegetable oil and garlic-infused olive oil. The aioli will be thick and creamy and a lovely light green. Adjust seasoning and citrus to your taste.

Panko Crusted Fish Sticks

  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 pound Firm to semi-firm fish (I use cod or sea bass)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup panko
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat your oil. I like to deep fry the fish sticks, approximately 4 inches of oil in a heavy fry pan to 375 degrees F. Alternately you can pan-fry the fish sticks in about an inch of oil in the skillet. I recommend seasoned cast iron or a non-stick skillet.
  2. Cut your fish into pieces, dip in egg and then in panko.
  3. Carefully drop your fish sticks into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel-lined plate to absorb any extra oil. Add additional salt if you like directly after they come out of the oil.
  4. Serve with aioli as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (54)

Comments (54) Questions (4)

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7 months ago James W

lime + tarragon NEVER make an aioli: they can be used to make a flavoured mayonnaise but NEVER an aioli. Get it right

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7 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are so kind to point that out.

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7 months ago cristinasciarra

James, you might be right about that, but please keep in mind that Food52 works in the spirit of friendliness and learning.

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7 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.


Thank you!

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about 1 year ago JohnSkye

1/4 cup (olive oil) + 2tbs = 6 tbs
1/2 cup (veg oil) - 2 tbs = 6 tbs
why not just "6 tbs" of each????

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You could certainly do it that way, thanks so much for the input.

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about 2 years ago cristinasciarra

These look so good!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Cristina, paired with fries it's a delicious fish and chips dinner.

Pa300043

over 2 years ago cindy_perkins_marlow

I love it when recipes are a complete success! Followed the instructions to the letter using swai. Total hit out of the ballpark!!!! Wish I could post the photo I took because it looks almost as delicious as it tasted.

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am so sorry I just saw your comment and am very glad you liked the fish sticks. Wish you could have posted a picture. Thank you so much.

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over 2 years ago elissamarcuson

Can these fish sticks be baked with a similar result? I love, love, love tarragon and will def try this aioli

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am not getting notifications of comments and questions. I apologize for not seeing your question. I'm sure by now you have figured it out. I do think you can bake but the results will be different although I am sure equally as delicious.

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over 2 years ago m.izzy

This was a hit. The fish sticks were simple and delicious and the aioli was delicious. Didn't realize how easy it can be to make aioli from scratch! I used cod and it worked wonderfully.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much m.izzy so glad you like them. Yes, its really so easy to make aioli or mayo for that matter. So happy you liked the recipe.

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over 2 years ago craftaddiction

A great recipe. I have not try frying anything before, but I am glad I tried it. Will definitely make it again.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I so rarely fry anything myself but make an exception for these fish sticks. So glad you enjoyed them and thank you so much for giving them a try.

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over 2 years ago MadeInMaine

So commercial mayo it was, doctored with the lime zest and juice and tarragon and a dose of salt and pepper. The mayo, now citrus-infused and the color of young pea shoots, was a burst of spring in a monkey dish.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love using commercial mayo, so quick and easy, thank you for trying.The lime gives a citrusy zing that I just love with the tarragon.

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over 2 years ago Midge

I made these tonight with cod and we absolutely loved them. Thanks for a total keeper.

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Midge, so glad you enjoyed. I love them with Cod, its the only kind of fish I use when I make them.

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over 2 years ago Crispini

Marvelous! A simple and delicious weeknight recipe. I made the aioli early in the day, so it was just a matter of doing up the fish for our supper. Next time I'll make up more than one pound of cod, because these were so enthusiastically received. We have a nice quantity of the aioli left over and it'll be fun to come up with some uses for that. Thanks so much for a brilliant recipe!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Crispini and I am thrilled you like the fish sticks and aioli. Thank you for giving it a try!

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over 2 years ago Susige

We made the fish as directed - the additional dusting of salt really adds to the flavor after removing from the oil! We used the Lime and Tarragon Aioli to make a broccoli slaw to add to a butter-dressed and lightly broiled Hawaiian sub roll for a great fish sandwich! Sweet roll, citrus slaw, and crispy thick fish (we used cod fillets). My husband announced it was a keeper!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

That sounds so good, I love the idea of adding the aioli to a broccoli slaw what an amazing fish sandwich, I MUST try that. Thank you so much for trying this recipe and I'm so happy you liked it.

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over 2 years ago nogaga

Looks wonderful! Congrats on the highlight!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, so good to see you here! Missed you.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Go Mavs!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh thank you so much. I so happy that you liked.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congratulations on your much deserved EP!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

ok, make that screaming.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I thought about you last night as I was hollering at the end. Surprised you couldn't hear me.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Made this for dinner last night amid torrential rain and tornado warnings. Unforgettable - your fish sticks and brilliant aioli, that is.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad you liked, terrible about the weather. Way too many tornado's. How about those mav's???

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

jWhoa! Heat by 2. We should see lots of great street food possibilities from this series.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Close game, holy cow!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Making these tomorrow. My reward for making it through an extremely arduous week. Great expectations.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

i really hope you like the recipe. Biting nails!!!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

86 - 86 mavs - heat. biting nails with great expectations for the mavs.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

biting nails!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Neck and neck now thats a nail biter!