The Fish King and Queen's Fish Sandwich

August 11, 2011

Author Notes: Take a road trip up the inner thumb of Michigan along Saginaw Bay and you can find a number of festivals and fairs during the summer, from the Pig Gig in Bay City at the base of the thumb to Cheeseburger in Caseville near the tip. About mid way up during the first full weekend of August, stop at Bayport whose unofficial motto is "Where the Fish Caught the Man" and attend the Fish Sandwich Festival. There, for $3.00 you can get a fish sandwich, watch a fish king and queen get crowned and see lawn mower races. The sandwich is fresh water mullet with a secret batter and secret tartar sauce on what appears to be a hot dog bun. Now, mullet isn't very appealing to me, so I've gussied up my fish sandwich a bit to befit a king and queen.
NOTE: Maybe the lawn mower race can become a new Olympic sport?

Makes: 4 sandwiches


For the Tartar Sauce and Cabbage topping

  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons diced dill pickle
  • 2 teaspoons chopped capers in brine
  • 1 tablespoon caper juice
  • 4 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Fish and Assembly

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds of your favorite fish for frying, filleted and cut into 8 pieces about 2 by 5 inches. ( I used Michigan whitefish)
  • Vegetable Oil for pan frying
  • A little flour for dusting the fish before battering
  • 4 eight inch submarine sandwich buns, sliced lengthwise and grilled just a bit to heat through just before assembling the sandwich
  • Thinly sliced tomatoes
  • Additional malt vinegar for sprinkling on the fish
  • The cabbage mixture
  • The tartar sauce
In This Recipe


For the Tartar Sauce and Cabbage topping

  1. .Combine the mayo, onion, dill, pickle, capers and caper juice in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the sandwich
  2. Whisk together the oil, malt vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, pour over the shredded cabbage, stir it around and refrigerate.

For the Fish and Assembly

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a shallow bowl. Whisk the egg, water and 2 tablespoons malt vinegar together. Whisk the liquid mixture into the dry creating a medium batter.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and dust the fish pieces with a little flour.
  3. Dip the fish into the batter and fry until golden, about 3 minutes per side. If you do this in batches, hold the fried pieces in a warm oven.
  4. Slather tartar sauce on both sides of the cut buns, place 2 pieces of fish on the bottom of each and sprinkle with some malt vinegar.
  5. Add some of the marinated cabbage to each sandwich and top with a few thinly sliced tomatoes.

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