This Fish Finger Sandwich is made with homemade crispy baked fish fingers, soft white bread and creamy tartar sauce!
I would pretend this sandwich brings back childhood memories, but realistically you’ll still find me scoffing down fish fingers sandwiches to this day! Yes, a fish finger sandwich is very simple to make, BUT there are certainly some tricks to bringing out the best in your fish finger butty. PLUS we’ll be making our own fish fingers! It’s so easy – promise. Follow me…
Fish Finger Breadcrumbs
The best fish fingers are deep golden in colour and ultra crispy/crunchy in texture. You can achieve this with baking them. The key –
Panko breadcrumbs are great because they’re so big and airy, meaning they crisp up nicely. Much better than a fine dry breadcrumb or fresh breadcrumb. Some recipes use ‘golden breadcrumbs’, which you find in a lot of UK supermarkets. You get a great colour with these, but because all the crumbs are the same size you don’t get a good coverage i.e. there’s lots of tiny gaps.
Toast the breadcrumbs!
This is a crucial step. Before using the Panko, you’ll want to toast them until golden in a dollop of butter. Because the fish cooks so quickly, if you don’t pre-toast the breadcrumbs they won’t fully crisp up by the time the fish cooks. Meaning you’ll end up with limp and soft fish fingers. Not fun! Plus toasting the Panko in butter adds more flavour 😋
Process shots: add butter to pan (photo 1), melt and spread across pan (photo 2), add Panko (photo 3), toast until golden (photo 4).
Cod Fish Fingers
In reality you can use most white fish to make fish fingers, but for me cod is the classic. Pollock and haddock also work nicely. In all cases though just ensure it’s boneless, skinless fish.
When it comes to slicing the fish you’ll want to use a loin, just so you can cut nice big/long wedges. They shrink a lot as they bake so ensure you slice them slightly larger than what you imagine them to come out like!
Here I use two loins, sliced into 6 wedges each. That’s 12 wedges in total (4 per sandwich).
Baked Fish Fingers
As promised, you can get crispy fish fingers by baking them. Just a few things to consider:
By stirring some parmesan in with the breadcrumbs you not only add flavour, but it also helps create a super crispy batter!
It’s not a deal breaker, but by elevating the fish fingers on a wire rack, you allow the heat to circulate around them and help crisp them up more evenly.
You want to bake them at a fairly high temp, just so the breading gets a chance to crisp up before the fish cooks.
Probably the most important tip is to make sure you bread the fish fairly quickly. The longer the fish sits, the more water it produces. The more excess moisture, the more the breadcrumbs will steam and ultimately turn out soggy.
Process shots: coat fish in flour (photo 1), coat in egg (photo 2), coat in breadcrumbs (photo 3), place on wire rack and spray with oil (photo 4), bake until golden (photo 5).
Fish Finger Sandwich
Alrighty, it’s sandwich time.
What Bread to use?
Has to be soft white bread. You’ve worked hard to produce crispy fish fingers, don’t drown out that crispiness by toasting your bread. Any sort of seeded bread also distracts from the fish finger texture.
What Sauce to use?
Classic options are tartar sauce or ketchup. If I’m feeling wild I’ll sometimes do both.
Any other additions?
From there all you need is a good slathering of butter, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Anything else beyond this is just distracting. No lettuce, no pickles, keep it simple.
Process shots: spread bread with lots of butter (photo 1), add fish fingers then top with salt and lemon juice (photo 2), drizzle with sauce (photo 3), top with bread (photo 4).
Serving a Fish Finger Sandwich
If I’m making this for dinner I’ll usually add some Garlic Parmesan Fries and a Berry Fruit Salad for afters, but if it’s for lunch I usually just keep it as is or serve with some Salt and Vinegar Crisps/Chips.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipes for this fish finger butty shall we?!
How to make a Fish Finger Sandwich (Full Recipe & Video)
Classic Fish Finger Sandwich
- Large Baking Tray + Wire Rack
- Medium/Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
- 3 Large Shallow Bowls (for dredging)
- Small Bowl (for spice mix)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Paper Towels
- 2 Skinless Cod Loins, around 12oz/300g each (see notes)
- 1 1/4 cup / 75g Panko Breadcrumbs (see notes)
- 1/4 cup / 20g finely grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup / 50g Flour
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 heaped tbsp Butter
- Oil Spray
- 1 tsp EACH: Paprika, Salt
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, White Pepper
- Toast Breadcrumbs: Melt 1 heaped tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat and pour in your Panko. Fry for 5mins, or until the breadcrumbs turn golden, stirring & shaking the pan frequently. Place in a dish to cool.
- Seasoning: In a small pot combine paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Place to one side.
- Prepare Fish: Slice each loin into 6 wedges (12 in total, 4 per sandwich). They will shrink so cut them slightly larger than what you imagine them ending up like. Thoroughly pat the fish dry with paper towels. Quickly move on to the next step as the fish becomes watery the longer it rests (can pat dry again just before dredging if you need)
- Dredge: Line up 3 large bowls. First bowl is flour with half of the seasoning mix. The second is 2 beaten eggs. Third is breadcrumbs, parmesan and the rest of your seasoning mix. One by one dip the fish into the flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs, ensuring you fully coat at each stage (especially the last).
- Cook: Space out on an oiled wire rack above a baking tray (don't cram together or they'll go mushy as they cook). Spray with oil then pop in the oven at 220C/425F for around 12-15mins, or until golden and crispy all over. Allow to rest for a few mins (they crisp as they cool).
- Sandwich: Spread one side of each of your slices of bread with butter. Top with fish fingers, then sprinkle with salt and a dash of lemon juice or vinegar. Slather over a good dollop of tartar sauce, then add the second slice of bread, slice in half and enjoy! If you want both sauces, spread the tartar sauce on top of the butter then squeeze the ketchup over the fish fingers.
Your Private Notes:
If you love a fish sandwich then be sure to check out my Ultimate Tuna Salad Sandwich!
For more similar sandwiches check out these beauties:
(for anyone not in the UK wondering, a ‘butty’ is pretty much anything between two slices of buttered bread!)
If you loved this Fish Finger Sandwich recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!