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Blackened Tilapia Sandwiches with Avocado Spread and Crispy Plantains
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Blackened Tilapia Sandwiches with Avocado Spread and Crispy Plantains

I used to always immediately think of McDonald’s when anyone mentioned fish sandwiches. I’ve actually never had a Filet-O-Fish, but they were my brother’s favorite when we were lucky enough to stop by the Golden Arches growing up, and I have fond memories of him inhaling a couple while I was munching on my Chicken McNuggets. So in my mind, fish sandwich = boring fried fish on a bun.  But, this all changed after I ordered a blackened tilapia sandwich with cilantro lime mayo on a whim at the Calypso Café in Chicago. Wow, now my mouth actually waters thinking about fish sandwiches because their version was so flavorful and flakey! I’ve raved about the Calypso Café before – they inspired me to make these unique plantain nachos and are one of the many restaurants I really miss now that we’re in Boston. I bought some tilapia recently and finally decided to try making my own version of this favorite at home.

I mixed a bunch of spices together to coat my tilapia fillets and then whipped up an avocado spread since I prefer it to mayo. I topped my sandwiches with some perfect summer tomato slices too, but my little twist is that I also piled on some crispy shredded plantains! They provided a nice crunch and yes, I know it’s a pain to fry things, but they really take this sandwich to a whole new level and are worth stinking up your kitchen to enjoy.  I need to make these for my brother!

Blackened Tilapia Sandwiches with Avocado Spread and Crispy Plantains
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Crispy Plantains
Canola oil for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium green plantain, peeled and shredded with a coarse cheese grater

Avocado Spread
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and mashed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blackened Tilapia
1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tilapia fillets
1 tablespoon canola oil

4 buns, split
2 tomatoes, sliced

Directions:
To make the crispy plantains, heat vegetable oil to 350˚F in a fryer. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl; add shredded plantains and toss until well coated with the flour mixture. Remove any extra flour from the bowl, if needed. Place flour-coasted shredded plantains in the oil and fry until light golden brown, about 2 minutes, working in batches as needed. Remove crispy plantains with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

To make the avocado spread, mix the mashed avocados, lime juice, cilantro and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

To make the blackened tilapia, place the thyme, cayenne pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Massage the spice mixture evenly onto both sides of the fillets. Heat the canola oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet and cook fillets on 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Cut fillets as needed to fit the buns (I cut ours in half and put both pieces on one bun).

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the avocado spread on the cut sides of the bottom buns. Place a tilapia fillet on top, followed by a few tomato slices and a mound of crispy plantains. Add bun tops and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Nutrition: 636 calories, 27.6g fat, 6.9g fiber, 33.9g protein per sandwich
Cost: $2.65 per sandwich

29 Responses to Blackened Tilapia Sandwiches with Avocado Spread and Crispy Plantains

  1. These don’t even deserve to be on the same page as Filet O Fish! Wow this is one super flavorful, super tasty sandwich. I love taking inspiration from restaurants and putting my own spin on it. If I’m ever in Chicago, I’ll be going to this restaurant!

  2. Oh wow, could this get any better?!!? Avocado spread?!?! And crispy plantains?!? I have a love affair with sandwiches and this is one I need to add to my list. It looks beautiful, too :)

  3. I was drooling as soon as I saw this pop up! Not only do I adore blackened fish but I love a good fish sandwich. This just looks so good!

    My grandma always liked those filet-o-fish too :-)

  4. I have always been scared to try a Filet O Fish. Something about that mystery fish doesn’t jive with me. I would take this sammie though anyday over the mystery one. You’ve got some great flavors here girl!

  5. I enjoy searching food blogs and recipe sites for new ideas for dinner, so when I saw your spin on this fish sandwich, I wanted to give it a try. We just had these for dinner tonight and made the sandwiches without any adjustments to your recipe (aside from the bun being a toasted onion roll). DELICIOUS! Everyone at the table agreed. I will definitely make these again and add it to my collection of regular dinner entrees. Thanks for sharing!

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