Hawaiian Kanpachi Bánh mì

         WITH CHEF PALEY               SERVES 4                  TIME: 25 MINUTES

Heart Healthy with Fantastic Flavors!



Part: Hawaiian Kanpachi        Filet- Loin



This recipe is inspired by an outstanding Bánh Mì sandwich I had for lunch at a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Honolulu. I felt inspired to try a version made with Hawaiian Kanpachi. I was pleased to learn that kanpachi stands up beautifully to the assertive flavors of other ingredients while retaining its unique personality and complexity.

I also provide a recipe for a very tasty, sweet soy and orange glaze as a finishing sauce for this sandwich as it adds more complexity. But if you are short on time don’t let this step, get in the way of making this delicious sandwich. There will be plenty marinade juices left in a pan after cooking the fish. Just spoon those over instead.


(Serves 4)

1 skinless Hawaiian Kanpachi filet, 1 to 1.4 pounds

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 small shallot peeled and finely chopped.

5 garlic cloves finely chopped.

2 small stalks lemon grass, trimmed, tough, outer leaves and dark green tops removed and discarded, finely chopped

1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoon sesame oil

3-inch piece of daikon radish, peeled, sliced into julienne strips

1 medium carrot, peeled sliced into julienne strips

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 cup rice vinegar

4 Vietnamese baguettes, Mexican bolillo rolls or small hoagie rolls.

¼ cup mayo

1 small cucumber, washed, dried and sliced thin

Several cilantro sprigs, washed and dried

Several Thai basil leaves, washed and dried

¼ cup sweet and spicy orange glaze (click for recipe)



To marinade the fish, in a medium bowl combine sugar, shallot, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Place the Kanpachi filet on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut lengthwise along the spine to remove the bones. This will remove some of the flesh around the bones and separate the filet into two sections, belly, and the top loin. Trim of the very tip of the tail end of both sections and cut away some of the blood line form the underside of the filets. Discard the spine with bones, tail trim and blood line or save for another use.

BanhMi003Cut in half the filet sections, then cut into about ¾ inch strips lengthwise.

Place the fish strips into a marinade, turn to coat all around. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.

To prepare the pickles while Kanpachi is marinating, combine salt, sugar and vinegar in a small pot and over medium heat warm it up to dissolve. Place the julienned daikon and carrots into the bowl. Pour over warm pickling liquid. Mix well to coat evenly. Cover pickles with plastic wrap then top with a plate or a bowl slightly smaller than circumference of the bowl to ensure vegetables stay submerged while pickling. These pickles can be done several days in advance. Simply transfer the pickles into a jar with a lid and refrigerate till ready for use.

BanhMi006To cook the fish, preheat the broiler. Place an oven rack one track below the broiler so not to burn the fish. Take the fish strips out of the marinade and arrange them in a single layer slightly separated from each other on an aluminum lined baking sheet. Spoon some of the marinade over all the strips. Place the tray with fish under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully, using an oven mitt, remove the baking sheet and turn the fish strips over. Spoon some more of the marinade over the strips. Place it back under the broiler and cook until the fish has browned and crisped on the edges, another 3 to 5 minutes.

To assemble the sandwiches, while the fish is cooking, place baguettes on the bottom rack of the oven to warm up, about 3 minutes. Remove the baguettes then slice them in half and spread mayonnaise on both sides of each of the baguettes. Layer sliced cucumbers only on the bottom. Slightly drain the pickles then evenly add on top of cucumbers. No need to feel you need to use all the pickles. Add what you think is appropriate per sandwich. The leftovers will keep well refrigerated for couple of weeks.

BanhMi001Divide the cooked Kanpachi strips evenly between all the baguettes, spoon about a tablespoon of the glaze over the top of the fish. Add as many cilantro sprigs and Thai basil leaves as you like to each of the sandwiches. Carefully place the top slice of the baguette over the herbs and serve right away.

Sweet and Spicy Orange Glaze


1 tablespoon garlic chili paste

1/3 cup sweet soy sauce

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce

juice of 2 limes

2 garlic cloves finely chopped.

Half inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped or grated.

1 small orange zested

To make the glaze, into a small bowl add the garlic chili paste, sweet soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, lime juice, chopped garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Stir to incorporate all ingredients, transfer into a small container with a lid and refrigerate until needed. This glaze can be done several days ahead.

Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!

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