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Blackened fish sandwich on a bun with tomato

Killer Grilled Blackened Fish Sandwiches

These grilled fish sandwiches are a great way to gain confidence cooking fish and to kick off the grilling season with a casual supper.

On special occasions, I like to grill a whole salmon fillet. But fish doesn’t have to be reserved for once-in-a-while meals.

Case in point, fish sandwiches. They take the pressure off of grilling fish and make a fun supper for a weeknight or lazy weekend.

This blackened fish sandwich is from cookbook author Matt Moore, the Serial Griller. I interviewed Matt last fall, so check out all his grilling tips here.

A fish sandwich with lettuce and tomato

Seasoning Fish Fillets

Typically, I keep seasonings for the best fish simple: good flake salt and maybe a squeeze of lemon. {I have officially become my father who never wants anything to stand between him and the flavors of fresh seafood.}

But this spice mix makes these fish sandwiches pop. This is one of those occasions when you want your spices and dried herbs to be fresh and flavorful. So if your paprika, thyme and oregano are past 6 months old, buy more.

The mixture makes a generous amount for fish sandwiches for four. Store any extra in an air-tight container for your next batch of tacos or chili.

Fish fillet on a sheet pan with blackening seasoning

Fish for Grilling

Matt’s recipe calls for fresh mahi. I used wild Alaskan salmon fillets, but other firm-fleshed fish like halibut or snapper stand up to the grill. And if you have questions about sustainable seafood choices {who doesn’t after watching Seaspiracy!}, check out this new guide from FoodPrint for cooking and shopping.

Grilling fish can be intimidating for many people. These smaller portions are a great way to practice how to gauge the heat level and doneness on your charcoal or gas grill.

Looking for more grilling confidence? Download my free guide, Girls Who Grill {no strings attached}

The mayonnaise coating also provides insurance against the fish drying out. And if you want to go all out, try making your own mayonnaise and these homemade whole wheat buns.

Blackened fish sandwich on a bun with tomato

These fish sandwiches are quick to prep and cook. The fillets cooked in the same amount of time it took me to slice the tomatoes and wash the Little Gem lettuce from my garden. They’re a great way to kick off the grilling season with a casual supper to enjoy inside or out.

I made these on a weeknight for my family. Even with store-bought mayo and buns, it felt like a night out–and way better than take out.

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Blackened fish sandwich on a bun with tomato
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Grilled Blackened Fish Sandwiches

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fish sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lynne Curry

This southern-style fish sandwich recipe is adapted from Serial Griller by Matt Moore. It's a great way to practice grilling fish fillets, and the results make a great weeknight or weekend meal. Just add a side of potato salad or chips.

Ingredients

Blackening seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Fish sandwiches:

  • 4 5-ounce skin off or skin on firm-fleshed fish fillets, such mahi, salmon, swordfish or halibut
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus additional for serving
  • 4 potato or sesame seed buns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 Little Gem lettuce leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

Instructions

For the blackening seasoning:

  1. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and oregano in a small bowl until well blended. This recipe makes about 1/4 cup to be used to taste for preparing the fish sandwiches. Store any unused portion of this seasoning mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For the fish sandwiches:

  1. Preheat your gas grill or light a medium-hot charcoal fire (400-450 degrees F). When ignited and heated, put the grill cover on for about 15 minutes with the cooking grate. Remove the cover and scrape the grate thoroughly clean.

  2. Meanwhile, use a pastry brush to "paint" the fish fillets with a coat of mayonnaise. Sprinkle the blackening seasoning on generously. (This step can be done several hours in advance; keep the fish refrigerated.)

  3. Arrange the fish fillets on the grill, close the lid and grill for 5 minutes. Check for doneness using an instant read thermometer or flake the center of the fish with a fork. Use a spatula to transfer the fish to a platter to rest.

  4. Butter the buns and toast them on the grill. Spread the bottom of each bun with additional mayonnaise and sprinkle with more blackening seasoning. Place the fish on top and garnish with lettuce, tomato slices and the top bun. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

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