Someone in my house was craving a fish sandwich this week, so we went to work. The guy behind the meat/fish counter at one of our nearby markets selected four halibut fillets for our project. After we got settled, I made a plan for two types of fried fish sandwiches.
I’ve written about the King Arthur hamburger potato bun recipe in the past and that’s because I consider it to be practically a perfect white bread bun for sandwiches. It doesn’t fall apart, but is still really soft.
This batch I followed the recipe guidance except I did a egg wash prior to baking. Egg washes usually will make buns or bread shiny. I’ve never tried both an egg wash before baking AND a butter brush after baking, so I tried that here. I probably won’t do that again because the butter brushed on each bun after baking removed a lot of the shiny coating that you are left with on an egg washed bun. Regardless, these were tasty and as you can see, they still looked good and have a great crumb.
I don’t really want to make this blog about recreating McDonald’s sandwiches, but we’re back here again. The quintessential fast food fried fish sandwich as far as I know is the McD’s Filet o’Fish. I’ve never had one of those, but my wife has and she’s the one that was interested in the fish sandwich pursuit in the first place, so we went in this direction.
The fast food version of a fried fish sandwich usually has tartar sauce and a little bit of cheese (cheese on fish – oh no) so we gave it a shot. We have recently started watching the History Channel’s “Food that Built America” and in the second season there’s an episode focused mainly on Burger King and it diagrams the invention of McDonald’s “Filet o’Fish.” Ray Kroc (from McD) was portrayed as proud that it only had half of one slice of American cheese, but I’ll let you know we used WHOLE slices in ours. I put the bottom bun under a broiler with the slice of cheese for a minute or two to get a little melty.
We also added my wife’s tartar sauce on top to add tang and zip from the lemon juice and dill pickles. Check out the tartar sauce and you can also see the full recipe for our fast food style fried fish sandwich below. Keep reading for a second spicy fish sandwich experience.
I’m a big fan of the Nashville hot chicken craze that has swept my part of the world over the past five or six years. If the super spicy sauce works great on chicken, why wouldn’t it work on a fried fish sandwich? Spoiler Alert: it works.
I prepared this halibut fillet similarly to the first fried sandwich, except this time I did a double dredge through the seasoned flour and left the panko bread crumbs out entirely. This is more of the type of frying/dredging that I would do for a fried chicken sandwich so I figured it would be best for a Nashville hot style sandwich. The sauce is super easy to whip up and the little bit of sweetness paired with the big spicy heat makes it very addictive if you can handle spicy food.
I also paired my hot sandwich with some spicy MSG pickles. Even though they have a little spice and heat, they were pretty cooling compared to the Nashville hot spice.
This was a great sandwich. Flaky and crispy and spicy are all words that I like to read and eat. Click through for the full recipe below and I’ll see you next week for some International but somehow still American sandwiches.