Perfect Fish Sandwich



I love a good fish sandwich. And when I say “fish sandwich,” I’m not referring to one of those scary, square-shaped mystery-fish patties that pop up on fast-food menus around Lent. Batter fried, greasy, and squashed between two sad buns with a schmear of tartar sauce, they are truly an abomination to the fish sandwich. The Filet O’ Fish from Mickey D’s even features a slice of melty, iridescent yellow “cheese product.” And don’t get me started on jarred tartar sauce. Think Elmer’s glue with old, weird tasting bits of pickle. And just how the hell does a square fish swim, anyways?

A good fish sandwich starts with a quality bun and a fresh, flaky white fish. In my neck of the woods I like to use fillets from slab crappie or walleye, but any white fish will do. Dill pickle slices and a spiked Hellman’s take the place of the Elmer’s glue, and lettuce n’ tomato top it all off.  And what about cheese, you say? Not on mine. Ever.

I like my sandwich with some fried potatoes and coleslaw. I know fries are the ubiquitous choice with fish, but YOU try making a good batch at home. Its a pain in the ass. Instead, take some Yukon golds to the slicer side of a cheese grater and voila: perfect fried ‘taters too.

Fish Sandwich and Fried Potatoes

  • 3/4-1 lb pound of white fish, preferably a half inch or thicker
  • One egg, beaten
  • Fish breading (if you’re not using my recipe, Andy’s Red Breading is a fine choice)
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 10 drops of Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Bakery buns
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 or 3 Yukon gold potatoes
  • Peanut oil
  1. Combine the mayo, Tabasco, lemon juice and djion mustard and refrigerate.
  2. Pour a 1/4 inch of oil into two cast iron skillets and heat to around 375° F. While the oil is heating, slice the desired amount of potatoes using the slicer side of a four-sided cheese grater.
  3. Once the oil is at the desired temperature, add the potatoes and fry until light golden brown, turning once. They will stick together. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of paprika.
  4. While the potatoes are frying, quickly bread the fish using the egg and breading, then fry in the opposite pan. Drain on paper towels.
  5. To build the sandwich: toast the buns lightly and smear with mayo. Put some dill pickle slices on the bottom bun, followed by the fish. Sprinkle with some Old Bay seasoning, then top with a thin slice of tomato and some crisp lettuce.
  6. Wash down with cold beer. Serves 2.

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