Spring Fish Fry

by | Mar 25, 2019 | Cooking

Nothing like a fish fry to celebrate the arrival of Spring! I’ve been ice fishing on alternate days for the past 2 weeks for the purpose of stocking up my supply of fish. I thought I would do a post on the preparation and cooking of whitefish. A simple process that yields a delicious meal.

Disclaimer

As usual, I will start by saying that I’m no expert on cooking or preparing fish. But I’m pretty good! Haha! 🙂 Let’s put it this way I really like the way I prepare fish and it tastes pretty darn good! There are a million ways to cook fish, mine is pretty simple but effective. I love spicy food and using spices on certain fish brings out the flavors that are otherwise lacking.

Bread crumbs, one of the Cajun Coating I like to use.

Cleaning and preparation

I’ll spare you the photos of the gutting and filleting of the fish, it can be gross. But if you want to learn how to fillet whitefish there is a video below. I believe it is imperative to remove all the bones of any fish before you cook it. It makes for a much better eating experience! Years ago I didn’t know how to fillet fish and I would pick bones out of my mouth as I ate it, I even had one caught in my throat once! No fun!

Bread crumbs, Cajun coating, spices mix in a dipping tray.

Making the cut

It’s actually very easy to remove the bones of any fish and yes even pike! And yes you’ve guessed it! I learned how to fillet fish from YouTube! Haha! It’s just a matter of learning where to make the cuts along the meat and at which angle depending on the fish species you are filleting. You make one cut below the pin bone line and one above, then pull the tag at one end and zip the bones are gone as a strip!

You are left with bone free delicious meat! And don’t let anyone tell you that you waste too much meat by filleting, that can’t be further from the truth! Once you master the technique you can cut right up against the pin bones on each side and you can remove less than ¼ inch strip of meat. If you like you can watch Al Smith fillet a whitefish on this video.

Frying up whitefish fillets in Canola oil.

One way to cook whitefish

If you’re not a big fan of fish but still want to eat it for the health benefits, whitefish is what you might consider trying. It’s bland, meaning not very fishy tasting, and a great fish to add spices to. I like the Cajun spices, but I add garlic, onion, pepper and a bit of parsley to the mix. Some bread crumbs for a crunchy coating. Don’t forget the salt, I know some people don’t think salt is good but it is the one thing that brings out a ton of flavor out of any meat.

Then I beat an egg in a dish ( you can ditch the yoke for a crunchier coating) and dip the fish in the egg then in the coating mix on both sides and into a frying pan with enough oil to coat both sides. Put a lid on the pan and let cook 3 or 4 minutes a side depending on thickness and serve! Overcooking fish is sacrilegious! Haha!

Storing fish

After filleting and cutting up the fish, it’s time to put my vacuum sealer to work. It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread! Haha! I freeze small portions of fish and the sealer is great for all meats. By removing the air from the bag it prevents the meat from freezer burns.

Creating a fish dinner

Fish goes well with rice or sometimes I make my dinner with pan-fried potatoes. I like green beans as my vegetable of choice to go with my fish dinner. You can have any favorite green vegetable, a small side salad is also a great accompaniment to a fish meal. 

In conclusion to a great meal

Well… I hope this inspired you to make our freshwater fish part of your diet. Many people shy away from our local fish saying it’s not good to eat anymore because of our pollution etc. Winter is the best time to harvest freshwater fish locally, the water is clear of any algae and lower in toxins.

My bestie “the Vacuum Food Sealer”!

The colder the winter the better the water will be. Last week I could see clearly 12 feet to the bottom of the lake! That’s pretty good for any local lake. As a conservation-minded person I’m not saying go and fill your freezers in fish for the year for your family of 12 but a nice meal now and then is a reasonable way to enjoy our local freshwater fish.

 

Until then, 🙂