One Fish, Two Fish for Lunch: 9 of Amanda's Best Fish Lunches

July 30, 2015

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.

This week: We revisit a favorite lunchtime standby for Amanda's kids—fish.

If you're a follower of Amanda's Kids' Lunch, you may have noticed Amanda's kids' affinity for a little lunchtime seafood (especially tuna and salmon). Says Amanda,

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"Smoked fish holds up really well in packed lunches. And the smokiness seems more palatable to kids than most plain fish. A default lunch when I'm busy is smoked salmon and cream cheese on brioche. My kids happen to like tuna, too, so I poach it in olive oil with lots of garlic and herbs, which gives it a richness (and helps preserve it). Sometimes I mix the poached tuna into Niçoise-like salad and sometimes I blend it into a mayonnaise-based tuna salad. I like that fish is nutrition rich yet has the freshness you want in a good lunch."

Whether in the summer, when seafood's front and center, or all year-round, borrow some of Amanda's ideas for incorporating fresh or canned fish into your kids' (or your own) lunch. Don't forget to pack dessert, too!

Stir some pesto into your tuna salad.

Tuna salad


Make sandwiches with baked and smoked salmon spread (a mix of baked and smoked salmons with mayonnaise).

Salmon spread


Cream cheese-and-lox sandwiches are a total lunchtime treat.



Shred oil-poached tuna into a Milanese-inspired rice salad (it's good with salmon, too).

A Milanese Rice Salad


Radishes add crunch to a smoked salmon sammie, and tarragon makes it special.

Smoked salmon


Roasted salmon finds a home on a bed of rice.



Channel the South of France with tuna Niçoise.

Tuna nicoise


Avocado and smoked salmon sliders are get an extra kick from quick-pickled onions.

A Semi-Sophisticated Lunch


Make a green couscous salad and serve it with oil-packed tuna on top.


All photos by Amanda Hesser

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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girlwithaknife February 12, 2017
Can you please adopt me Amanda? This looks amazing! Your kids are indeed lucky!
jane.colton3 August 4, 2015
Is this column finished? It was my favorite. :(
Pamela S. August 3, 2015
I will be sending my son to school for the first time this year. I just got lost in the internets reading up on what lunchbox is best when I remembered Amanda's simple glass containers. I'm sure it has been asked before, but could you share what brand she uses that holds up so well? Thank you!