This addictive bite combines smoked fish, fried challah, and sesame seeds for a crunch you won’t resist.
Evan Bloom, the owner of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco, tops these fried, crispy toasts with a deliciously creamy smoked fish salad and a liberal coating of sesame seeds. When still hot from the pan, their salty crunch is irresistible. Fry the sweet challah slices until they are a lovely golden brown, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice for a zingy kick. You can get hot-smoked trout fillets at any supermarket or fishmonger.
- 1 (1-pound) bakery challah bread loaf
- 1 (12-ounce) skinless hot-smoked trout fillet
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped drained capers
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil
- Dill pickle chips, Chinese sweet-hot mustard, and lemon wedges, for serving
Step-1: Prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack inside the pan. Prepare a paper towel dispenser.
Step-2: Make six 1-inch-thick slices from the center of the challah. Remove the bread’s crust from the bottom before serving. Put aside the bread pieces. If any challah bread is left over, put it aside for later.
Step-3: Flake the fish fillet into bite-sized pieces in a medium dish using your hands. Mix the eggs, mayonnaise, chives, capers, and dill using a rubber spatula.
Step-4: Half of the fish mixture (approximately 1 cup) should be moved to a blender or food processor. About four pulses should do it to get it to a consistency similar to a well-mashed tuna salad. Throw everything together in a dish. Add the leftover fish mixture that has been processed to the bowl and repeat.
Step-5: Evenly distribute the fish mixture over the bread slices, using about a third of a cup for each. Set aside approximately 10 minutes so the combination may soak into the bread.
Step-6: Spread sesame seeds in a single layer by pouring them into a broad, shallow basin and shaking it. Each toast was pressed into a bowl of sesame seeds, fish side down, to provide a uniform coating.
Step-7: Heat oil to the point where a tiny piece of trout toast sizzles when dropped into it in a big, nonstick pan over medium heat. The oil should be at least 1/4 inch deep. Two bread pieces at a time, trout side down, should be placed in the pan and cooked for approximately 2 minutes or until the edges of the trout mixture are golden brown and the bread crust is thoroughly browned. After 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the bread slices over and cook until golden brown and crisp. Move to the draining wire rack you’ve set up. (Regulate the warmth so that the toast doesn’t burn.)
Step-8: Toasts should be cut into fourths. Pickle chips, sweet-hot mustard, and lemon wedges are optional accompaniments.