Peruvian-style grilled chicken is what dreams are made of: spice- and vinegar-rubbed, slow-grilled, and bursting with juicy flavor. As part of our Flip2Fish partnership with Alaska Seafood, we’re flipping popular Serious Eats chicken recipes to feature sustainable wild Alaska seafood instead. This flavorful sandwich now features mild, quick-cooking wild Alaska pollock.
To swap in the fish for chicken, we made a few alterations to the recipe, but kept the basic character and flavors of the dish the same. For one, we cut down on the marinating time drastically (chicken can be left overnight but fish should only marinate briefly), since the citrus in the marinade would cook the fish like a ceviche. You could skip the marination all together in a pinch, if needed. Because Alaska pollock is delicate, we used a grill pan, electric griddler, or cast iron skillet instead of a grill. No one wants to stand outside in the winter anyway.
Paired with the same spicy green sauce as our original, which is made with jalapeños, ají amarillo, cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, and vinegar, this sandwich packs a punch. Should you want to mix things up, you could also fry the fillets or simply sauté with salt and pepper. The options are many, and the results are always excellent.
Peruvian Grilled Alaska Pollock Sandwiches With Spicy Green Sauce
Yield: Serves 4
Active Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Special equipment: Blender and grill pan or electric griddler
For the Sauce:
3 whole jalapeño chilies, roughly chopped (see note)
1 tablespoon aji amarillo pepper paste (optional, see note)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Wild Alaska Pollock:
3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
4 wild Alaska pollock fillets (4-6 ounces each)
4 sturdy buns, such as ciabatta
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and scooped
Thinly sliced red onion
Crisp lettuce leaves, such as romaine
1. For the Sauce: Combine jalapeños, ají amarillo (if using), cilantro, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, and vinegar in a blender. Blend on high speed, scraping down as necessary, until smooth. With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauce will be quite loose at this point but will thicken as it sits. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For the Wild Alaska Pollock: In a large mortar and pestle, pound garlic and salt until a smooth, sticky paste forms. Add cumin, paprika, black pepper, and vinegar and grind them together to form a paste. Drizzle in vegetable oil while grinding (see note). Alternatively, mince all ingredients with a knife and form into a paste. Cut the fillet in half, so you have 8 pieces total. Transfer fish and marinade to a large bowl and massage very gently with your hands until fish is completely coated in the marinade. Set aside while you heat your grill pan.
3. To Cook: Heat your grill pan (see note) over medium-high heat (or set to 400°F [200°C] if you have an electric griddler with temperature controls). Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place fish on grill pan and cook about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on second side until cooked through and slightly browned, about 2 minutes more. Carefully transfer to large plate.
4. To Assemble: Place buns cut side down over the of the grill pan and cook, moving and rotating occasionally, until well toasted and beginning to char, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large cutting board. Use a fork to mash half an avocado on each bottom bun. Sprinkle with a little salt. Top with red onions, lettuce, and 2 pieces of fish each. Spread top buns with sauce and close sandwiches. Serve immediately, with any extra green sauce on the side.
Note: For a less spicy sauce, remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeños before puréeing. Ají amarillo is a Peruvian yellow pepper paste that can be found in most Latin markets. It can be omitted.