Fried walleye is A MUST-EAT Minnesota classic! All summer you’ll find a friday fish fry held and walleye is the headliner! Whether you enjoy it on a sandwich slathered in tartar sauce or grilled fresh, it's an amazing meal. Splashed with butter and lemon, it's so delicious. What could be better?
It is not quite fishing season here in the land of 10,000 lakes, but it is on the horizon! One of the tastiest and most common types of fish to eat in Minnesota is walleye, our state fish. Like any fish, it can be prepared in a number of ways, but fried walleye is a must-eat for anybody visiting the state, or wanting a little taste of Minnesota.
I have family members in the northern part of the state who catch and prepare a lot of their own walleye in the summer, so I knew just where to go for tips and a recipe. This is fantastic because it's uber fresh, a little sweet and not dirty like a bass and you don't have to gasp! at the prices at the store. The end result was fantastic prepared in my own little kitchen.
WHAT IS WALLEYE
Great question - what's all the fuss about? If you're not from the Northern parts of the US, the Midwest or Canada, you probably have access to fresh seafood so you don't know why walleye is so good. Truthfully, it's a white fish, very mild in flavor. But it's so good and elusive when you're out on the boat in a fresh water lake trying to be successful at catching your own meal. If you don't have walleye, truthfully, any mild, white fish will do in this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE FRIED WALLEYE
You can fry fish at home and take advantage of this yummy fish being in your pan!
In one small bowl, place 1 sleeve of finely crushed Ritz crackers.
In another small bowl, beat 2 eggs with a fork.
In a large skillet, heat 2 cups (give or take) of canola oil over medium-high heat. You will want at least a half inch of oil in the bottom of the skillet.
COOKING TIP: You will want the oil to be very hot. Hot and quick is the key to getting a good result with this fish.
Cut four fresh or defrosted 8-ounce walleye fillets into 2x2-inch squares. Roll the pieces of fish in the beaten egg and then the cracker crumbs, completely coating them.
In batches, quickly place the coated fish pieces into the skillet with the hot oil. This goes really quick, and you will want to make sure not to burn the fish. Let the fish cook in the oil for approximately 15-20 seconds, or until the under side is crispy but not black. Using a slotted metal spoon, flip the fish pieces over and cook for another 15 seconds.
Remove the walleye chunks from the oil and place them onto paper towels. Pat well with more paper towels to eliminate excess grease.
Squirt a little bit of fresh lemon juice over the fish and serve!
If you don't keep tartar sauce on hand, then here's a quick way to make up some on the fly!
QUICK TARTAR SAUCE RECIPE
1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
1/8 cup dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
if you want to get fancy, sprinkle in 1/2 tsp dill weed - it really makes a perfect finishing touch!
Now that you have dinner going, you have a few options to make for your sides. As you might imagine, I have a few ideas! Depending on if you fry your walleye or grill it, you'll want to change up your prepared sides. I love having a great veggie side on hand and this Slow Cooker Vegetables is awesome for a meal or two. Zucchini Fries would be an excellent choice but I do love and lean to making Cauliflower Mushroom Rice or a batch of Slow Cooker Baked Beans.