Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Tastiest, Sloppiest Fish Sandwich I've Ever Made

Today was a huge success. I took some simple ingredients and made something delicious. I'd been thinking about how best to approach making this sandwich for about a week. What I came to was this:
  • Canned salmon is very hit or miss
  • Making salmon cakes is VERY hit or miss, and different people will have different experiences with their batter and frying the cakes
  • The salmon fillets were very affordable at Big Y, and looked fresh and delicious
 With a pound of fresh salmon and a bottle of remoulade sauce in hand, I headed back home. Here's what came of it:

Fresh Salmon Sandwiches with Balsamic Slaw
Your favorite sandwich bread (I used Kinnikinnick gluten-free burger buns, but my dad had his on some whole wheat bread)
Enough shredded cabbage and carrots, in whatever ratio you like, to give about 1/4 cup per sandwich
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
About 1/3 pound fresh salmon fillet per sandwich (You may need more or less, depending on the size and shape of your bread. Don't be afraid to eyeball it. Extra salmon is always welcome!), cleaned and patted dry
Remoulade sauce (It's a bit like a tartar sauce, but with some more ingredients thrown in. My favorites involve horseradish)

1. In a mixing bowl, give your shredded slaw-to-be a drizzling of balsamic vinegar. It doesn't need to be coated, unless you like your slaw wet and extra tangy. I probably used about two tablespoons for three sandwiches, and found that my slaw was a bit wetter than I'd have liked. Next, add just a bit more olive oil than vinegar (Or less, if you prefer. This is a recipe that is best served personalized to your tastes), grind in some salt and pepper, and stir it all up. Be sure to check the taste and correct it if needed. Better now than later. Once you like where your slaw stands, put it in the fridge to wait.
2. Add enough olive oil to a pan to coat half of it, then heat the oil until just smoking. Rub some salt and pepper onto the flesh side of your salmon fillet. I also added a sprinkling of paprika, but I didn't feel that it added anything. Add the salmon, flesh side down, to the hot pan.
3. If you like your bread toasted, now is the time to get it started.
4. Once the salmon has had a chance to sear and cook about half-way through, flip it onto the skin side, maintaining high heat.
5. Prepare the base of the sandwiches. Scoop a healthy pile of slaw onto the bottom bun/slice of bread, and spread (or slather, if you want a super sloppy, creamy sandwich) some remoulade sauce onto the inward face of the top slice.
6. Once your salmon is cooked through to your preference (Heck, you could probably do this with raw sashimi-grade salmon), gently lift each portion from its skin and onto its little hill of slaw. Finish each sandwich with the remoulade-bearing top slice and enjoy.

This was an all-around excellent sandwich. The crunch and tang of the slaw was a perfect companion for the creamy remoulade and fatty salmon. The remoulade sauce rounded out the flavors wonderfully, in a way that plain tartar sauce just can't compete with. We enjoyed our sandwiches with a side of baked sweet potato 'fries' that I lightly oiled and salted, spread out on a baking sheet and broiled, checking in until they were at the point I wanted them to reach.

So, what about you folks? Any favorite fish sandwiches, cole slaws or great sauces? It just might be that I need to try out some more sandwiches in a similar style to this one.


  1. The Wikipedia entry on it is pretty good.

    In my experience, the remoulade that's been available has always been like tartar sauce's more flavorful cousin. Where tartar sauce is kind of tangy and a little bit sweet, remoulade goes beyond that with more seasonings that really round the sauce out. It's wicked tasty.