Grant Cornett
Fried Trout Sandwiches with Pear/Ginger/Cilantro Slaw & Spicy Mayo
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Fried Trout Sandwiches with Pear/Ginger/Cilantro Slaw & Spicy Mayo

Edward Lee, Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories From A New Southern Kitchen - December 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories From A New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee—a book featured in Words-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

This is my take on the famous Vietnamese banh-mi sandwich. Traditionally banh-mi is made with pork; this lighter version made with trout is fresh and crunchy. Brown and rainbow trout are the most prevalent varieties I find along the Kentucky-Tennessee waterways, where fly-fishing has a long history. You can make this dish with any trout that’s found near you. When fresh, trout has a clean, nutty flavor and the meat is meltingly tender.

Serves 4

Spicy mayo:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
  • 2 Thai chiles, minced
  • 4 tsps. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Pear/ginger/cilantro slaw:

  • 1 Asian pear, cored and julienned
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cilantro sprigs (leaves and tender stems), coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine pear, sprouts, cilantro, ginger, vinegar, and fish sauce in medium bowl; season; cover in airtight container; reserve in refrigerator.

Tempura batter:

  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 lg. egg white
  • 1 cup seltzer
  • salt
  • 4 4-oz. trout fillets
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6" pieces French baguette, split open
  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  1. Heat 1/2" oil to 375°F in large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl; whisk in egg white and seltzer until a pancake-like batter forms; season trout fillets; dip 2 fillets into batter, letting excess drip off; fry in oil, turning once or twice, until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes; drain on a paper towel-lined plate; reserve (keep warm).

  3. To assemble, spread spicy mayo on both sides of the bread; layer on lettuce, trout, and slaw; cover with baguette tops and serve with a bag of your favorite potato chips.

What to drink: Centennial IPA from Founder’s Brewing Company

Excerpted from Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories From A New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.