Fish and I have always had a special relationship.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

Fish, especially crispy, fried fish, is quite nostalgic for me. It reminds me of Friday nights in Boyne City, Michigan, the nights where I’d shovel all-you-can eat fried fish in my mouth until I was blue in the face. Topped with malt vinegar, that crunchy, cold blooded little swimmer, most likely plucked from the lake mere hours before, tastes better than any fried fish you’ll find at your local fish fry, regardless of how wretched it may make you feel afterwards.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

I’d then fall into my grease-induced deep sleep, only to awaken the next morning to my dad making fluffy blueberry pancakes, having just returned from fly fishing where he wore waders that were taller than me.


Then boys would spend hours standing out on the rocks, just hoping to catch a little sunfish for the fun of it from a slimy worm that petrified me just enough so I wouldn’t come near. The “boys” being my brothers, whom I tortured that morning to the point that they were more annoyed than I am each night at 3am when I wake without any covers.


I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep since I got married, just to let you know. Not since 2008. 29 months. But who’s counting?

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

Perhaps it is the rarity in which I get to eat that delicacy that always sends me on the hunt for a fish sandwich so good that it takes me back to hot days and cool nights, sandy beaches and sunscreen in my eyes, bubbly glasses of Vernors that shoot tickles up my nose and sunsets so deeply pink they make your heart hurt. Or maybe I just really love food. It could be that too.


Either way, ever since my brother Will told me that he ate a salt and vinegar potato chip crusted piece of fish last week, nothing else has been on my mind. And I mean nothing. Except for the piece of bacon I dipped in salted caramel yesterday. Why yes, that was lovely.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

But besides that, nothing else.  See, potato chips aren’t really my thing. I would much rather immerse myself in a square slice of tiramisu so creamy and caffeinated that it makes my head spin. But give me salt and vinegar chips and I’m your new best friend. The golden retriever that won’t leave your side. The peanut butter to your jelly. The bacon to your caramel. That’s right.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

I’ll tell you a little secret: I used to take 3 or 4 chips out of the bag when I was younger and pair them with a few pieces of lacy alpine swiss cheese. It exploded with loads more flavor than a boring ham sandwich did, thought I’m not sure the tang-scorched taste buds on my tongue would agree.  So as I plucked a bag of salt and vinegar kettle cooked chips from the grocery store shelves on Monday, it was only a matter of minutes before I had the deli slicing me some paper-thin alpine swiss.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

But I left the cheese to my own devices and got to work on the fresh cod I brought home, smothering it with crushed chips so tangy that my eyes began watering. After a crispy bake in the oven, I planted it on a toasted whole wheat bun lathered with old bay mayonnaise. I bit into one of the best fish sandwiches I have ever tasted, and surely the best I have ever made at home. And it was then that I was transported to a hot summer day on an old wooden dock, wiping water droplets from my eyes, because, well… food is memories friends.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

Oven Fried Fish

4 fresh cod filets (frozen will probably work too, just thaw and dry completely)

2 egg whites

2 cups crushed salt and vinegar potato chips

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay a wire rack on top, spraying it with non-stick spray. Add potato chips to a ziplock bag and crush them into fine pieces.

Season the cod filets with just a touch of salt (not too much, the chips are salty) and black pepper. Dip each filet in the egg white (I use only egg white as I feel that whole eggs make the delicate fish taste too “eggy”) then dredge through potato chips mixture, pressing so the chips stick. Lay on the wire rack and spray each filet with non-stick spray or olive oil. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until fish is golden brown.


Kale Chips

6 cups of raw kale, torn into pieces

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or salt, pepper and parmesan cheese)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lay kale on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray or olive oil. I highly recommend using a spray or misto as it coats the kale perfectly. Top with nutritional yeast (you can find this at Whole Foods or any nutritional/healthy store. I find that the flavor is incredible!) and bake for 10 minutes. Flip once, then bake for 10 minutes more.

salt and vinegar chip crusted fish sandwich I

I can only imagine the memories that bacon and salty caramel will invoke one day. Note: it won’t involve the beach and bikinis.

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164 Responses to “A Good Fish Sandwich [With Chips].”

  1. #
    Melissa — April 8, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    This looks awesome, Jessica! Love salt and vinegar chips so this is such a good idea. I can totally relate to your summers up north with fish frys. And I love that you have a Leinenkugel to wash that down with…although as a fellow Michigander I feel that Oberon is superior :)


    • Gina — April 8th, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

      MMM…Oberon. One of the things I look forward to every summer when I visit home (Northern MI)


  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 8, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    Love this meal! So healthy but would taste amazing. I am more of a sweets girl than a potato chips girl, but they do add a wonderful crunch to a sandwich!


  3. #
    Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons — April 8, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    This combo sounds sooooo good! My husband and I are S+V fanatics so obv. this one is going in my to-try folder =)


  4. #
    Blog is the New Black — April 8, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    This looks great- with chicken! Hahaha. But Lloyd will love this! I made a variation of your crabcakes last night and he swooned!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:16 am

      So glad they were a hit!


  5. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — April 8, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    I love how most food has a story behind it. I haven’t had a good nights sleep in 9 months… I have a feeling those extra 20 months will catch up to me in a year and a half too.


  6. #
    Heather — April 8, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    Suddenly having a Rachel Zoe moment. I die. S&V chips are my fave and crusted on fish?! -is genius.



  7. #
    The Teenage Taste — April 8, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    Salt and vinegar chips are the bomb! They are the only chips I’ll eat! :-)


  8. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 8, 2011 @ 7:32 am

    salt & vinegar chips…i used to walk to the gas station w/ my childhood friend so she could buy these in like 7th grade at lunch. different era that we could even do that!

    fish fries and all you can eat fish? growing up catholic and catholic schools, i am quite familiar with these on Fri nites :)


  9. #
    Heather — April 8, 2011 @ 7:32 am

    i never liked salt and vinegar until about 3 months ago…now i can’t stop myself! now all i need is a beer at 3 in the afternoon ;)


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:55 am

      I have no idea what you are talking about… ;)


  10. #
    emily — April 8, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    Oh yum! My husband loves salt and vinegar chips, I could be such a good wife! :)

    Sidenote – this recipe seems like it could also be sort of amazing if you subbed salt and vinegar for bbq chips and swiss for sharp cheddar. Hmm…


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:54 am



  11. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — April 8, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    This looks amazing! I love crispy, fried fish and coating it in SnV chips is brilliant! I can almost taste the tang now…yum!


  12. #
    Mary Beth — April 8, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    I had to laugh at the cheese/chip “sandwiches”. I totally do that.
    Chip flavor I miss most: Sour Cream and Onion. Where have they gone?!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:54 am

      Ooooh… I never loved the sour cream and onion chips. Except for Pringles. Those were awesome.


      • Mary Beth — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:13 am

        Oh man..haven’t had those in AGES. Funny because I don’t like the twang (tang?!) of salt & vinegar. Hey though, a chip is a chip. I won’t turn them down!

    • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

      I’m sure someone still makes sour cream and onion flavored chips. I think I’ll try this recipe with them!


  13. #
    Corinna @ The Fire Chiefs Wife — April 8, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Growing up in the middle of the desert, I didn’t have my first fish fry until my husband introduced me to it 14 years ago. Now I can’t live without it. This recipe looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it.


  14. #
    Rodzilla — April 8, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    These look great! Do you have a favorite fish sandwich in Pittsburgh?


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:53 am

      I don’t order them enough to feel that I could properly judge, but our favorite is probably from Delallos right now!


      • Rodzilla — April 8th, 2011 @ 7:56 am

        Nor do I, so I was looking for your rec. I suppose I could give Wholey’s a try, or just use this recipe at home :D Thanks!

        • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:09 am

          I think I’ve been too spoiled having such good fish in Michigan that I’m always wary or ordering it here!

    • Terry — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:46 am

      If you’re in the South Hills, try the Wheel in Bridgeville – simply amazing! (and huge portions!)


  15. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 8, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    When I was younger, I ate outrageous amounts of salt and vinegar chips… like until the point that I almost had sores on the inside of my mouth, they were just so good! I love how simple this recipe is… I’m not really a potato chip eater any more but I might have to buy some just to make this!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

      AH! I totally know what you mean. I did that too.


  16. #
    Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe Reviews — April 8, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    I’m not into salt and vinegar chips but I just stared at that beer for a good three minutes trying to figure out what kind it is–Leinenkugel? Oh my, now I just noticed it clear as day in every other picture. Summer Shandy. Have your had their 1888 Bock? So good!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

      I haven’t! But I love all of their beers so I need to try!


  17. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — April 8, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    Mmmmm! I want one of these for lunch :) minus the beer since I’m knocked up ;)


  18. #
    Erica — April 8, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    I so wish I could do fish right now…its just making my belly turn when I try and eat it :(. The sandwiches look awesome. The fish is definitely cooked perfectly. The cookie sheet trick is one of my favorites. Happy Friday


  19. #
    Kim in MD — April 8, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    Thanks for making me laugh this morning (the comment about the salty caramel and bacon not involving a bikini or the beach)!

    I LOVE salt & vinegar potato chips! This fish looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it! I have seen the kale chips everywhere these days…I really must try them! They look yummy! :-)

    Jessica-did you make your own Old Bay mayo? Being from Maryland, Old Bay is a staple ingredient in our house. I love it in tuna salad! I have never seen it in store bought mayo, though, so I assume you made your own? What a great idea!


    • Mary Beth — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:16 am

      Kim–I grew up in MD and noticed your comment about Old Bay. I miss those Chesepeake Bay crab flavored chips too…I think Utz used to make them??? *Sigh*.


      • Kim in MD — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:23 am

        Yes! Utz still makes those chips! You can make your own, Mary Beth…just warm your favorite potato chips in the oven for about 5 minutes and sprinkle with Old Bay-YUM! I’m sure you can find Old Bay on-line, but if you can’t let me know and I will send you some! :-)

        • Mary Beth — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:26 am

          You are way too kind!! Utz made the BEST chips ever. Something about them just awesome. I do have a stash of Old Bay here (I’m in Florida now) and it’s a staple for all the seafood I eat.
          Great idea on making my own–I never thought to do that!!

          • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:30 am

            I think I know what I’ll be making tonight too! Thanks for the idea Kim! :)

    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 8:18 am

      I did! When my brother had the sandwich that inspired this he said he ate it with old bay mayo. Neither he nor I even like mayo, but I just mixed the two together and it was really good!


  20. #
    Gen — April 8, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    Yuuum!!!! That sounds soo amazing!!!!


  21. #
    Katie — April 8, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    salivating at my desk… that looks like the perfect michigan fish sandwhich! and with summer shandy!? dinner for tonight is officially planned.


  22. #
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate — April 8, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    I LOVE salt and vinegar chips! I’m going to have to try this!


  23. #
    swissfit — April 8, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    I’ve never had fish anyway but grilled! I think that needs to change!

    and i dont know what your talking about… salted carmel can deff be eaten on the beach, in a itsy bitsy bikini. It will just add to my non-existint curves!


  24. #
    Kath — April 8, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    I really would love to take a big bite of that crispy sandwich.


  25. #
    shannon — April 8, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    This is such a fantastic idea. I am more of a salty than sweet girl… and I adore S&V chips and a good fish fry!


  26. #
    Kelly — April 8, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    Wow, that looks great! I love the idea of Old Bay mayo, too!


  27. #
    Hannah — April 8, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    This is so genius I thnk I might cry. Why have I spent my life baking fish with just lemon rind and pepper on top?!


  28. #
    Natalie S. — April 8, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    You are a woman after my own heart… and after I make this for him, my boyfriend and I might be fighting over you. Fish sandwich + salt and vinegar chips? It’s 7:40 am and I’m considering making it RIGHT NOW.


  29. #
    Julie @ Shining From Within — April 8, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    Omg. I LOOOOOVE salt & vinegar chips. I’m the peanut to your jelly. Run for the hills.


  30. #
    lisa@smartfoodandfit — April 8, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    I’ll have to try this recipe, we love vinegar and salt chips. Perfect for tonight’s dinner! thanks :)


  31. #
    Elaine — April 8, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    I think if I made this recipe for my boyfriend tonight, he’d ask me to marry him on the spot! Nothing he loves more than salt & vinegar chips and fish!!


  32. #
    Lauren — April 8, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    Brilliant! The only potato chip I like are salt and vinegar….so this looks perfect. The only thing missing is coleslaw! I can’t wait to try it out!


  33. #
    Erin — April 8, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    Ohh, this look SO good. And actually quite simple. I think I will try it soon!
    Oh, and I love the Leinenkugel. The Honey Weiss is my favorite, but they would all taste fantastic with a crispy fish sandwich.


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 10:16 am

      My favorite is Sunset Wheat!


  34. #
    Terry — April 8, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Loved this post! I went to school in Michigan and have a lot of great memories of skiing at Boyne…and Vernors – wow, it’s been forever since I had one! Can’t wait to try this recipe. You have such a gift – thanks for sharing with all of us!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      I remember that we could never find Vernors around here when I was younger, but I think you can find it in stores here now??


      • Gina — April 8th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

        I asked my boyfriend to get me some Vernors a month ago when I felt sick and he looked at me like I was crazy! Me: “Um, ginger ale”. Him: (Blank Stare)…”Never heard of it, you weird yooper!”

      • Katie — April 8th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

        you can’t find vernors in philadelphia! :( my roommate and i (both michigan born) smuggled 2 liters of diet vernors on the plane home at christmas… it was like crack.

  35. #
    Nicole, RD — April 8, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    So creative! I want a piece of potato chip crusted fish!


  36. #
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — April 8, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    okay, I know I use this word a lot around here but using salt and vinegar chips to bread the fish is simply GENIUS! :)


  37. #
    Noelle — April 8, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    Ah yes.,…fish in Michigan….we are for this spring and summer to reappear! Good thing I know what you were talking about when referring to Vernors and all. :D Salt and vinegar chips sounds scrumptious, because they are one of my FAV chips, but paired with fish??? WOWZERS.


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      I love that someone knows what I’m talking about!


  38. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — April 8, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    I love the idea of a potato chip crust on a fish filet — you are so smart :)


  39. #
    RhodeyGirl — April 8, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    Please save some for me thanks.


  40. #
    Kelly — April 8, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    Yum! I will be over for dinner tonight. See you at 6! :)


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 10:15 am



  41. #
    Naomi — April 8, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    LOVe the sound of this!!! :) I gotta get more creative with fish!!! I wonder how it would be crusted in tortilla chips?!?! I love those


  42. #
    Caitlin — April 8, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I really love when your recipes are woven with stories from your childhood. This was so much fun to read!


  43. #
    Kayla — April 8, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I love the Leine’s bottle in the background. A delicious, delicious beer from my home state. ;) LOVE!


    • Jessica — April 8th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      The best!


  44. #
    Maria — April 8, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    I love fish and am always looking for a new way to make it. This is just fabulous and sooooo easy. Thanks for reminding me about kale chips too. Such a perfect meal and one I will be imitating very soon :)


  45. #
    Susan — April 8, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    i too have an obsession with Salt and Vinegar chips. Growing up in Michigan Better Maid Brand was THE BEST and i still crave those! I will definately be trying this fish! it does bring me back to my childhood days in Michigan also! thanks!


  46. #
    Justeen @ Blissful Baking — April 8, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    Salt and vinegar chips are my FAV! This is the most brilliant way to use them ever!!


  47. #
    Allison @ Novice Life — April 8, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    Oh my! My husband loves to fish and he LOVES S&V chips…..looks like I know what we’ll be doing with his next catch!


  48. #
    misti — April 8, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    I haven’t made fish for so long. I will have to start again with this one, that is if I can hide the chips long enough from my oldest kids! They are Salt & Vinegar chip freaks! I tried the Kale chips last week, finally. I made them too salty but good. They kind of freaked everyone out, including me!

    I have a request, though. Can you make up a recipe for a bbq flavored kale chip? Just like you crave bacon and salty caramel, I can’t buy a bag of Lay’s BBQ chip without eating just one. They are my nemesis!


  49. #
    Honey @ Honey What's Cooking — April 8, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I love it, looks sooooooooooooo healthy!


  50. #
    Lucy @ The Sweet Touch — April 8, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    Yessss, this is perfect for the Friday night fish fry!!! And I love the Leine’s in the background.

    My hubs and I lived in Wisconsin for four years so the fish fry and Leine’s were two Friday night staples:)


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