Best Fish Sandwich Recipe

Want to learn how to make the best fish sandwich recipe? Or, as we call it in Australia, the good old fish burger. This recipe will walk you through every stage: making the crispy fish patties, the tantalising tartar sauce, the tangy slaw and assembling it all on soft brioche buns. I got you covered with step-by-step photos, tips and variations, so you feel confident to make a dish your friends and family will be asking for again and again.


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In This Post:


My Favourite Fish Sandwich Recipe

Known in some parts of the world as a fish burger or fish bap, this sandwich features a crispy white fish patty, accompanied by a delicious tartar sauce, tangy and vibrant red cabbage, lettuce, and, all held together by a soft brioche bun. 

What I love about this fish sandwich is the delightful combination of textures, flavours and colours. 

The star of the show is the crispy white fish patty, made from ground fish, a few seasonings, and bound together with an egg. This patty is then coated in flour, egg wash and Panko breadcrumbs (you can use gluten-free crumbs) and fried to a perfect golden brown, resulting in a satisfyingly crunchy crust and a delicate, moist interior. The contrast of textures is simply irresistible.

Tartar Sauce: Elevating The Flavour

No fish sandwich is complete without a tangy and creamy fish tartar sauce. This zesty condiment adds a burst of flavour that complements the fish patty beautifully. 

My tartar sauce is made with mayonnaise, yogurt (to lighten it up), pickles, capers, and a touch of Dijon mustard. Its creamy texture and bright, acidic notes bring everything together in perfect harmony.

Check out my separate tartar sauce recipe post for more ideas on how to use it.

tartar sauce for fish sandwich
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Bring It All Together

In addition to fish patties and sauce, you will need thinly shredded red cabbage (or white), which is lightly dressed in olive oil and white wine vinegar or lemon juice. This will bring colour and crunch. A lettuce leaf will add a touch of green and freshness.

A little sliced cheese will add extra umami and creaminess but it is optional as not all fish sandwiches include cheese.

I used soft brioche buns but any burger buns or soft bread rolls can be used. The patties are quite thick so the ratio of fish to bread is in favour of the fish patty! Oftentimes, a fish sandwich or burger can taste too bready but not in this case. This fish sandwich recipe is all about the fillings.

I hope you enjoy it!

Irena xo

fish sandwich with tartar sauce and red cabbage
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👉 You might also like my breakfast burger with a pan-fried sausage patty and egg. For fish lovers, check out my salmon fish cakes with sweet potatoes and peas, or sardine fish cakes with garlic aioli.

What Fish Sandwich Is Also Known As

ℹ️ The fish sandwich is known by various names across different regions, including fish burger, fish bap, and fish roll, depending on the country or culture. Regardless of the name, the essence remains the same—a delightful fish patty nestled in a bun, delivering a burst of flavours with every bite.

How To Make A Fish Sandwich

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are the step-by-step pics to guide you along.

Make The Tartar Sauce

  • Chop the capers finely and cut the pickles into very tiny cubes. Chop the green onion finely (or red onion, if using). Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, capers, pickles, Dijon mustard and a little black pepper and mix through. 
  • Set aside or place in the refrigerator if making ahead of time. It will keep for up to 3-4 days.
Ingredients
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Make The Crispy Fish Patties

  • Creating the perfect crispy fish patties requires a few essential steps. 
  • Start by selecting a firm white fish such as cod, holi, haddock, or halibut. You can use frozen filets thawed out ahead of time.
Ingredients for the best fish sandwiches.
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  • Step 1. Using a food processor or a high-speed blender, ground up the fish pieces. Combine the processed fish with 1 egg, 3- 4 tablespoons of Panko breadcrumbs (this will soak up some moisture so it is easier to shape the patties), plus a teaspoon of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. 
  • Step 2. Prepare a cutting board or a plate dusted lightly with flour. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 portions (I made 4 larger patties but you can choose to make smaller ones). Shape each portion into a round ball and flatten it into a patty, place it on a board and sprinkle with extra flour over the top. Note: the patty mixture is soft so you have to take extra care shaping the patties.
  • Step 3. Whisk an egg or two in one shallow bowl and add the Panko crumbs to another shallow bowl.
  • Step 4. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat (7 out of 10 on an induction stove). 
  • Step 5. Slide a spatula under one of the patties and transfer it carefully to a bowl with whisked egg wash. Gently turn it over to cover both sides and transfer it to the bowl with crumbs. Coat each side with crumbs, pressing gently with your fingers and place the patty in the hot frying pan. Continue with the remaining patties until they are all crumbed and in the frying pan. 
  • Step 6. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the opposite side. Keep in mind that the first patty will need to be turned sooner as it was in the pan first. Add a little extra oil when turning the patties over so they don’t dry out.

Prepare Other Ingredients

  • Step 7. Thinly slice the red cabbage and add to a bowl. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of white wine vinegar or lemon juice and a little olive oil and season with a touch of salt. Toss through and set aside. 
  • Step 8. Prepare the lettuce leaves and sliced cheese.
  • Step 9. Toast the brioche bun halves using a toaster or under a broil. You can also heat a dollop of butter in another frying pan and place the buns cut side down for a minute or so until they are golden brown.

Assemble Fish Sandwich

  • Step 10. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the tartar sauce on the bottom half. Place the fish patty on top followed by cheese. Add a handful of red cabbage slaw and top with a lettuce leaf or two. Spread the same amount of tartar sauce on the top half and close the sandwich. Serve whole or slice in half if you wish. Eat over a plate as you will get a few drippings along the way!
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Watch How To Make It

Which Fish To Use?

Opt for varieties that are firm and mild in flavour. Popular choices include cod, haddock, hoki, halibut, or even tilapia. These fish are versatile and hold up well during the cooking process, allowing the patty to retain its shape and texture. 

You can use fresh or frozen fish, which might be more budget-friendly. Thaw out overnight or in a bowl of warm water. Make sure to pat the fish dry using some kitchen roll to absorb any excess moisture. 

Variations

  • For a spicy kick, try adding a touch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the fish patty mixture or the tartar sauce. 
  • Turn it into a Tex Mex fish sandwich by using chipotle mayo sauce and adding some Taco seasoning to the fish patties or the crumbs. Add avocado, cilantro, red onion and tomato for the fillings.
  • Fresh dill is often added to the sauce or the patties. Although this is a classic herb for this dish, you can try it with tarragon, basil or cilantro. 
  • Experiment with different types of buns, such as whole wheat or sesame seed, to add a unique touch. Learn how to make your own sandwich buns here.
  • Adding additional toppings like avocado slices, radishes, tomatoes, pickles, or even a slice of ripe tomato can bring in new textures, colours and nutrients. 
  • For a low-carb or lighter option, serve the fish patty without the bun but with extra salad.

Make Ahead Tips

  • Preparing components of the fish sandwich in advance can save valuable time and make mealtime a breeze. 
  • You can make the fish patties ahead of time and refrigerate them until you are ready to cook. Similarly, the tartar sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two or even three. Red cabbage can be sliced and dressed ahead of time too.

Recommended Sides


Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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best fish sandwich recipe
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Best Fish Sandwich Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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5 from 5 votes
Calories: 866kcal
The best fish sandwich recipe with crispy white fish patty, tartar sauce, red cabbage, cheese and lettuce, all nestled in a soft brioche bun. With its golden, crunchy exterior and tender, flavourful centre, this fish sandwich is an absolute delight!

Ingredients 

  • 380 g fish filet white cod, haddock, halibut, hoki, whiting (13 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs or gluten-free crumbs

For Tartar Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon green onions or scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon baby capers
  • 1-2 dill pickles gherkins
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A pinch of salt

For Sandwich Assembly

  • 4 brioche buns or burger buns, cut in halves
  • 60 g cheddar or cheese of choice (2 oz.)
  • 4 lettuce leaves

Instructions

  • Make tartar sauce.
    Chop the capers finely and cut the pickles into very tiny cubes. Chop the green onion finely (or red onion, if using). Combine mayonnaise, yoghurt, capers, pickles, Dijon mustard and a little black pepper and mix through. Set aside or place in the refrigerator if making ahead of time. It will keep for up to 3-4 days.
  • Tartar sauce ingredients for the best fish sandwich recipe
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  • Make the fish patties.
    Cut the filets into large squares. Using a food processor or a high-speed blender, ground up the fish pieces into a mince-like texture.
  • Combine the fish with one small to medium egg, 3 to 4 tablespoons of Panko breadcrumbs (this will soak up some moisture so it is easier to shape the patties), plus a teaspoon of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
  • Combine ingredients for the best fish sandwich recipe
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  • Prepare a cutting board or a plate dusted lightly with flour. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 portions (we made 4 larger patties but you can choose to make 6 smaller ones). Shape each portion into a round ball and flatten it into a patty, place it on a board and sprinkle with extra flour over the top. Note: the patty mixture is soft so you have to take extra care shaping the patties.
  • Whisk an egg or two in one shallow bowl and add the Panko crumbs to another shallow bowl. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat (7 out of 10 on an induction stove).
  • Slide a spatula under one of the patties and transfer it carefully to a bowl with whisked egg wash. Gently turn it over to cover both sides and transfer it to the bowl with crumbs. Coat each side with crumbs, pressing gently with your fingers and place the patty in the hot frying pan. Continue with the remaining patties until they are all crumbed and in the frying pan.
  • FIsh patties for the best fish sandwich recipe
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  • Cook for 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the opposite side. Keep in mind that the first patty will need to be turned sooner as it was in the pan first. Add a little extra oil when turning the patties over so they don't dry out.
  • Frying fish patties for the best fish sandwiches.
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  • Prepare red cabbage.
    Thinly slice the red cabbage and add to a bowl. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of white wine vinegar or lemon juice and a little olive oil and season with a touch of salt. Toss through and set aside.
  • Prepare the lettuce leaves and sliced cheese.
  • Toast the brioche bun halves using a toaster or under a broil. You can also heat a dollop of butter in another frying pan and place the buns cut-side down for a minute or so until they are golden brown.
  • Assemble the fish sandwich.
    Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the tartar sauce on the bottom half. Place the fish patty on top followed by cheese. Add a handful of red cabbage slaw and top with a lettuce leaf or two. Spread the same amount of tartar sauce on the top half and close the sandwich. Serve whole or slice in half if you wish. Eat over a plate as you will get a few drippings along the way!
  • best fish sandwiches.
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Nutrition

Calories: 866kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 294mg | Sodium: 1654mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3265IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: Fish Recipes, Fish Burger, Fish Sandwich, Tartare Sauce, Lunch Ideas, Fish Bap
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved

Best Fish Sandwich With Creamy Tartar Sauce
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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Comments

5 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    I haven’t eaten dinner yet and your photos are making me so hungry! Going to make your fish sandwich this weekend. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for my husband and I for dinner the other night and it was so tasty he is already requesting it again! Such a great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Never in my life have I made a better fish sandwich, truthfully. So, so good. Thank you for a great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    My siblings and friends always ordered a Big Mac. Not me, fish sandwich was the best. Still is. But THIS changed my mind about when I want a fish sandwich! SO GOOD!

  5. 5 stars
    These fish burgers turned out perfectly! The patties were crispy and flavorful, and went great with the toppings!

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