Fish Week: Best Fish Sammie
I’ve been craving a fish sandwich all summer. And this sandwich is not it. What I’ve been hankering for is something much less healthy than what I ended up with. I thought about trying to make a home made Filet ‘O Fish with tartar sauce but you know, even if you lighten it up it’s still going to be a deep fried mess. Sometimes I amaze myself with my own restraint. Although it wasn’t what I initially wanted, this sandwich rocked. The corn meal made a nice thin crust that you could spice up any way you like and the tomatoes and — hello! — the spicy mayo madee it moist and juicy to bite into. Plus, Tilapia is a fish you can feel good about in every way — it’s super healthy and environmentally Kosher. It’s also nice and light and cooks quickly.
This sandwich is more of an assembly job than anything else. On a hot sumer day, isn’t that exactly what you want? I made a little cole slaw of carrot, cabbage and bok choy to go with it. I was shooting with our lovely photographer Maya on this day and thought I’d make it last so we could have one each for lunch. Just then Laura and Scarlett arrived for the afternoon shoot. It was lucky I had enough for sandwiches they were such a hit with everyone. Scarlett didn’t find the mayo too spicy at all — although I noticed she took a pass on the tomatoes! Oh, well, you can’t win ’em all.
photos by Maya Visnyei
2 Tilapia filets (I got good sized ones, maybe 6 or 8 inches long)
1/4 cup corn meal
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
bit of vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed and chopped
4 buns (mine were oblong, but pick up what appeals to you)
4 romaine leaves, washed and chopped
2 tomatoes, washed and sliced
1 cup mayonaise
1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
3 tsp Sriracha (a sweet and hot chili sauce)
Spread corn meal evenly on a plate and toss in salt and pepper and chili until it’s all combined. Toss in the parsley. Spread the mixture evenly on your plate.
Rinse your Tilapia filets and pat them dry with paper towel. Press the fish into the corn meal and turn over, press the other side into the corn meal.
In a good sized pan, heat some vegetable oil to medium heat. Place your fish down in the pan. It will take about 5 minutes on the first side and only about 3 on the other.
While your fish is cooking, mix up your mayo, ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl. Give it a taste. I kept mine on the mild side but do what suits you and your family.
Check your fish. The corn meal will be crusty and the fish should be opaque. If you’re not sure, take the fish out of the pan and use your spatula to break it in half lengthwise and take a look that it’s opaque all the way through. Break your fish into large pieces. 2 big filets will make two substantial sandwiches.
Slice open your buns and spread mayo on each side. Place your chopped lettuce down, then fish, then tomato. Or whatever, just get it all in your sammie. You’ll have a good bit of mayo left over but you’ll be so glad you do. It really makes this sandwich and any other you add it to.
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