‘The flavour really bursts out!’ Chefs’ top seafood sandwich recipes

Monitoring Desk


Julie Lin, owner of Julie’s Kopitiam, Glasgow

This prawn open sandwich has stayed in my memory since I ate it in Malmö a few years ago. You need good mayonnaise (enough to coat the shrimp), crisp lettuce, cucumbers, a squeeze of lemon (add some zest too), chopped up big king prawns and, most importantly, dill. Layer on nutty rye bread – no need for butter. Dill elevates this dish to a fresh and fragrant level that marie rose sauce doesn’t quite reach. It’s not traditional, but I also like to add capers. The result is a beautiful, showstopper sandwich, perfect for serving to friends. Pair with a strong black coffee.

Steamed turbot, salsa verde and aioli

John Javier, chef at Bar Flounder, London

This dish is very simple to make. Get a smaller turbot, so that the fillets aren’t too thick, and steam for four to five minutes. Steaming, rather than frying, gives fish like turbot more of a silky, gelatinous “mouth feel”. Make a quick salsa verde using two handfuls of parsley, capers, gherkins, anchovy fillets, red wine vinegar, two cloves of garlic and olive oil. Blend together, then use to dress the steamed fish. Take your brioche bun – I like those from St Pierre – and spread either side with aioli. Add your fish filling, and you’re good to go. Pair with a glass of pét nat.

Balık Ekmek

Mark Greenaway, chef-patron of Pivot and Greenaway’s Pie & Mash, London, and Grazing by Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh

Balik Ekmek, a traditional Turkish fish sandwich

A traditional Turkish fish sandwich, balik ekmek. Photograph: Alp Aksoy/Alamy

I was in Istanbul when another chef suggested I try balık ekmek: blackened mackerel in a crusty, buttered, baguette-like roll, with lettuce and a side of pickles. We went down to the river and got one cooked from the side of a fishing boat. It was the whole fillet, with fish hanging over the edges of the bread, and it was just sensational. You could recreate it by cooking lightly seasoned mackerel on a barbecue and pairing it with tiger bread. You can pickle thinly sliced cucumber and onions with a mix of equal parts water, vinegar and sugar – just pour over and marinate for 10 minutes. It’s so simple but the flavour really bursts out.

Tuna mayo with sautéed red onion

Pip Lacey, co-owner of Hicce, London

A homemade tuna salad sandwich

A homemade tuna salad sandwich. Photograph: Oksana Bratanova/Alamy

When I was about 20, I worked at a Zizzi’s where they made tuna mayo crostinis with red onion, and it changed my philosophy towards tuna sandwiches. You sauté the red onions then mix with tinned tuna, mayonnaise, salt and loads of pepper. You can use any bread, just toast it and cover it in butter. I hate cucumber and it always creeps into shop-bought tuna sandwiches. I also love prawn mayo sandwiches: use king prawns and add coriander, they’re a match made in heaven. It’s real nostalgic comfort food.

Crab stick roll

Jackson Berg, co-founder and head chef at Barletta at Turner Contemporary, Margate

This sandwich consists of crab sticks, chipotle mayonnaise and shallots combined in a brioche hotdog bun. You can also cook mussels and add them in too, along with chives and coriander. If you can’t get your hands on chipotle, you can mix Tabasco or harissa with mayonnaise instead. I first made it as a “dirty bar snack” at one of my previous restaurants and it turned out to be a huge crowd-pleaser. It’s best washed down with a black velvet (champagne and Guinness) cocktail.

Roast 10 plum tomatoes, then puree and leave to cool. Use a mortar and pestle to finely grind ¼ tsp cumin seeds and ¼ tsp black peppercorns, then add to 60g mayonnaise, along with the cooled tomato puree, and season with salt. Brush olive oil over both sides of sliced, country-style bread and grill until lightly charred. Then grill or pan fry four fresh sardines (whole or filleted) and season with salt and lemon juice. Toss a thinly sliced fennel bulb with 1 tbsp each of chopped dill and parsley, 1 tsp capers and more lemon juice. Spread the toast with the mayo mix and top with your fish, followed by the fennel salad. Delicious!

Courtesy: Dailysabah

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