Crispy Fish Sandwich

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
May 13, 2021 | Updated on February 9, 2022

Crispy fish sandwich made with breaded fish, American cheese, tartar sauce, all sandwiched between a toasted soft white bun–sound familiar?

If you’re in a big sandwich mood, then try my BAT Sandwich, next!

Crispy fish sandwich

Crispy Fish Sandwich: An Ode To A Fast-Food Staple

Ah, yes, the fast-food staple fish sandwich–or as I like to call it: crispy fish sandwich. There was a significant time in my childhood where ordering this sandwich at a widely known fast-food chain was a frequent occurrence.

Its been a long time since those days, but I wanted to hold a space for this recipe on the blog, ‘cause who doesn’t love a crispy, flaky, tender, tartar sauce-ladened fish sando?!

It’s All About The Layers

Here it goes: Perfectly panko crusted, lightly fried cod fillet, sandwiched between soft white bread that’s been dutifully spread with a dill-and-caper-forward tartar sauce–and don’t forget the cheese!

American Cheese–It Just Hits Different

Say what you want about American cheese, but I’m not above layering a slice (or two!) on a fish sandwich. There’s something special and nostalgic about it that a cheddar cheese slice can’t give when enjoying a fish sando. When it comes to American cheese on a fish sandwich, it just hits different.

Magic in Sauce Form AKA Tartar Sauce

Whew, I am proud of this one. This dill-and-caper-forward tartar sauce is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s creamy, full of texture, herbaceous, and briny all at the same time and I absolutely love it! Try your hand at this tartar sauce recipe and you’ll never go for the store-bought bottle again. Here’s a quick breakdown of what it entails:

  • Good quality mayonnaise–don’t skimp on the quality of this ingredient, y’all.
  • Capers + brine
  • Fresh dill
  • Shallots
  • Lemon
  • Sweet Relish
  • Dijon
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh garlic

Panko Battered Fish–Oh, and Skip the Flour Step

That’s right, I said it: Panko battered cod, but do without the dredge-in-flour step. The result? It’s delicious, y’all; crispy, flavorful and still leaves room to honor the flakiness of the cod.

Steps to do this are similar to that of how you would normally bread fillets, except skip the flour step and go straight for the panko. Here’s the how-to:

  • Season fillets with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Transfer to egg wash, allow excess to drip
  • Coat with panko
  • Add to hot oil bath
  • Transfer to wire rack, sprinkle with salt
  • Repeat with remaining fish

Other types of Fish To Use

No cod? No problem! Any mild-flavored white fleshed fish is great to use in lieu of cod. Other options include:

  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Haddock
  • Grouper

Special Equipment For This Recipe

  • Thermomter
  • 4-Quart Dutch Oven
  • Wire Rack
  • Small Baking Sheet

More Sandwich Recipes, Just for You

Loving This Crispy Fish Sandwich?

That makes two of us! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

Crispy fish sandwich

Crispy Fish Sandwich

Crispy fish sandwich made with breaded fish, American cheese, tartar sauce, all sandwiched between a toasted soft white bun–sound familiar?
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Seafood


Tartar Sauce

  • ½ cup good quality mayo
  • 4 teaspoons fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, I use Diamond brand
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 2½ teaspoons sweet relish
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caper brine

Fried Fish

  • 4-4.5 ounce cod filets
  • Avocado oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more for seasoning fillets
  • Freshly cracked pepper for seasoning fillets
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • 4 soft white buns
  • 4 slices American cheese


  • Add all tartar sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  • Start with 2 medium bowls. Add panko breadcrumbs + kosher salt to the first bowl (mix well) and egg in the second bowl. Whisk egg until combined well, set aside.
  • Heat 1½ inches avocado oil to 350°F in a medium dutch oven.
  • Season both sides of cod with salt and pepper. Keep one hand clean and free of assembly ingredients.
  • One at a time, proceed with dipping both sides of cod in the egg wash, gently shaking off excess egg. Place cod into the bowl with panko and with your free hand, sprinkle panko mixture over cod until well-coated.
  • Set on baking sheet. Repeat until all cod are coated. 
  • Place fish in oil and turn once after bottom turns golden brown or after the 3-4 minute mark. Transfer to a wire rack, as this will keep fillets from getting soggy. Sprinkle with a whisper of salt and squeeze of a lemon. Repeat with remaining fish.
  • Meanwhile, toast the buns and spread tartar sauce on both sides of the bun. Place fillet on bottom bun, followed by a slice of cheese and sandwich together. Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
Crispy fish sandwich


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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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