Panko will give the fish in this recipe a crispier coating than regular breadcrumbs. Use local and sustainable fish whenever possible. Larger fillets of perch or sole can be cut into strips if smaller ones aren’t available.
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1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped capers
2 tbsp chopped cornichons or pickles
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives, plus more for garnish
1 tsp chopped tarragon (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
6 small fish fillets (approximately 3/4-lb)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
6 slices rye bread
Butter, as needed
6 lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Prepare the herbed tartar sauce by combining the mayo, capers, cornichons, herbs and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the fish, in a high-sided frying pan heat the oil to 360 F or until a pinch of breadcrumbs sizzle when dropped in the pan. Season the fish filets with salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat the milk and eggs. Dredge the fish in flour and then dip in the milk mixture, then the panko or breadcrumbs. Fry two or three pieces at a time until golden brown and cooked through. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Spread the bread slices with butter. Top with a lettuce leaf and a piece of fish. Add a spoonful of tartar sauce and sprinkle with chives. Serve with lemon wedges.