Karen Martini’s Panko & sesame crumbed fish finger rolls

I love a fish sandwich. From a spicy taco (a sandwich of sorts), to the filling grilled fish roll served on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, to the decadence of a lobster roll, I can’t get enough of them. This version goes down a decidedly Japanese route with a gloriously crunchy sesame and panko crumb on the ocean trout and an umami-laced mayonnaise anointing the buttery brioche rolls.

Panko & sesame crumbed fish finger rolls.Credit:William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem


  • 1 x 700g ocean trout (or salmon) fillet, skin and pin bones removed
  • 200g panko crumbs
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 6 long brioche rolls
  • 6 iceberg lettuce leaves, finely sliced
  • 2 sheets toasted nori, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pickled ginger, drainedand finely sliced
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges

For the miso mayonnaise

  • 2 sheets toasted nori
  • 3 tsp white (shiro) miso paste
  • 250ml mayonnaise

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

2. To make the mayonnaise, rehydrate the nori by running it under cold water. Squeeze out any excess water, then chop finely. Add to the miso paste and mayonnaise and combine well.

3. Cut the fish into 6 even fingers. Combine the panko crumbs, sesame seeds and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add the flour to a second bowl, and the egg to a third.

4. Preheat the oil in a deep-fryer or large frying pan until it reaches 175°C.

5. Dust each piece of fish with flour, dip in the egg and then coat well with the crumb mix. Working in batches, gently lower the fish into the oil and cook for about 2½ minutes, turning the fish halfway through until the crumb is golden. Drain on paper towel and repeat for the remaining fish.

6. Slice the rolls open but not all the way through, then lightly toast in the oven for a couple
of minutes.

7. Spoon a generous amount of miso mayonnaise on the bottom of a roll, then top with lettuce, a piece of crumbed fish, chopped nori and some pickled ginger. Serve immediately, with the lime on the side.

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