Fish finger

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Fish fingers
Fishfinger classic fried 2.jpg
Fried fish fingers
Alternative namesfish sticks
Main ingredientswhitefish, battered or breaded
Baked fish fingers on baking paper
Filling inside a fish finger

Fish fingers (British English) or fish sticks (American English), are a processed food made using a whitefish, such as cod, hake, haddock or pollock, which has been battered or breaded. They are commonly available in the frozen food section of supermarkets. They can be baked in the oven, grilled, shallow fried, or deep-fried.


The term "fish fingers" is first referenced in a recipe given in a British popular magazine in 1900,[1] and the dish is often considered symbolic of the United Kingdom.[2]

The commercialization of fish fingers may be traced to 1953 when the American company Gorton-Pew Fisheries, now known as Gorton's, was the first company to introduce a frozen ready-to-cook fish finger; the product, named Gorton's Fish Sticks, won the Parents magazine Seal of Approval in 1956.[3]

There was an abundance of herring in the United Kingdom after World War II. Clarence Birdseye test-marketed herring fish fingers, a product he had discovered in the United States,[4][5] under the name "herring savouries". These were tested in Southampton and South Wales against "cod sticks", a comparatively bland product used as a control. Shoppers, however, confounded expectations by showing an overwhelming preference for the cod.[6] The snack was nearly called Battered Cod Pieces, until a poll of Birds Eye workers opted for the snappier Fish Fingers.[7]


The fish used may be either fillets cut to shape or minced/ground fish reformed to shape. Those made entirely from fillets are generally regarded[by whom?] as the higher quality products and will typically have a prominent sign on the box stating that the fish is 100% fillet. Minced fish is more commonly used in store brand economy products. They may have either batter or breadcrumbs around the outside as casing, although the coating is normally breadcrumbs.[citation needed]

In addition to white fish, fish fingers are sometimes made with salmon.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Fish Fingers". Foods of England. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  2. ^ Cloake, Felicity (2015-09-15). "Fish fingers at 60: how Britain fell for the not-very-fishy frozen sticks". the Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  3. ^ Pacific Fisherman 54 (1956) p. 55.
  4. ^ Cyril Dixon, "The facts of fish fingers", The Independent, 21 August 1994 (online at Highbeam; subscription required)
  5. ^ David Hillman and David Gibbs, Century Makers: One hundred clever things we take for granted which have changed our lives over the last one hundred years, London: Weidenfeld, 1998 / New York: Welcome Rain, 1999, ISBN 9781566490009.
  6. ^ "Teatime staple marks half century ", BBC News, 26 September 2005.
  7. ^ "Fish fingers 'surprisingly sustainable'". BBC News. 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  8. ^ "10 fish sticks zalm", IGLO 27 Juli 2014.