Skip to content

Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!

    Fish Sandwich Recipe

    Published March 1, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This fresh fish sandwich recipe is beer battered and fried to golden brown and served on a toasted bun with shredded cabbage and a homemade tartar sauce. Once you try this sandwich, there’s no returning to the fast food or restaurant version ever again.

    I absolutely love seafood and eat it whenever I can. If you are looking to try out a few new fish dishes, then for sure make my tasty Halibut with Lemon Butter or Chilean Sea Bass

    holding a fish sandwich


     

    Fish Sandwich

    Fish sandwich consists of a cooked fish fillet that is served on a bun with other ingredients such as sauce, lettuce, and cheese. There are many variations to a fish sandwich, and it can be tailored to your liking. I personally like it with shredded cabbage and tartar sauce on a toasted bun. It’s also delicious to serve with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tartar sauce on a toasted bun.

    The history of the fish sandwich is a little murky as many countries border oceans that have been cooking and serving fish with bread for centuries. It didn’t become popular in the United States until McDonald’s franchise owner Lou Groen came up with the idea in 1962 of a fried fish sandwich because sales were down during Lent. His idea worked and the filet o’ fish sandwich was born and remains popular today. However, my recipe is superior in every way.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    fish sandwich ingredients
    • Fish – I used fresh cod in my recipe. However, you can also use halibut, sea bass, haddock, pollock, or mahi. Any firm white fish will work. If using frozen fish, be sure it is completely thawed.
    • Cabbage – I prefer red or green cabbage on my fish sandwich. You can also use lettuce such as iceberg, butter leaf, or green leaf.
    • Flour – You will need all-purpose flour for the batter. Substitute with bread flour if that is all you have.
    • Corn Starch – This will help ensure the batter is light and fluffy.
    • Baking Powder – I always add baking powder to my batter to help puff it up as it fries.
    • Seasonings – This is optional, but I add granulated garlic and onion, along with paprika and cayenne. In addition, coarse salt and pepper, at the very least, are required to season the batter properly.
    • Buns – You can use any hamburger buns for this recipe. I used a brioche bun for my fish sandwich.
    • Liquid – I used a light beer which is classic in a batter of this style. You can also use dark beer for a stronger flavor. In addition, if you do not drink alcohol you can substitute with club soda, sparkling water, milk, or water.
    • Oil – Any neutral flavored oil will work for frying the fish. I used avocado oil.
    • Sauce – There are actually quite a few sauces you could use, but I prefer the classic Tartar Sauce.

    How to Make a Fish Sandwich

    Add the oil to a 4- or 5-quart pot and heat it until it reaches 350°.

    adding oil to a pot

    In the meantime. pat the cod dry on both sides with paper towels and set them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

    patting fish dry

    Gently season the fish on all sides with coarse salt. Set them to the side.

    seasoning fish

    In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

    whisking flour

    Take 2/3 cup of the mixture and sprinkle it on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

    adding flour to a sheet tray

    Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour on the sheet tray until coated on all sides, and then set them to the side on the tray. They can sit like this for up to 10 minutes.

    coating fish in flour

    While sitting in the flour you can make the tartar sauce and shred the cabbage. Set them to the side.

    making a tartar sauce

    Next, whisk the beer into the bowl of seasoned flour until it is completely combined. It is like the consistency of a pancake batter. Be sure to watch my video.

    whisking a batter

    Shake off any excess flour from the fish and then add it to the beer batter and submerge it completely.

    adding fish to a batter

    Give the fish a little shake and then slowly add it to the oil while slowly waving it back and forth for 10 to 15 seconds so that it begins to fry to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

    adding battered fish to hot oil

    Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and cooked throughout.

    frying fish

    Set the fish to the side on a rack over a sheet tray to drain off any excess oil. Repeat the process until all the fish is fried.

    resting fried fish on a batter

    Add some shredded cabbage to the bottom of the toasted bun.

    adding cabbage to a bun

    Place on a piece of fried fish and the tartar sauce and top bun. Make the other fish sandwiches and serve.

    beer battered fried cod fish sandwich

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as the fish is done frying. You can keep them warm on a rack in the oven at low temperatures (180° to 200°) for up to 15 minutes before serving.

    How to Store: Cover and store the ingredients separately in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will not freeze well.

    How to Reheat: Place the desired number of fish evenly spread out on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 375° for 5-7 minutes or until hot. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Now, it certainly helps to have a deep fryer, but you can still pull this off if you have a pot, a thermometer, and plenty of oil.
    • The cornstarch in the batter helps to make a thick outside crust You can use 2 cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of baking powder instead.
    • Fish is cooked all the way through when it reaches 145° internally.
    • If cooking more than 1 fish at a time, be sure to keep the fish about 1″ to 2″ from each other or else they are going to stick together.
    • The fish has about 15 to 20 minutes after frying before the breading starts to soften and break down.
    • I try to scoop out and discard as much breading in the oil as possible between each fry to keep the oil clean.
    • I also love serving the sandwich with creamy coleslaw.
    • You can preserve the oil by cooling it, straining it through a fine mesh strainer, storing it covered at room temperature, and using it for 3 to 4 more fries over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
    • Once you add the fish you will need to turn up the heat so that it maintains 350° slightly.

    More Fish Recipes

    Share this Post

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Fish Sandwich Recipe

    5 from 8 votes
    This fish sandwich recipe is beer battered and fried to golden brown and served on a toasted bun with shredded cabbage and tartar sauce.
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • neutral-flavored oil for frying
    • 4 6- ounce fresh cod fillets
    • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup cornstarch
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
    • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 ¼ cup light or dark beer
    • 4 toasted brioche buns
    • 1 cup shredded red or green cabbage
    • Tartar sauce
    • coarse salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the oil to a 4- or 5-quart pot and heat it until it reaches 350°.
    • In the meantime. pat the cod dry on both sides with paper towels and set them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
    • Gently season the fish on all sides with coarse salt. Set them to the side.
    • In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
    • Take 2/3 cup of the mixture and sprinkle it on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
    • Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour on the sheet tray until coated on all sides, and then set them to the side on the tray. They can sit like this for up to 10 minutes.
    • While it is sitting in the flour you can make the tartar sauce and shred the cabbage. Set them to the side.
    • Next, whisk the beer into the bowl of seasoned flour until it is thoroughly combined. It is like the consistency of a pancake batter. Be sure to watch my video.
    • Shake off any excess flour from the fish and then add it to the beer batter and submerge it completely.
    • Give the fish a little shake and then slowly add it to the oil while slowly waving it back and forth for 10 to 15 seconds so that it begins to fry to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
    • Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and cooked throughout.
    • Set the fish to the side on a rack over a sheet tray to drain off any excess oil. Repeat the process until all the fish is fried.
    • Add some shredded cabbage to the bottom of the toasted bun.
    • Place on a piece of fried fish and add the tartar sauce and top bun. Make the other fish sandwiches and serve.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as the fish is done frying. You can keep them warm on a rack in the oven at low temperatures (180° to 200°) for up to 15 minutes before serving.
    How to Store: Cover and store the ingredients separately in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will not freeze well.
    How to Reheat: Place the desired number of fish evenly spread out on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 375° for 5-7 minutes or until hot. 
    Now, it certainly helps to have a deep fryer, but you can still pull this off if you have a pot, a thermometer, and plenty of oil.
    The cornstarch in the batter helps to make a thick outside crust. You can use 2 cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of baking powder instead.
    Fish is cooked all the way through when it reaches 145° internally.
    If cooking more than 1 fish at a time, be sure to keep the fish about 1″ to 2″ from each other or else they are going to stick together.
    The fish has about 15 to 20 minutes after frying before the breading starts to soften and break down.
    I try to scoop out and discard as much breading in the oil as possible between each fry to keep the oil clean.
    I also love serving the sandwich with creamy coleslaw.
    You can preserve the oil by cooling it, straining it through a fine mesh strainer, storing it covered at room temperature, and using it for 3 to 4 more fries over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
    Once you add the fish you will need to turn up the heat so that it maintains 350° slightly.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 644kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 26gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 2179mgPotassium: 617mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1052IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 3mg
    Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
    Cuisine: American, english