Summer is the season of hot dogs and hamburgers, we know, we get it. But let’s not act like that doesn’t get old real fast. As soon as that Memorial Day barbecue gets extinguished, we’re already bored with them. We give you permission to expand the definition of the summer sandwich. (No, please, dear god, do not start with the “is a hotdog a sandwich thing” right now, that’s not what we’re here for.) If you’re not taking advantage of all of the good seafood the summer months have to offer, you’re depriving you and all of your backyard barbecue guests of something great. We pulled together our favorite ways to cook seafood that are also conveniently delivered in a bun for optimal outdoor consumption. So put down the ketchup and mustard, and stock up on lemon wedges. It’s seafood sandwich season.
Our good friend Matty Matheson took his inspiration for this lobster roll, heavy on the slaw, from not only the New England coast of the US, but straight up into Newfoundland and New Brunswick, Canada, too. You can watch him make it over on our instructional series, HOW-TO.
Mainers love to argue about the right way to make a lobster roll, and the folks from Luke’s Lobster, the small chain slinging them in cities up and down the east coast, vehemently opposes mixing the mayonnaise with the lobster. Its all butter, lemon juice, and celery salt for these guys.
But then there’s Chef Will Beriau’s version, which goes ahead and mixes the mayo right in there. Beriau’s the chair of the Culinary Arts Department at Southern Maine Community College, so you can take your grievances up with the professor during office hours, if you have a problem with that.
Undoubtedly one of New Orleans’ greatest exports to the rest of the country, a po’boy is everything a good sandwich should be—balanced in texture, acid, and fat, and served on good bread.
Who the hell can afford to eat lobster on the regular? Switch things up a bit this summer by subbing shrimp for your lobster, for that same sweet, tender shellfish bite at a lower cost.
If Maine claims the lobster roll, and New Orleans claims the po’boy, then Maryland claims the crab cake. Make it authentic with real jumbo lump Maryland blue crab.
Go for an open-face style sandwich and spread some cheesy, Old Bay-heavy crab dip on good, crusty bread.
Chef Gunnar Gislason shared another version of an open-face fish sandwich with us, as his go-to, post-shift quick dinner. This is how the Scandinavians snack.
If you can’t get your hands on salt cod, or you don’t want to go through the process of salt-curing it yourself, you can use fresh cod here, too.
This sandwich looks simple at first glance, but with homemade buns, a special Nikkei tartar sauce, and funky, spicy fried fish fillets, chef Mitsuharu Tsumura gives you something that’s anything but simple.
This battered and fried tempeh is more than just a vegan substitute for white flaky fish in this homemade fast food copy cat. The texture of the tempeh becomes its own unique take on the classic, and you won’t miss the fish.
There’s a lot of really delicious and fancy condiments on this fried soft shell crab sandwich (make a big batch of that lemony ranch dressing, just a tip), but take note that the only way to serve this, according to chef David Posey, is on a toasted Martin’s Potato Bun.
“For anyone who thinks Sriracha is played out, I dare you to taste what happens when it gets mellowed with butter and brightened with lemon juice,” says chef Dale Talde. Slather it all over these lobster baos.
London chef Jeremy Lee made this slightly fancier version of the British working-class lunch staple of smoked eel sandwiches one of the most popular in the city at his restaurant Quo Vadis. If you can get down with some tuna salad, you can probably get down with some smoked eel.
And last but not least. The king of the fried fish sandwich castle–our recreation of your fast food favorite, complete with a little bit of remoulade and pickled jalapeño.
No fish sandwich is complete without a hearty serving of fresh potato chips on the side, doused in Old Bay seasoning, of course.
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