Crispy Fish Sandwich with Charred Jalapeño-Lime Sauce

I was craving a crispy fish sandwich from McDonald’s but got the bright idea to make my own. Because, how hard can it be? Well, it wasn’t that hard at all because this sandwich was SO GOOD and worth it! If there is one thing I would change, it would be to not make massive-size patties!

Yes, I went a little bit overboard with them!

Seriously y’all, this is so simple and so tasty! These crispy fish patties are going to be on rotation for me during the warm weather. I’m even going to look into freezing patties to have a supply stash.

They would be good as fish bowls if I want to be a tad healthy.

I haven’t even gotten to the sauce yet and how amazing it is! I charred some jalapeños, minced them up, and mixed them with sour cream, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, and just a pinch of sugar–that is it!

The flavor of charred jalapeños and the sauce paired wonderfully with the crispy fish. I used cabbage as my “greens” but you can use romaine or leaf of choice. I love cabbage with fish, think delicious fish tacos with thinly shredded cabbage.

Tilapia doesn’t have to be used, you can use your flakey fish of choice if you’re not a fan of tilapia. All you do is steam until cooked all the way through–remember be gentle when removing it! We still want some notable pieces. I then mixed it with seasoning, an egg, a bit of flour, and some panko bread crumbs. Place it into a pan lined with plastic wrap and let it chill for at least an hour. Cut into desired size and then batter and pan fry!

You then have your very own crispy fish patty!

Get your buns, some shredded cabbage, and the tasty charred jalapeño lime dressing!


Recipe: Crispy Fish Sandwich with Charred Jalapeño-Lime Sauce


For the Gingerbread Waffles:

  • 1 pound tilapia
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon old bay
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 jalapeños charred
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pack of hamburger buns

For the Crème Anglaise:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • a pinch of old bay
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • neutral oil for frying


  1. Place your fish fillets in a steamer basket and steam for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cooking time with vary depending on size and thickness. If you don’t have a steamer basket. Place the fillets in a pan with a little water. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  2. Once the fish is cooked, let it cool and flake with a fork. Place in a bowl and set aside. Crack egg into a bowl and add the garlic, onion, white pepper, creole seasoning, old bay, cayenne pepper, and kosher salt. Whisk until combined and then pour over the fish. Add the flour and panko bread crumbs and gently fold into the fish making sure not to shred the fish too finely. 
  3. You can either mold the mixture into patties or place it into a baking pan lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. While fish chills, make the dressing. Mince the charred jalapeños and add to a bowl (keep the seeds if you want the heat), add the sour cream, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, and sugar. Mix until combined and set aside. 
  5. Line a baking sheet with paper towels to absorb the oil from frying. Set up a breading station with three containers. Place the flour and old bay in the first container, the eggs in the second, and the panko in the third. One at a time, dip the fish patty in the flour, coating evenly, and then in the eggs, making sure to let the excess drip off and then finally roll into the panko. Repeat the steps until finished. In a heavy bottom pan, pour in oil until it comes halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat to 350 degrees. Fry the patties turning them gently until deeply golden on all sides. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. 
  6. Toast the hamburger buns, add some of the charred jalapeño lime dressing, a fish patty, cabbage, and green onions! Enjoy