You are looking at my latest MVP dinner…
A version of these pan-fried fish sandwiches have been in my dinner rotation for as long as I can remember. When my daughters were little, it was our gateway meal to get them into fish — I mean, serve anything with a crispy, golden panko crust and you’ve increased the likelihood of enjoyment by a considerable percentage, right? Especially when the filet that’s crusted is as unoffensive a fish as flounder or sole. Over the years, we’ve served the sandwich with a classic creamy slaw, or a simple schmear of mayo and pickles. Sometimes it shows up with roast potatoes on the side, sometimes with baked beans. Gradually, though, the recipe has evolved — these days, there’s mustard powder and cayenne in the bread crumb mixture, and I’ve been favoring a slaw that is heavy on the rice wine vinegar, not so much the mayo. Swap out the baked beans for a wheat berry salad or a fleet of farm-market-fresh salads, and you’re looking at my new favorite dinner, no matter who is sitting at the table.
Pan-Fried Fish Sandwiches with Dill Slaw
Makes 4 sandwiches
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1/2 cup flour
kosher salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 pounds delicate white fish filets such as flounder or sole
salt and pepper to taste
4 sandwich rolls, such as Martin’s potato rolls
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Set up your dredging stations on three dinner plates: One plate with flour (salted and peppered), one plate with beaten eggs, one with bread crumbs that have been tossed with mustard powder, cayenne, and more salt and pepper.
Dredge your fish filets: Press filets first into the flour, then using a fork, dip them in the egg, then press into the panko until completely covered. Cooking in batches, add each filet to the hot skillet and fry 2 to 3 minutes a side until cooked through. Remove from the skillet onto a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining filets. Add each filet to a dinner roll — cutting them in half and layering if you have to, as shown — and top with slaw, below.
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Sriracha
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups shredded Napa cabbage (or green cabbage)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced shallots or red onion
In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, mayonnaise, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, Sriracha, salt, and pepper. Add cabbage and toss. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.