Move Over Fish Sticks. Here Comes The Whaler.

9:39 AM

My boys love fish. And in our house, it is typically prepared by steaming whole fish or fish fillets with ginger, green onions and black beans. They are, of course, fans of Trader Joe's fish sticks in a pinch. But a fish sandwich is a new concept to my little landlubbers. Except recently, my oldest saw the quirky, internet sensation McDonald's Filet-O-Fish commercial. He will enthusiastically sing "Give me back that filet o fish. Give me that fish! Ahh!" whenever he sees a fish.

Warning: you will be singing this song the rest of the day

So I was eager to try the 101 Whaler Fish Sandwich recipe from the now defunct Cookie magazine. Anything to get my kids to try something new, and just maybe, get my son to stop singing the top earworm of the ad industry. I also made a side of Martha Stewart's Bok Choy, Carrot and Apple Slaw as a side. I'll be posting the recipe soon!

101 Whaler Fish Sandwich
Cookie, March 2006
Click here for the full recipe


1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. In another medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, and parsley. I used tilapia filets since that was what we had in the house.

2. Season the fish with the salt and pepper.

3. Dredge the fish through the egg mixture, then coat it thoroughly with the flour mixture. I experimented by doing a combo of corn meal and panko bread crumbs.

4. In a large sauté pan, immediately heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the fillets to the pan. Cook on one side until the batter is light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Using a slotted spatula, remove them from the pan and drain on paper towels. 

5. Meanwhile, whisk together the tartar-sauce ingredients (if using).

6. Slice the buns and spread the tartar sauce (if using) on the insides. Place a fillet on each bottom bun, then top with the lettuce, tomato, and cheese, if desired.

The Good: The boys loved it. Pretty easy to make and cooks up fast. 

The Bad: Panko did not add anything to the breading. I would either go all corn meal or all panko. Prep time is a little longer.

Grade: A-. Will be making this again. Even if it elicits more "Give me back that filet of fish."

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