I went through a phase one summer in middle school when I was obsessed with McDonalds’ Fillet O’Fish sandwiches and I ate them almost every day for lunch. Now, of course, I make my own (much!) healthier fish sandwiches that still give me great flavor and texture without the need for deep-frying.

When I cook a mild white fish such as catfish or tilapia, I liven up the flavor and color by coating it with a zesty seasoning mix such as a Cajun blend, or Old Bay seasoning (a favorite in Maryland, where I live). I coat the fillets in flour and the spices and brown them in a combination of hot butter and olive oil in my heavy cast iron skillet.

These sandwiches, originally suggested by longtime Six O’Clock Scramble subscriber Molly Thompson of Bozeman, Montana, build even more flavor into the fish by topping it with a tangy slaw. (If you are really short on time, buy premade coleslaw instead of using the recipe below.) To make it fun for families, we stuff everything into large rolls so we can eat it with our hands. I find the resulting colors, textures and flavors completely irresistible, and I hope your family agrees.

Recipe: Cajun Fish Sandwiches with Crunchy Slaw

  • Prep Time: 15 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 15 min(s)
  • Total Time: 30 min(s)
  • Servings: 4

These sandwiches build even more flavor into the fish by topping it with a tangy slaw.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. bagged coleslaw or broccoli slaw
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun or Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ciabatta or sourdough rolls
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. catfish, flounder, tilapia or other thin white fish fillets, cut into 4 even pieces

Instructions

  1. In a medium serving bowl, combine the slaw, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Set it aside. (If possible, make this up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. Mix it well before serving.)
  2. In a shallow dish or bowl, combine the flour and seasoning mixture. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg. Warm the rolls in a 300 degree oven, if desired.
  3. In a large heavy skillet (a cast iron pan works great for this), heat the butter and oil over medium heat until it is bubbling.
  4. Dip the fish pieces in the flour mixture to coat them, then the egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then back into the flour mixture to recoat. Cook the fish until it is nicely browned and crispy, 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove the fish to a plate.
  5. Serve the fish inside of the rolls topped with the slaw.

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