Sandwiched: Crispy Curry Catfish Sandwich with Chili-Lime Slaw


The greatest column since sliced bread.


Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

For me, Lenten season means fried fish sandwich season. And while I do enjoy the occasional Friday fillets from various fast food joints, the homemade version can take on any number of flavors besides just one doused in tartar sauce. This one is a catfish po' boy of sorts, but rather than using cajun or creole seasonings, I went with fish sauce and curry for a Thai-inspired po' boy.

For the slaw, shredded red and napa cabbages are dressed in a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, and sambal that all combine to form a cool, crunchy, and spicy bed for the catfish fillet.

Salt, pepper, and curry powder are sprinkled over the catfish fillets before they are dredged simply in rice flour and then pan-fried until golden and crisp. The dressed slaw is piled onto sliced French bread, then the just-fried, crispy, and spicy catfish fillet is nestled onto the slaw, followed by a final spritzing of lime juice. The finished roll has everything that makes for a great fried fish sandwich—hot, crisp, flavorful fish and a cooling slaw—but with bold Southeast Asian flavors.