A woman holding a fish sandwich
Photography, Lauren Vandenbrook

Mary Berg’s Baked Fish Butty

Mary Berg's interpretation of the famous Filet-O-Fish.

There is a particular fast-food sandwich that I have an unreasonable amount of love for. It’s a sleeper hit on the menu, and when I take that first bite, I am in flavour heaven. As amazing as it is, I do have one bone to pick with it: why only half a slice of processed cheese? It feels strangely stingy. But rather than pick a fight with a clown, a big purple monster, and a very specific burglar, I’ll just make my own. –Mary Berg

A woman holding a fish sandwich

Mary Berg's Baked Fish Butty

Mary Berg's Filet-O-Fish inspired sandwich stars crispy cod, processed cheese and a quick homemade tartar sauce.
Course Main Course, sandwich
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 4


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (about 12) finely crushed saltine crackers
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lb cod loin about 2 small loins (see note)

To Serve

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle or pickle relish
  • 1 tbsp capers chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped parsley
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 soft burger buns
  • 4 slices processed cheese
  • pickle slices or coins


  • Preheat your oven to 425°F and lightly grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the breadcrumbs, crushed crackers and garlic powder. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow dish and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate shallow dish, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise and mustard.
  • Cut the cod into four equal pieces about the size of your buns and, using paper towel, dry off the outside of each piece. Dip the cod into the egg mixture, then press into the toasted crumbs to coat and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches of space between each piece.
  • Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until the centre flakes. To test, I like to stick a butter knife in the middle of one of the fillets and twist. If the fillet flakes, it’s ready.
  • Stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped pickle, capers and parsley for a quick tartar sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, toast the buns. Spread the top bun with the tartar sauce and lay a piece of cheese on the bottom bun. Top with the crispy fish and a few pickle slices and serve.


the loin of a fish is the thickest part of the fillet that runs along the upper back. If you can’t find cod loins at your grocery store or fish market, simply trim the thinner belly section off the bottom of the fillet, saving this thinner piece in the fridge or freezer to cook later.

A cookbook cover in a light frame

Excerpted from In Mary’s Kitchen by Mary Berg. Copyright © 2023 Mary Berg. Photographs by Lauren Vandenbrook. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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