Doctor Who Fish Fingers and Custard

 In Recipes

Fish fingers and custard was a dish enjoyed by the Eleventh Doctor shortly after regeneration. By fish fingers and custard I mean frozen fish sticks in a sweet pudding. Matt Smith, the actor portraying the Doctor, was actually eating breaded coconut cakes in the scene.

While I’m odd, and actually think fish sticks in pudding sounds kind of good, I decided to take a savory, rather than sweet, direction to this Doctor Who meal. Keep reading to check out the pesto “custard” dipping sauce I’ve whipped up and my go-to way to fry fish (simplicity is the secret!).


Fish Fingers

  • 1 pound white fish, sliced into thin, finger-like strips (tilapia, halibut, walleye, etc.)
  • 1-2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil

Pesto Custard Dipping Sauce

  • 1/8 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon (or 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
Pesto dipping sauce ingredients
Slide halibut filet for fish fingers


Pesto Custard Dipping Sauce

1. Make your dipping sauce first to allow the flavors to blossom while you cook the fish. Placed the chopped garlic, basil, parmeson cheese, salt, and pepper into a food processor (or blender).

2. Begin to process on a slow speed. Slowly add the olive oil to allow the basil and garlic to break down and form a green paste or pesto.

3. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the pesto mix with the mayonnaise.

4. Stir in the lemon juice and allow the sauce to sit.

Coating halibut in egg and bread crumbs for frying
Frying halibut

Fish Fingers

1. If you have time, soak your fish filets in ice cold salt water for 30 minutes. Rinse off with cold water before slicing into finger-like strips.

2. Prep your breading steps: 1. whisk 2 eggs in a bowl 2. lay out a rimmed plate or bowl with Italian bread crumbs.

3. Coat your fish strips in egg, then roll thoroughly in the bread crumbs to completely coat.

Golden brown fried halibut
Fried halibut filets

4. Heat your vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Too low and your fish will be mushy. Too high and it’ll burn before it’s done cooking. Your oil should be roughly deep enough to cover half the height of the fish fingers.

5. Cook the fish until the bottom side turns golden brown, approximately 1.5 – 2.5 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is also golden brown.

6. Properly cooked fish will be flaky but moist. As you finish pans of fish, remove the strips from the pan and place on a paper-toweled plate to soak up extra oil. Store in the microwave to keep them warm while you finish the rest of the frying.

Homemade Doctor Who Fish Fingers and Custard

Enjoy your fish with a good side such as cous cous, pasta, green beans, baked beans, a salad, or quinoa. Our family favorite fish accompaniments are green beans and mac n’ cheese.

Who’s your favorite Doctor?

Want to see other fandom inspired meals come to life? Let me know in the comments below!

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Showing 3 comments
  • Mariah Kaercher

    I miss Matt Smith!

  • Pepi

    I’m trying this!!!! It looks so yummy!!!!!!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)

      There’s just something tasty about simple fried, fresh fish!!

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