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5 Best Tips for the Perfect Grilled Fish Sandwich

5 Best Tips for the Perfect Grilled Fish Sandwich

You might think that there’s no science to achieving the perfect grilled fish sandwich. You might even argue that there’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to a sandwich of any kind. But that’s just because you haven’t tried the world’s best-grilled fish sandwich in all of its glory. After all, when you work with a fresh grilled fish, you instantly have the ideal base for adding an abundance of flavor according to your own taste – be it sweet, salty, or spicy. And the best thing about the whole thing? Prepping and grilling the fish won’t take you too much time for added convenience. Interested in hearing more? Then keep on reading.

1. Choose the Best Fish

You might be under the wrong impression that putting fish in a sandwich is not a good route to take but that might be just because you haven’t looked at the right kind of fish; in order for your sandwich to be truly delicious, you need to pick a fish that has a bit firmer flesh. That said, your best options include swordfish, halibut, tilapia, striped bass, or grouper. Thanks to their sturdiness, these fish can be grilled easily, without you having to worry about them completely falling apart. What’s more, there won’t be any danger of bits and pieces falling out from your sandwich once it’s time to add other layers or take a bite.

fish for grilled fish sandwich

2. The Colder the Fish the Hotter the Grill

To start your grilled fish sandwich recipe, you must keep your fish in the fridge until you’re ready to start grilling. And once you get it out of the fridge, all you have to do is pat it dry and clean it properly. There’s no need to use any herbs or spices before the grilling. After all, the best way for the fish flesh to absorb the seasoning flavors is when it’s hot off the grill.

Now, while your fish is nice and cold, your grill has to be very hot. Make sure that you turn on the heat as much as possible and then cover the grates to achieve the ideal heat for the grilling. Remove the cover first to grease the grates thoroughly, removing every single trace of charred grit completely, and then cover the grates again for a couple of minutes. Make sure to soak some paper towels in canola oil so that you can rub the grate towels as well.

3. Grill the Fish Properly

Now that the time has come to place your fish fillets on the grill make sure that you place them on the side that used to have skin first. You’ll notice that the edges of the fillet are turning opaque after 2-3 minutes, which is a sign that it’s time to flip the fillet over. The best grilled fish recipes involve the use of a special fish spatula but any regular spatula will do as long as you’re gentle and careful with loosening the fish from the grill. You’ll need to grill the fish for another 2-4 minutes (it all depends on the fillet’s thickness) and you’re done! If you’re not sure whether it’s time to remove the fish from the grill, simply check whether the fillet middle is opaque. If it is, you’re good to go.

4. Find an Ideal Sandwich Roll

When it comes to the roll you’ll be using for your grilled fish meals it’s all about your own taste and preference. However, it’s important to mention that the best roll choice involves one that’s crusty on the outside and pillowy on the inside. What’s more, the shape of the roll should be similar to the shape of the fish fillet you have at your disposal.

basket full of rolls for sandwiches

5. The Order of the Assembly

With your fish all nice and grilled and rolls ready to roll, it’s time to assemble your grilled fish sandwich. You have the freedom to choose your layer ingredients, but if you’re interested in the best fish sandwich ideas, consider the following order: bottom roll + lettuce + briny mixture + the fish fillet + the top roll slathered in mayo/aioli.

There’s a lot more to it than this. As mentioned, it all depends on the type of ingredients you wish to make up your grilled fish sandwich. That said, let’s see what you’d need for about 4 tasty grilled fish hoagies with za’atar, harissa aioli, and carrot cilantro pickle sandwiches.

Grilled Fish Hoagies with Za’atar, Harissa Aioli, and Carrot Cilantro Pickle Ingredients

For the pickle, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of sugar, distilled white vinegar, and julienned/shredded jicama
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 cup of julienned/shredded carrots
  • 15 sprigs of cilantro

For the aioli, you’ll need:

  • 3 peeled and minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, harissa paste, and minced preserved lemon
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil

For the sandwich, you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of za’atar
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • Four 6-ounce fillets of cold fish
  • 4 crusty rolls similar in shape to the fish 
  • 8 pieces of crisp leaf lettuce (preferably red)

To make the pickle, you should first mix the sugar and salt with vinegar until they’re dissolved. Only then add the carrots and jicama. It would be ideal for the mixture to sit in the fridge overnight, but half an hour at room temperature and covered will do if you can’t wait longer. Stir in cilantro right before the serving.

For the aioli, you’ll first need to mash the salt and garlic. Once you have a nice paste, place it in a food processor together with the mustard, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Turn the processor on and slowly add olive oil. Once the ingredients are nicely combined, add canola oil a tad faster while the processor is running. With this process done, simply add harissa and lemon, and stir the mixture well. Keep aioli in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

For the seasoning, mix za’atar and salt, and dust the fish fillets while they’re still hot off the grill. Of course, you can always play with other herbs and spices if you so desire. Just keep in mind that you should never season the fish before grilling as the herbs/spices are likely to burn.

If you’re hyped up to try the delicacy that a grilled fish sandwich can be and want to know who has the best fish sandwich, look no further than Glass and Vine restaurant. We’re happy to confirm the claims when it comes to the truly perfect grilled fish sandwich that we offer on our menu. Top everything off with a delicious dessert and rejuvenating vine from our list, and you’re bound to have an enjoyable and relaxing time enhanced by the beautiful nature surrounding our restaurant. Our goal at Glass and Vine is to make every single moment at our place truly special for our customers, and we’re 100% confident in our ability to make you happy and full as well. Feel free to check our menu online if you want to learn more about what we offer.

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