Panko-Crusted Fish Sandwich
with tartar sauce / kale chips
With crispy fish and creamy tartar sauce, these classic sandwiches have been a favorite of our community since they were first featured in 2014. It's surprisingly easy to make a great homemade version of this beloved beachy meal. Crispy kale chips are a fun way to get your greens on the side.
- Kale, curly leaf - 1 bunch, leaves torn off of stems
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Tilapia - 1 lb (sub any white fish, like cod)
- Butter lettuce - 4 leaves (sub any type of lettuce / greens)
- Cilantro (opt) - 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
- Eggs - 1
- Panko breadcrumbs - 3/4 cup
- Cajun seasoning - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp
- Hamburger buns - 4
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Mayonnaise - 1/2 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
- Capers - 2 Tbsp, drained, rinsed, and chopped
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Fish - Rinse and dry with a paper towel. Slice into pieces that would fit nicely into a burger bun. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Kale - Peel off leaves and discard stems. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Lettuce - Tear leaves into pieces that will fit inside the burger buns. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cilantro - Finely chop cilantro.
- Prep breading stations - 1) In one bowl or container with lid, lightly whisk egg with a splash of water; 2) In a second bowl or container with lid, mix together panko, cilantro, Cajun seasoning, some salt and pepper, and first part of cooking oil.
- Make tartar sauce - Mix together mayo, chopped capers, and lemon juice (portion for tartar sauce). Salt to taste.
- Heat oven to 300F / 149C degrees.
- Spread kale leaves onto a sheet pan. Use two pans if they’re too packed on one. Toss with olive oil and then bake for 8 to 12 minutes until leaves are crispy. If they start to brown too much at the edges, they’re definitely done! Sprinkle with some salt right out of the oven.
- While kale chips are baking, dip fish pieces into egg and then panko. If you’re using containers with lids, you can just dump all the fish into each container, close lid, and shake (this is that fancy ‘shake and bake’ method). Continue until all fish pieces are breaded.
- Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add second part of cooking oil and then cook fish on each side for ~4 minutes, until panko is golden and fish is opaque when sliced.
- Toast hamburger buns.
- Drizzle lemon juice (portion for sandwiches) on fish and assemble sandwiches with fish, tartar sauce, and lettuce. Enjoy with kale chips!
This was - no kidding - outstanding in my opinion. Take that from a person who doesn't love fish. I have been trying to gain an appreciation for fish / seafood in adulthood, and have grown to like some seafood. I prepared everything as the recipe stated. I used wild caught Tilapia Filets (frozen) that I bought at Whole Foods. I also used the Litehouse jar of freeze-dried cilantro instead of fresh (saves time). I also used pre-washed and chopped kale to save time, and removed most of the bigger stems that I found. The fish was so delicious, flaky, flavorful (loved the tartar sauce too!). The kale chips took longer than 12 minutes for me but they were so delicious also. I also made corn on the cob - using Tyler Florence's (Food Network) super easy recipe where you put the entire ear WITH HUSK ON in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, then pull back the husks and silks and then rub them with a little butter after cooking. Makes PERFECT corn every time and SO EASY. Two of my kids dislike seafood and even they admitted this fish sandwich was good. We will keep this in our rotation.0 Helpful
Delicious but not filling. I would make it again but with a second side.0 Helpful
Mine didn’t look at all like the photo but was still delish. I had a hard time getting the panko to stick even with the egg? I would make this again for sure. We used Hawaiian burger buns bc we had some left over and it was great. Husband did not care for the kale chips but my 12 yr old loved them.0 Helpful
Ok, I used the breaded fish from trader joes so this was too easy. But everyone liked it! And i did make the tarter sauce.0 Helpful
Super tasty! Even my 2 year old ate the fish.0 Helpful