Fish Freak Sando with Fancy Sauce Recipe

Flaky white fish is breaded and fried until crispy, then smeared with a tangy, creamy sauce in this satisfying fish sandwich.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes 


for the fancy sauce:
½ cup|115 grams sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons hot English mustard
1 ½ teaspoons jarred grated horseradish
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar


for the fried fish:
1 cup|135 grams all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 cups|100 grams panko bread crumbs, or as needed
four (4-ounce|115-gram) fillets of sole or similar flaky white fish (see NOTE)
neutral oil for frying
flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
4 soft hamburger-style buns
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
fancy sauce, for serving
1 lemon, quartered


  1. Make the fancy sauce: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until incorporated. Store airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  2. Make the fried fish sandwich: Fill a large bowl with the flour, kosher salt, and pepper and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the panko into a third bowl. Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels.
  3. Working with one piece of fish at a time, dip both sides into the flour, then shake off the excess. Dip into the egg and allow any excess to drip off. Then dip into the panko to coat both sides, pressing to make sure the panko really coats the surface of the fish. (Refresh the panko as needed.) Repeat with the remaining fillets.
  4. Fill a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, gently drop each fillet into the oil and fry until crispy and deeply golden, flipping as needed, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer the fish to the prepared plate to drain and then sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Lightly coat the cut side of each hamburger bun with the butter. In a medium skillet over medium heat, fry the buns until they are golden and toasted, about 1 minute.
  6. Smear some fancy sauce on the bottom buns, then place a fish fillet on each and squeeze a lemon quarter over the tops. Dollop another spoonful of sauce on the fish and close the buns. Serve immediately.


NOTE: I call for sole here, but any delicate, flaky white fish will do. Talk to your fishmonger and tell them that you’re making a fried-fish sandwich—they’ll help you pick out the right variety, just as a sommelier would help you pick out the right wine.

Reprinted with permission from Foodheim: A Culinary Adventure by Eric Wareheim with Emily Timberlake copyright © 2021 Photographs copyright © 2021 by Julia Stotz. Art copyright © 2021 by Duke Aber. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.