Saucy Dressings’ Superior Fish Finger Sarnie with Tomato Salad

“The best thing I’ve learned about wine this year is that Condrieu might be too expensive to drink with a fish finger sarnie. I mean it tastes bloody lovely with it – if the very concept didn’t give me the Red Mist I’d even say I’d discovered the perfect pairing…”

Tim Hayward, in Noble Rot, October 2016

Those people living with partners and families will know that the occasional Lunch Alone is a covert treat, and an opportunity to rebel by giving in to temptation and eating something at the same time both deeply comforting, and also a little naughty.

That is the time when I either reach for the tin of curried baked beans….or, the fish fingers.

The fish finger sarnie is a sort of crime against health. Almost every step contravenes all the sage advice; there’s the frying, there’s the fatty mayonnaise, there’s the gluten-full bread.

Ah, yes, the gluten-full bread. I use sourdough; but Ainsley Harriott relates:

“I had the broadcaster and former MP, Giles Brandreth, on the show and he served Bird’s Eye fish fingers in brown bread and butter – he said it was one of the best sandwiches he had ever had.”

Ainsley Harriott, quoted in The Daily Telegraph

In any case, what there isn’t in this Saucy Dressings’ version, is additional sugary tomato ketchup as recommended by Mr J Oliver. This really is a bridge too far, and it would also ruin the Condrieu – a prohibitively expensive white wine produced in the northern reaches of the Rhône valley. In fact, I prefer to savour my sarnie with a little raki, but then I don’t drink white wine.

Also, you may not be aware, but there are fish fingers with cod fillet inside, and fish fingers with ‘mince’ inside – Tried & Supplied founder, Domini Hogg, tells me that Hampshire County Council, for example, will only buy fillet fish fingers – much better quality fish – another thing to check.

A bit of freshness is called for, so serve your sandwich with a plain, sliced and dressed tomato. Or alternatively, some people add pickled onions to their mayonnaise.


Recipe for Saucy Dressings’ Superior Fish Finger Sarnie with Tomato Salad

Serves 1


  • 3 fish fingers
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsps good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp capers – ideally not the type in brine
  • a handful of salad leaves
  • olive oil
  • a squirt of lemon juice
  • 1 x medium tomato
  • a dusting of sweet smoked paprika
  • a spring onion – optional
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper


  1. Core and slice the tomato, and dress with oil, lemon, and seasoning.
  2. Fry the fish fingers on both sides in a little olive oil.
  3. Toast the bread, drizzle a little oil and lemon over it.
  4. Put one slice on a plate. Cover with salad leaves, dress with a bit more oil and lemon. Sprinkle over the capers.
  5. Top with the fish fingers.
  6. Spread one side of the other slice of bread generously with mayonnaise. Put the slice, mayonnaise side down on the fish fingers.
  7. Dust with paprika.
  8. Serve the sandwich with the tomato.

A fifth of 16-25 year olds think that fish fingers are made from the fingers of fish.

Rowse/Daily Mail

1970s diets, with a new survey showing that one in five British children have never tasted tinned spaghetti hoops. Moreover, 20% have not had frozen burgers, 27% have not tried cream of tomato soup and a quarter have never been served a tuna bake. And 77% of parents said meals such as fish fingers now seem old-fashioned.

from The Week

Interesting alternative approach

In Signe Johansen’s book, Solo, she makes a posh fish finger sarnie by serving it a dill salsa made of dill, parsley, anchovies, gherkins, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, and horseradish sauce!

This post is dedicated to F.H.
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