Walleye Recipes

May 17, 2012 by  

By Nick Simonson

The walleyes weren’t “on” for me over Minnesota’s opening weekend, but thankfully the last four fillets from the ice fishing season stashed in the freezer helped fill the void when I got home on Sunday night.  If you put a few golden fish in the livewell and on the cleaning board, you’ve got something to look forward to, and some thinking to do too on how to cook them up.  Here are a few great recipes I have turned to over the years that are more than just a dip in Shore Lunch. Try a few out and expand your plating skills this summer!

Baked Walleye RecipeIn Gilbert, Minn. there used to be an out-of-place Jamaican restaurant called the Whistling Bird that made even the coldest night in January on the Iron Range feel like a Caribbean vacation.  It was tough to choose between the dozens of delicious entrees, but when Tony’s almond-crusted walleye was the nightly special, it made the decision much easier.  Now I haven’t found one that tastes just like it (they all lack the secret sweet Jamaican spices) but this one comes close in texture.

Almond Crusted Walleye Recipe
1 slice whole wheat bread, dried

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 cup egg whites

4 walleye fillets

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15×10-inch baking pan with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In food processor grind bread into fine crumbs or use knife to finely chop. In shallow bowl combine ground bread, almond slices, cheese, basil and seasoned salt; mix well. In a second shallow bowl place egg whites. Dip each walleye fillet in egg whites and then coat with bread mixture; patting mixture over fillet to fully coat.  Add a few extra almond slices on the fillets for appearance.

Place coated fillets on prepared baking pan. Drizzle coating with melted butter. Bake, uncovered, 12 to 14 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

My buddy Josh is the uncontested camp cook.  The guy can crank out deer, fish and upland game dishes like nobody’s business and they taste restaurant-quality every time.  His signature recipe for a couple of summers was this one from the late, great Tony Dean.  Served over pasta, this will help with those cold days of fishing and leave everyone full and satisfied!

Parmesan Walleye Recipe
4 walleye filets
1 cup olive oil
1/4 pound butter
One sliced onion
Salt and pepper to taste
One cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and arrange the filets in a glass baking dish. Add sliced onions, the milder the better. Place several tabs of cold butter on top of each filet. Sprinkle heavily with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper as desired. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown. Remove fillets from the olive oil and butter, drain and serve.  I like to drizzle the drained oil and butter mixture over a little rotini and serve the fillet on top of the pasta.

A good way to add substance to the delicate white meat of a walleye is to batter it up.  I’ve tried a number of batters, but one beer batter has stood out – for its simplicity and its taste.  Five basic ingredients make this beer batter recipe the perfect complement to the fillets of the complex quarry that is Sander vitreus.

Basic Beer Batter Walleye Recipe
1 cup of pancake flour

3/4 cup of beer (I prefer a non-light beer, like Budweiser)

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon of salt

Dash of pepper

Mix these five ingredients until consistent and then dip your fillets in the batter, allowing the excess to drain off. Then drop the fillets into the hot oil, I like using a deep fryer set to 375 degrees.  Allow fillets to cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until brown.

While you might have caught your fish using a jig, a Lindy rig, or the same ol’ same ol’ that puts early season walleyes in the boat, these recipes are anything but the usual.  Give them a try this season when you put a few eaters on your stringer…in our outdoors.


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