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Building a better Fish Sandwich

Epic Asian Inspired Fish Sandwich

Why do chicken sandwiches get all the glory these days? Let's do fish! Some family friends who frequently go on fishing trips to the gulf gifted us with a variety of clean fish! I decided to surprise them with lunch today, and I'm going to build this recipe to share with you all. This will be a multi part recipe, but will allow you to customize as you see fit.

The Aioli (the bun sauce)

¼ c mayo

1 Tb gochujang (fermented Korean chili paste)

2 tsp sweet chili sauce

1 tsp Sriracha

1 tsp chopped chives (dried is fine)

Combine ingredients well and set aside refrigerated

The slaw (greens to top the fish, also a great side)

½ head green cabbage, shaved

¼ head red cabbage, shaved

A packaged slaw works too!

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tb rice wine vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tsp chopped chives

Combine ingredients, let sit refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, mixing occasionally

Black Garlic and Ginger Sauce (the sauce that goes on the fish)

2 TB light olive oil (or other neutral oil)

1 TB fresh minced garlic

1 TB fresh minced ginger

4 cloves black garlic (smashed into a paste)

2 TB soy sauce

1 TB coarse ground Korean chili flakes (crushed red pepper works too)

1 TB gochujang chili paste

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

1/4 c water

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

In a skillet over medium high heat add oil, fresh garlic, and ginger. Saute until fragrant, but not brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until it reduces to slightly thick. Add corn starch mixed with water to thicken if needed.

Use as a stir fry sauce, wing sauce, or condiment

The Fish

Any clean flaky white fish will do. I used grunt fillets, similar to snapper (thanks again to my fisherman friend!)

Because this is an obvious asian inspired sandwich, I decided to do an extra crispy panko breaded fish. It's probably the simplest recipe on this page. They key is the breading method. Keep a dry and a wet hand to avoid gloppy hands and wasted breading.

2c plain panko (there's a gluten free panko if needed

1 1/2 c all purpose flour (use a blend of cornstarch and rice flour for gluten free)

2 eggs+ 2 TB water, well blended

Salt and white pepper for both the flour and the panko, to taste. (a couple tsp in each should do)

Oil for frying

Set up a breading station, something like this

Coat the fish in the flour, then egg wash, then the panko and set on a lined sheet pan.

To fry the fish you'll need a clear oil for frying. You can shallow fry in about 2" of oil or deep fry in a fryer, sorry, this will not work in an "air fryer". I'll add an adaptation for that later. Heat the oil to 350°f and fry until golden brown and the fish is fully cooked (usually it's cooked when floating in the oil) . Make sure to fry in batches as not to overcrowd the pan or fryer. Too much temperature drop will lead to soggy and greasy end product 😔.

The Bun

I admit to using a store bought potato bun. I'll share a better bun recipe soon- just make sure you lightly toast the bun on a griddle or pan.

Let's build this thing!

Bun Sauce on bottom and top bun, a few thin sliced cucumber on the bottom bun, followed by the fried fish, the garlic/ginger sauce, slaw, and sauced top bun.

In summary, there are a lot of components to this. I wanted to make something special, different, and inspiring. You can take some of the components of this series of recipes and create several new dishes. I made this all gluten free (with the exception of the bun) . The fish, sauces, slaw are a complete meal without the bun. I hope you all enjoyed this. I have a bit of a simpler recipe for fish tacos soon!

Oh, and I'll share the recipe soon for the Vidalia onion hush puppies soon!


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