Fish sandwich: 4 ultimate fish sandwich recipes – a great Italian chef shows you how. Are you a fan of the tuna fish sandwich? Chef Lucio Mele at Pescaria reveals the secrets behind their gourmet sandwiches, including their tuna fish sandwich recipe. What’s the best fish sandwich? Let’s find out!
Hi, I’m Chef Lucio Mele at Pescaria. Today you will learn how to make these four works of art.
It all begins with the sea.
We’re off the coast of Savelletri, which is near Fasano towards Brindisi. We’ve come out this morning to see what kind of catch we can find in this area. As you can see, that’s a trawler over there. Trawlers generally catch cod, hake, red mullet, crayfish, prawns, octopus – which you can then find for sale in the afternoon at markets in Monopoli, Mola di Bari and Brindisi.
This boat on the other hand is a gillnetter. They submerge the nets in the evening and they pull them up in the morning, from dawn until about nine o’clock, winding them back up as you can see. Using these nets, they usually catch red mullet, scorpionfish, octopus, or sometimes lobsters.
We’ve arrived at Bartolo’s fish shop, Lo Scoglio, now it’s time to have fun choosing some fish. There’s a huge selection of local fish here. Let’s get Onofrio to help us.
I want to make our two classic seafood sandwiches – tuna and octopus. Could you give me that small local one? 200g is perfect.
How many octopus?
Give me three. Perfect.
Yes, go on then. I’ll grill it. We’ll do a fried carpaccio. Three is enough. Perfect. I also want a really, really beautiful fish – this one is so noble. Scorpionfish. I’m going to make a tartare.
Here’s your fish.
Is Bartolo paying? Perfect!
Could you fillet these ones for me? I’m going to use this one to make a tartare. Keep the head for me so I can make some stock.
Ok, now it’s time to get into the kitchen at Pescaria.
We’ve finally arrived at Pescaria. This is the tuna we got from Lo Scoglio which Onofrio had kindly prepared for us. Now I’m going to make a tartare. Here we go. We’ll use tuna, basil pesto, caper oil, tomato, and stracciatella cheese. Extra virgin olive oil, and I mix it all together. Now I’m going to add just a little grated lemon rind. Here’s our bread, which I’m going to slice in half. First of all I’m going to add some of our basil pesto, some of our tomatoes, which are green. Here they are, I’m going to put them here as part of our sandwich base. A pinch of salt. The stracciatella. Now we’ll put our tuna tartare on top. This is our caper pesto. A drizzle of oil. And that’s our sandwich! Here it is.
Now let’s make the next sandwich, which we’re going to make with fried octopus. The first thing we need to do is slice the octopus and then fry it. We always slice the head in half. Then we remove the beak, and break the tentacles apart, which you can do either with a knife or by hand. Here we are.
We have approximately 150g.
Now we can start to build our sandwich. I’ve put our ricotta into a piping bag so I can pipe some little peaks onto our base, just like this. Now we’ll add some of our turnip greens with garlic, oil and chilli on top of the ricotta. There we go. Now we’ll add our fried octopus. All of these lovely little crunchy fried tentacles. A pinch of pepper. A light dusting of grated lemon zest. Our cooked fig must, to add a little sweetness. A drizzle of our anchovy sauce. And we can put the top on the sandwich. Here we go.
Let’s prepare the marinade for our mackerel. We’ve already fileted this, but we’re going to slice off this part. I’ll put it on this plate and then we’ll marinate it before grilling it. Grated orange zest. You can smell it. Orange juice. There we go. We’ll add some fennel seeds, some salt and some oil.
Our preferred cooking method is to griddle it.
I’m going to add some caciocavallo cheese whilst the fish is hot. I don’t want to melt the cheese, just give it the right temperature. I’m going to add some salmoriglio sauce to the base. It’s made out of lemons and various herbs. Next, we’ll add some chicory, which is a little bit bitter. We toss it in the pan with garlic, oil and chilli after boiling it. Then we’re going to add our caramelised onions, which are sweet. The sweetness is a nice contrast with the slightly bitter taste of the chicory. Now what I’m going to do is slice the fish and cheese in half and then layer them one on top of the other. And there we have it!
Next is our scorpionfish carpaccio sandwich. We take the scorpionfish, add some salt, pepper, a little bit of marjoram, which is a commonly used herb in Puglia, and now we can go and fry it.
This one is a bit of an usual sandwich, because we’ve prepared a peach ceviche to go in it. First of all let’s put some citrus mayonnaise on the base, then add some local buffalo mozzarella. Podolica breed buffaloes. Now we’re going to add some of what we call “poor-style courgettes”, which are simply fried courgettes seasoned with salt. They’re very tasty. On top of that goes our carpaccio. Now we’re going to add our peach ceviche. In it, there’s also chilli, lemon, capers and onion. It’s quite a complex condiment, but it has a very refreshing flavour. Next, we’ll add another spicy element – rocket shoots. We’ll put them on top like this. We finish it off with our beetroot and yoghurt pesto. I’m going to spread it onto the inside top of the sandwich. On goes the top, and here we go!
These are the four sandwiches we made for you today. Grilled mackerel with caramelised onion, chard and caciocavallo cheese. Our classic fried octopus sandwich. Our tuna tartare, which is a must-try. And lastly this sandwich, which we created for you with peach ceviche and a grouper carpaccio.
If you would like to try them, we’ll be waiting for you at Pescaria in Polignano a Mare!