Chef Stefan Richter’s Herbed Aioli for a Fish Sandwich

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 2, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post Herbed Aioli Fish Sandwich by chef Stefan Richter on Shockingly Delicious

What a kick it is to watch a chef cook in his own kitchen.

He burned the fish while giving us a tour of his garden, yakking about his borage and avocado tree!

He burned the bread while trying to toast it in the oven, because he was explaining the outdoor sauna and soaking tub in the backyard!  (OK, he burned all of this because his oven was broken so he was using the broiler for everything. It’s hard to time!)

And we didn’t care a whit, not only because we have ALL burned the fish and the bread and we felt smug that he did it too, but because he’s Stefan Richter, the impish, cocky, twinkly charmer from Finland who was a finalist in Season 5 of Top Chef on TV. He was so popular on the show that he came back in the show’s 10th season. In person, you can easily see why.

“Ha ha, chef’s problem,” he barked, as he threw the burned toast in the trash. “I need to quit talking and watch the toast!”

Chef Stefan Richter in his kitchen on Shockingly DeliciousNah, keep talking. We’ll scrape the carbon off the toast, just like we do at home. We’d rather talk!

He invited us into the kitchen at his Santa Monica bungalow, not far from his restaurant – Stefan’s at L.A. Farm – to taste a simple sandwich creation that he hopes will save all of us from too many trips to the fast food drive-through.

He copped to hitting the fast food stands himself too many nights after work. Wait, a world renowned chef with a chain of restaurants in his native Finland eats hot dogs at 7-11?

Chef Stefan Richter in his kitchen on Shockingly Delicious“You work a 16-hour shift, and the last thing you want to do when you get home is cook, so yeah, we all get a burger and a Slurpee on the way home,” he said.

“But if you have something this delicious waiting for you, why would you do that to yourself? Why would you put that crap in your body when you can eat this?” he asked. “It’s bad for you to eat that s—.”

Sea Cuisine Potato Crusted CodThe object of his current affection is Sea Cuisine frozen fish, for which he is now a spokesman. Sea Cuisine sports a line of seasoned fish fillets that are gourmet crusted, fire-roasted or pub classics, available at Ralph’s, Target, Vons and warehouse/club stores.

Richter’s favorite is Potato Crusted Cod. “It’s fricken yummy!” he said with his Finnish accent and staccato delivery.

And it is! Flaky fish, perfectly seasoned potato crust…it’s grown-up fish ready for the dinner plate with a simple salad, or the lunch plate tucked between two pieces of bread.

Fish Sandwich with Herbed Aioli on Shockingly DeliciousAnd that’s what he does for us today – a fish sandwich, on toasted rye, slathered with his quickie homemade herb aioli and stuffed with some lettuce for pretty.

Fish Sandwich with Herbed Aioli on Shockingly DeliciousIt’s beyond delicious, and I want another one for lunch today.

Herbed Aioli on Shockingly DeliciousHere’s the recipe, and then stay with me below the recipe for a virtual tour of his refrigerator and backyard.

Recipe: Herbed Aioli

Summary: Best quality mayonnaise and jarred mustard give a head start to this herbed aioli, chock full of fresh chives and thyme. Use as a sandwich spread or sauce. 


  • Tarragon Flavored Mustard by Edmond Fallot1/2-2/3 cup Best Foods mayonnaise (“Only Best Foods. None of that other crap!”)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon Mustard (“The best mustard. The best.”)
  • Fresh herbs (he used chives and thyme)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Place mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl (Richter used a coffee mug). Finely chop chives and thyme, eyeballing about 1-2 tablespoons of each, as you wish, and add them. Add a pinch of sea salt and grind of fresh black pepper. Stir, and use as a sandwich spread or sauce for fish.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (Nouveau)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

For the sandwiches

    • 1 (10-ounce) package Sea Cuisine Potato Crusted Cod
    • Herb Aioli
    • 2 slices rye bread
    • Lettuce or other greens
    1. Richter advises putting the package of frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight, so it thaws. This way it will bake faster in the oven. Bake the fish per package directions (about 15 minutes if it has been thawed as he advises).
    2. While the fish is baking, make the Herb Aioli, as directed in recipe above.
    3. Toast the bread. He does it under the broiler because that way one side of the bread can get toasted, while the other side remains soft. The toasted side goes on the outside; the soft side is for the interior of the sandwich.
    4. Make sandwich: On toasted bread, spread Herb Aioli, place baked fish, and top with lettuce. Put the lid on the sandwich, cut and enjoy!

What’s in chef Stefan Richter’s refrigerator?

Chef Stefan Richter's refrigerator on Shockingly Delicious

Cookbooks on his shelf

Stefan Richter's cookbooks on Shockingly DeliciousHis backyard sauna

Stefan Richter's back yard sauna on Shockingly DeliciousHis after-sauna soaking tub, hand built

Stefan Richter's backyard soaking tub on Shockingly DeliciousHis backyard barbecue

Stefan Richter's backyard barbecue on Shockingly Delicious

It’s the simple things.

Herbed Aioli on Shockingly Delicious

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz August 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

I’d like to try this – looks and sounds delicious. Thank you.


Dorothy Reinhold August 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Do it! I couldn’t believe how delicious such a simple sauce is!


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