To make the ultimate fried fish sandwich, you'll need the ultimate fried fish. This recipe gives a few tricks, like soaking the fillets in buttermilk, using panko breadcrumbs and frying at a specific temperature.
- 100 ml buttermilk
- ½ tsp hot sauce (preferably Franks hot sauce), or to taste
- 2 skinless bream fillets, about 150 g each, bones removed
- 100 g plain flour, seasoned to taste
- 150 g panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 50 ml milk
- sea salt and white pepper, to taste
- 2 litres canola oil, for deep frying
- 120 g shredded Iceberg lettuce (soaked in iced water for 30 minutes)
- 40 g finely shaved red onion (soaked in iced water for 30 minutes)
- 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee
- 2 brioche buns, split
- 2 slices American cheese
- 125 g kewpie mayonnaise
- 1 tsp finely chopped capers
- 1 tsp finely chopped cornichon
- ½ tsp finely chopped pickled jalapeno
- 2 tbsp mixed finely chopped fresh herbs (French tarragon, dill, chervil, parsley)
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: 3 hours
- Place the buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow bowl and stir to combine. Add the fish, turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, for the tartare sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Place the seasoned flour on a plate and the breadcrumbs on another plate. Lightly beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Drain the fish and dust in the flour, then dip in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.
- Place the oil for deep -frying in in a large saucepan or deep – fryer and heat to 170˚C. Cook the fish for 4 – 5 minutes or until golden. Drain on a wire rack and season well.
- Drain the soaked lettuce and onion, then place in a bowl, ensuring there is no excess water, season to taste and toss to combine.
- Heat the clarified butter or ghee in a large frying pan over medium – high heat. Toast the buns, cut - side down until golden. Remove the lids, then turn and toast the bases for another minute.
- To assemble, spread both cut sides of the toasted buns with tartare sauce. Top with a piece of fried fish, then a piece of cheese followed by the lettuce mixture. Add the lids and serve immediately with any remaining tartare sauce on the side.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.