This is how I like my fish sandwiches, but as you know there are endless variations in terms of buns, fish species and how they are prepared, not to mention condiments and accompaniments. I use Pacific rock cod (rockfish) for this, but any lean, white, bass-like fish will do fine. Some alternatives would be black seabass, largemouth or smallmouth bass, lingcod, croaker, walleye, catfish, red drum... you get the point.
4skinless fillets of rock codor other bass, seabass , walleye, etc.
Oil for frying(I prefer peanut oil)
4large lettuce leaves
4to 8 slices of tomato
Buns for the sandwiches(I prefer Kaiser rolls)
Tabasco sauce to taste
Salt and pepper
If you're making homemade tartar sauce, do this first by mixing everything in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge.
Fry the bacon slowly in a pan until almost crispy; you want a little bend in your bacon for a sandwich. Set the bacon aside and discard the fat in the pan, or reserve it for another recipe.
Get all your fixins' ready for the sandwiches, and get three shallow containers out for the dredging station: One for the flour, one for the beaten eggs, and one for the breadcrumbs.
Take the fish out of the fridge and salt them. Pour the oil in the pan you fried the bacon in and heat it over medium-high heat until it's about 350°F -- if you don't have a thermometer, flick a little flour into the oil. When it sizzles immediately, you're ready. Turn the heat down to medium for a moment.
Dredge the fish fillets in flour, then dip in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. If you want a really thick and crispy crust, dip the fillets in egg and breadcrumbs a second time. Turn the heat to high on the oil and gently lay the fillets into the pan. Make sure they are not touching each other. Let them fry for a minute or so, then adjust the heat down; adding the fish drops the heat of the oil, which is why you want to kick the heat up for a minute or two to compensate. If you can't get all the fish into the pan at once, fry in batches.
Fry the fish until they are golden brown, about 2 to 5 minutes per side; use the longer range if your fish fillets are thicker than an inch. Set on paper towels to drain.
Spread the tartar sauce on both sides of the buns, then add the lettuce, fish fillets, tomato and bacon. Open a beer and enjoy!
If you're like me and don't much care for store-bought tartar sauces, making your own might change your mind. My recipe is essentially borrowed from my friend Elise's over at Simply Recipes, only I used chopped kelp pickles. Any good pickle will do, however.