How to Make Fish Sausage Sliders, The New Fish Tacos
Chefs Jeff Miller and Yoni Lang reveal a recipe from their East Village sushi joint Rosella
Since mid-March of last year, the one thing most of us have had a boat-load more of is time. Some of us have used it to better ourselves by learning a new language or getting in better shape. Others spent their time binging on Netflix and watching re-runs of The Office.
Chefs Yoni Lang and Jeff Miller — who honed their skills working at award-winning Austin sushi spot Uchiko and now oversee Rosella in New York’s East Village — used the extra time on their hands to come up with new menu items.
In keeping with the sustainability ethos of their restaurant, which puts an emphasis on serving locally sourced fish and seasonal ingredients, one of those items is made from recycled materials. Edible ones. Served with homemade spicy shrimp mayo on top of a Hawaiian roll that’s also made in-house, Lang and Miller’s fish sausage slider is a blend of “trim”: basically the odds and ends from different fish that are left over from slicing sushi, sashimi and crudo, all of which have been dry-aged.
“A lot of people might say, ‘You’re just using the scraps from the nice sushi pieces in this sandwich.’ But it’s made from pieces of the same fish that we take the same amount of care aging and really putting a lot of work into,” Lang tells InsideHook. “It’s a very flavorful sandwich. If we were at a different restaurant, this stuff would have gone into the garbage. Here, we can have fun and do a trash sandwich. Pretty much the entire menu in one way or another uses an ingredient that probably would have been thrown away.”
While the slider somewhat resembles an extremely high-grade Filet-O-Fish, the taste of the case-less sausage — picture a chopped fish patty — sets it apart.
“I haven’t seen anything like it,” Miller says. “The closest thing would be a fried fish sandwich, but this eats very differently than that. The flavors are unique. The patty ends up having this very complex and subtly smokey flavor that’s not at all fishy. One of the things we really enjoy at the restaurant is getting flavors out of fish people don’t expect. We use primarily local seafood, which means we’re using a lot of fish people in the area are familiar with, but probably aren’t familiar with as sushi. The dish falls in line with how we’re playing around with people’s assumptions about fish and challenging them. The only thing that’s familiar to me is the flavor of the Hawaiian roll.”
As it turns out, an eight-pack of store-bought King’s Hawaiian rolls Lang brought home from a local grocery store actually served as somewhat of an inspiration for the slider recipe, according to Miller.
“That was what we started playing around with and it was really good. The sweetness of that roll is wonderful,” he says. “It made me realize how simple it would be to put a slider on the menu once we had that roll. We already had made the spicy mayo from us messing around. Then I just chopped a bunch of fish into a sausage and seasoned it — and there we were.”
And none of that would have happened had it not been for the onset of COVID-19.
“We had talked about doing fun food like little sandwiches and whatnot before we opened the restaurant, but I don’t think it would have happened the way it did if we had opened the restaurant in non-pandemic times,” Lang says. “We would have had to push projects like that off to the side in favor of keeping the sushi items prepped up. Having to shut down early and whenever the government tells us has given us some free time to do a little bit of R&D, so to speak. The pandemic has helped push along some of these fun projects we’ve been wanting to do for a while. The silver lining is there, I suppose.”
Thanks to that silver lining, here’s the recipe for Lang and Miller’s slider with spicy mayo.
Rosella’s Fish Sausage Sliders
Ingredients for the shrimpy spicy mayo
- 1 bottle Kewpie mayo
- 4 tbsp Kimchi base
- 2 tbsp shrimp-head chili oil (sub with any chili oil)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ cup chives
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.
Ingredients for the sliders
- 3 oz. smoked trout
- 3 oz. black sea bass
- 3 oz. scallop
- 3 oz. Arctic char
- 1 tbsp chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Jalapeños, sliced and rinsed
- Pickles of any type
- Hawaiian Rolls
Directions for the sliders
- Slice all fish, then chop until all the fish begins to bind together. The consistency should still be fairly coarse. (Any type of fish can be used. We’ve found success with a blend of white fish, salmon-type fish and shellfish.)
- Divide the fish into four equal portions and form into patties. If you have trouble forming, put the mix in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before continuing.
- When you’re ready to cook your fish sausage patties, heat neutral oil on high. Season the patties generously with salt and pepper and add to the pan just before the oil begins to smoke. Drop the heat to medium-low and cook until the sausage browns.
- Flip and remove when the second side has browned.
- To assemble, slice and toast the Hawaiian rolls and spread the shrimpy spicy mayo on the bottom half. Place a patty onto each sauced half and spread more mayo on the sausage itself.
- Top with pickles, jalapenos and cilantro.
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