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Sauce for Fish Sandwiches - Not Tartar

  • j

I am looking to make some grilled fish sandwiches this summer - what would be some easy to prepare sauces to use instead of tartar sauce

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  1. Mix catsup and horseradish.

    1. Some types of compound butter would work nicely, depending on the fish they're matched with.

      1. chop up some canned chipotles, and blend w/ mayo and a little bit of the adobo sauce they come in.


        Corn relish



        Mayo loaded with wasabi


        Pineapple salsa, mango salsa, peach salsa

        Rosted Red Pepper Coulis

        Olive oil, salt, pepper, a good handful basil and garlic pureed in a blender.

        Indian Pickles / chutneys


        Tzatziki - fish gyros in a pita. (I do this a lot)

        You have plenty of options. Tartar sauce (although I like it) is one of the LAST things I think of for a sauce for fish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gordeaux

          Wasabi Mayo was the first thing to my mind, too. Or a chipotle ketchup. I'm a fan of acids and fish too, so how about a vinegary/lemony slaw? Kind of a riff on fish tacos?

        2. I make a lime crema for my fish tacos that may work well for you. Basically, sourcream, lime juice, minced garlic, minced serrano, minced cilantro.

          A spicy remoulade is good too.

          Or a roasted red pepper sauce.

          1. How about a gribiche, or some salsa verde?


            1. How about a salsa verde?
              It works on fish tacos so it should work on fish sandwiches.
              Poach 4 tomatillos (husked), 1/2 jalepeno (seeded and stemmed), 1 quarter of a yellow onion in water and a spalsh of white wine vinegar until soft
              Place in a blender with ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste
              Add a couple of good handfulls of cilantro (stemmed) and the juice of 1/2 lime and pulse
              Adjust seasoning to your taste

              Or maybe an olive relish of some kind.

              1. Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto
                2 large yellow bell peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded and chopped
                1 clove garlic, chopped
                2 tablespoons pine nuts
                1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
                3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
                1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                1 teaspoon kosher salt
                1 teaspoon freshly grated pepper

                Blend and slowly add oil to emulsify.

                I usually double the recipe and freeze to use as-needed; it keeps amazing well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: azhotdish

                  Harissa comes to mind with lemon juice. Cut it with mayo if it's a little too spicy for you. I second the salsa verde and even recommend chimichurri.

                  1. re: sagestrat

                    mmmm... chimichurri is a great call - I'm gonna try that.

                2. You can make some of the components or buy. Mix together:

                  pico de gallo
                  sour cream
                  lime juice

                  1. lots of good ideas above. I'd add remoulade to the list.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lupaglupa

                      I agree - lots of good ideas - I'm taking notes --

                      definitely remoulade!

                    2. A big favorite in my restaurant is, Diced mango, diced Jalapeno, diced onion, diced
                      cuck., a splash of wine vinegar, a splash of Tapatillo, salt. Oui la la. Also, Texas
                      toasts receipt with a adition of a diced avacado after you blend the other stuff is great....

                      1. Mix equal parts avocado and sour cream (i use one medium avocado) with cayenne, salt and the juice of a lime. Stir it until it's pretty smooth. It spreads nicely once it's been chilled in the fridge for about an hour.

                        1. Wow... some delicious sounding suggestions on this thread. I also like plain yogurt (full fat if you don't mind the calories), mixed with a small amt of chopped garlic, tahini, salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Chives and/or cucumber, too, if you want more texture.

                          1. IMO the key thing, and it comes out in many of the suggestions others have made, is to predominately have an acidifier, probably lemon or lime, maybe vinegar, maybe a combo. You will also need salt unless the fish has already been well salted. Pickles, for example, meet both criteria. From then on you can do just about whatever floats your boat. Some heat is good. Tartness, as with mustard or horseradish, is also good. As to mayo or other oil-based ingredient, I would go easy on that since the fish may already be fairly oily, but it depends on just how oily it is and your own preferences.

                            1. Prepare? Heck, just go with Tabasco! Yum!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: wayne keyser

                                interestingly enough, johnb is right on... tobasco has vinegar... it's the acid