Favorite Recipes and Techniques.

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the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
Favorite Recipes and Techniques.
<p>We all know that almost all fish are edible when prepared appropriately. So many people get stuck on the same old battered and fried (which I like mind you, especially with Guiness or Sleemans Honey Ale as the beer batter liquid) and rarely venture from that prepartation. &nbsp;I prefer to cook fish whole as it yeilds more meat and have learned and tried many different techiques, most if not all sucesfull</p> <p>I am looking for input / stories /recipes / techniques, old school / new school anyone is willing to share with how they might prepare their favorite catches. (rough or not) &nbsp;I will hopefully continue to add to this thread as time permits.</p> <p>Salt Crusted Whole Fish</p> <p>I recently prepared a large tulibee whole stuffed with lemon slices, fresh parsley and crushed coriander and fennel seeds. We then took 2.5kg of sea/coarse salt with 5 tablespoons of water, 4 eggs and the remaining crushed fennel and coriander and mixed it together until it was kind of pasty and sticking together. We poured half on a baking sheet and covered the fish with the remaining salt mixture sealing the entire thing. (we forgot the parchmant paper underneath and led to one hell of a clean up after ugh) Baked in the oven at 450 for 25 minutes and rest on the counter for 10 then we cracked the salt shell and dove in like vultures.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Zs-_rw2okEI/VujTumCAgPI/AAAAAAAABBQ/DoGHPW_nYy0E_1SW5W8kXve-2azYHYz8w/s200/IMG_0772.JPG" style="width: 150px; height: 200px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Odi8oN_FpTA/VujUTHNdPjI/AAAAAAAABBY/uXG7x5BNroorO8KKyJ_aEyb188xsxbUMA/s200/IMG_0785.JPG" style="width: 150px; height: 200px;" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SJdXMBv97tg/VujY6frfvUI/AAAAAAAABB0/DGcpOMps6ak2OXG308o_6XvMMYJG3PBzg/s320/IMG_0836.JPG" style="width: 240px; height: 320px;" /></p>
Eli's picture
Trout   1. Whole filet pan-fr



1. Whole filet pan-fried on medium in maple syrup (has to be #3 amber). No butter or oil needed. Flip until cooked through.


2. 1tbs olive oil, 3tbs soy sauce, 1tbs cane sugar, salt & pepper to taste, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1/4 cup chopped green onion. Coat filet in sugar and s&p. Mix garlic, olive oil, and soy sauce into a sauce. Pan-fry filet in sauce. Add green onion for last minute of cooking. Add ginger if you fancy.


White-meated fish


1. 3tbs dijon mustard, 1tbs raspberry vinegar, 1/2tbs olive oil. Stir all three into marinade. Seal filet in marinade in tin foil. Bake at 350C for 20 mins or until flakey.


2. 1/2 cup cream, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup corn, 1/4 chopped green onion, 2 peeled+chopped potatos, 1 finely chopped hot finger pepper, cubed filet (several if using panfish). Fry potatos in oil until tender. Add fish to potatos until half cooked. Drop temp to med-low and add remaining ingredients. Stir until fish fully cooked, but don't allow soup to get to rolling boil or cream will curdle. Add bacon bits. Serve with corn chips.




Eric Kol
Eric Kol's picture
I found a salt encrusted reci

I found a salt encrusted recipie in a portugues cook book but haven't had the kick in the pants to try it yet. just got the kick I suppose. Looks pretty awesome

Carpy Diem!

the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
Guess not to many people cook

Guess not to many people cook or eat fish they catch.

All those recipes are definately worth trying, thanks Eli. Im thinking the last one might work well if I am lucky enough to get some eater burbot.

TonyS's picture
I'm a simple kinda guy

Trout and salmon and whitefish get grilled, smoked or baked.  All with simple spices.  

White, flakey fish get blackened cajun style

Suckers get turned into fish cakes.  I use the recipe on the side of the old bay container and maybe add some extra stuff.


Occasionally I'll try doing something else with fish but 95% of the time I  stick with these.

Eli's picture
Actually, it's my favorite fi

Actually, it's my favorite fish recipe, especially during the cold winter months. It's hearty and very filling. I've used burbot before, but find that walleye and panfish work just as well.


I'm toying around with the idea of building a smoker. If I do, I'll be smoking channel cats as they're very abundant around here and (the one time I tasted them) are delicious when smoked. Fried channel cats don't do it for me texture-wise.




Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
I been trying to get away fro

I been trying to get away from deep frying all the time.  Its hard though, so damn tasty.  Been using butter more, which probably isn't that much healthier.  Oh well, you only live once.  Might as well enjoy.  Lately I've been cooking my late ice perch meat in tinfoil.  I use a preheated toaster oven on convection bake setting 375 for 10 minutes.  Maybe a tablespoon or two of butter and some garlic salt.  Good simple eats.   Also I been enjoying some fresh cod fillets pan fried in butter.  So damn good.

fiddleFish's picture
My favorite trout recipe

In a former life, fellow TU members plotted my assasination because I loved eating 16 - 18" wild browns steamed in newspaper. Choose a very fresh and well cared for wild trout between 16 and 18 inches (browns are best).  Stuff the cavity with crabmeat, a little orange zest, and few pats of butter, and generously salt and pepper the outside.  Wrap in 3 or 4 layers of soaked brown grocery sack, then about 15 - 20 layers of wet newspaper.  Toss it onto a medium-hot bed of coals and let it cook, turning occassionally, until the outer 4 - 5 layers of newspaper begin to burn off.  Open up the package and dive in. 

Mike B
Mike B's picture
I went through a long period

I went through a long period of eating fishing only every other week or two but my piscatory eating habits have returned with a vengence in recent months, so thanks for the recipes guys. That salt shell thing is really cool.

I'm really picky about my fish and there is not a lot of variety in the North so I'm often making hard choices when planning trips because there is only so many I can do away from family. Lake trout, unless they are pan brookie size, I find fairly unpalatable, inconnu even more so. I enjoy catching both fish but they are less targetted when I'm on a food run. I've actually been fishing for walleye a lot last couple winters -- something I didn't do much the previous 10 years, but I prefer white, flaky meat. The burbot bite is in full swing so that's been a good source of protein. My friend and I are taking our daughters fishing Sunday for pike so I'll probably take one home. My main staple is whitefish.

One dish that works well for all these fish is called "Blank" St. Jacques, as in Burbot St. Jacque. Coat some fillets in flour with a bit of salt and pepper and fry them, then lay them in a caserole dish. In a pot reduce two cups of chicken broth with two teaspoons of dried dill. Then pour in a cup and a half of milk and simmer. Make some rue with flour and vegetable oil and mix into dill sauce until creamy. Pour on top of fillets and then a layer of shredded chedder cheese and then bread crumbs. Bake until golden brown, Enjoy.

mike b

andy's picture
We need these recipes!

In case you haven't seen it, here's a link to our Recipe page - http://roughfish.com/articles/cooking

Could you guys supply a few of these to me in a more organized recipe fashion to add to our recipes?

I am really enjoying the fish cooking ideas.  I too eat lots of fried fish -  pike, bass and crappies cooked in a big old cast iron pan, preferably over a campfire.  I like to shake up a can of beer and shotgun it into a bag of shore lunch to make a nice thick batter, throw the filets in there and cook em for a bunch of people.  I cook lots of boneless pike fingers this way.

Salmon and steelhead I like best on the grill, with a glaze of good mustard or soy/brown sugar/maple syrup.  I concocted a chilled sauce to go with them - it's a mix of plain yogurt, sour cream, dill, lime juice, diced garlic, and diced cucumber.  Plus cracked pepper.  Maybe I missed something, that's just off the top of my head.  You can also use this sauce to cover oven-baked fish.  Trust me, it's delicious and I might whip some up for Roundup when we have our Sucker Ball feast!

We probably smoke about 30 pounds of trout, salmon, whitefish each year too.  Whatever we;ve got, occasionally we smoke.  Can't get enough of it.


Yeah, I do an occasional drum or white bass or make baked catfish nuggets and of course a yearly burbot boil, and trout on the coals.  But for the most part, I cook fish in a pretty boring way.   

Corey's picture
Fish cooking

I should point out that the "Cooking Fish in Foil over a campfire" article I wrote also works in the oven. I do it all the time. Keep the fish whole, with the head on. Funny story, my girlfriend asked me why I didn't cut the head off before I cooked the fish, and I said: "Well, I killed this kickass fish, the least thing I can do is have the decency to look it in the eye while I'm eating it." I like to cook them whole, but like Andy said, it's pretty boring. Kill, gill and gut, wash, salt and pepper a bit, stuff it with herbs or lemon rinds, wrap in foil, and bake. Works best with some pungent herbs, like branches of rosemary from the front yard or dandelion leaves, or actually purslane weeds if you have them work really well. Trout or whitefish stuffed with purslane is awesome, and it has a lemon flavor so you can skip the lemon. Purslane is probably growing in the cracks of your driveway. When done, squeeze on some lemon juice and sprinkle some salt.

Another thing I do is broiling. Almost every oven has a broiler setting. This is only good for fillets, but if you put a fillet on a piece of foil and stick it under the broiler, it gets done very quick and ends up very tasty. I like to broil them half-done and then sprinkle some sliced onions on them, then finish the broil.

Big fish you can bake whole with no foil. Unfortunately sometimes you have to cut the head off to fit them in the oven. The skin acts like the foil on bigger fish, keeping the juices in. The skin gets crinkly crispy and it peels off.

The recipe section on this website is kinda lame; I too wish some more people would share their recipes. Dammit, now I'm getting hungry.

TonyS's picture
Best fish

Is still a fresh red Laker on a fire grate in the BWCA.


Though a place in Washburn, WI does fantastic Ruebens with Laker (leans / redfins) fillets, those rock.

Eli's picture
I should also add that I'm a

I should also add that I'm a very big fan of salmon burgers. Put boneless filet through meat grinder, add whatever you like to stuff your burgers with, shape into patties, and bbq. Delicious and exponentially lighter than red meat.




the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
Thanks for the additions folk

Thanks for the additions folks, and thanks for the link andy totally didnt know it was there.

Oven braised fish of your choice
This recipe may be a little hoity toity, but it's also pretty easy and mighty tasty Heat oven to 350 - fill cavity of fish with lemon slices, fresh dill or fennel, a couple dabs of butter and a dash of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Quickly sear both sides of fish in a Tbsp or so of canola oil in a skillet. Pour 1 cup of decent, dry white wine (good drinking wine - never grocery shelf cooking stuff) over the seared fish, and sprinkle a couple tsp of capers over the fish if you've got 'em, a couple thin lemon slices otherwise. Cover the skillet with tight fitting lid or foil, and braise in the oven for about 15 - 20 min depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the lid and dig in. Skin will be both crispy and pleasantly chewy, and very flavorful. Fish will be moist, firm with well balanced flavor. This recipe is best with any trout, but works well with any whole fish.
TonyS's picture
another simple camp friendly option

I'm big on fillets on the half shell as well.  leave the scales and skin on and toss skin down on fire grate if available.  Or a flat chunk of wood if not.  Some cajun seasoning or whatever you like on the other side.  Super easy to cook and eat.  we do this a lot in th BWCA with Quetico Carp (SM Bass).  One of my freshwater Drum go to recipes as well, at home we'll toss 'em right on the grill.  could easily just toss them on whole as well but it is kinda handy having the big open surface of the fillet for seasoning.

Eli's picture
Tony, are drum 'worth' eating

Tony, are drum 'worth' eating? They run pretty thick in May and getting a bunch of pan-sized ones would be a breeze, but I don't want to bother if the taste is mediocre.




TonyS's picture

I'd say they are about like bass.  white, flaky, a bit bland.  I do find they are like White Bass in that the water should be cold or get them on ice ASAP to keep the meat firm.  Other than that perfectly decent as food, though I honestly much prefer salmonids. 

the bearded angler
the bearded angler's picture
I second what tony said about

I second what tony said about the drum. If filleting you can remove the blood line as well. They are good smoked too. Getting them on ice asap also draws the blood out of muscles and into vitals I believe. They can be done like I did the tulibee above as well. 

Tektite's picture
Outstanding salmon recipe

I love cooking!  I do all of the cooking in the house, actually.  

Two weeks ago I caught my first ever Coho at a beach down the street from me.  Very excited that I live in a part of Puget Sound where salmon fishing is open year round, I rushed home and prepared it the following way:

I mixed 3 tbsp of sugar, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated), 2 tsp Sriracha and some freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl until the sugar dissolved.

I lined a baking pan with foil, placed the fillets in there and covered them with the sauce mixture.  Then I sealed the foil over the salmon and popped the pan in the over for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  Two minutes under the broiler with the foil open to brown the fish up a bit, then remove, sprinkle with sesame seeds and voila!--mind-blowingly awesome fish.  Try it!



philaroman's picture
just a general tip:

for best flavor, anything you intend to eat, should be banked quickly, killed, bled (if practical) & iced ASAP

aside from spoilage/firmness considerations, exertion builds up crap (?lactic acid?) in muscle tissue which diminishes the flavor -- prolonging the battle with UL tackle, then leaving the fish alive to struggle on on a stringer, is NOT good harvest technique

BTW, that's true for anything -- that muscle "burn" you feel after exercise, makes you less tasty...  so if you plan to Dahmer your neighbors, get 'em in the hammock -- not coming back from the gym blush

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Gunnar's picture
Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery

The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery is available used on Amazon for a couple bucks (plus shipping), and it's a huge hardcover, hundreds of pages long, with hundreds of types of fish, color photos and a million recipes and a lot of historical info about various fish and preparations. Well worth a few bucks. 


It's a few decades old, but the info in it is priceless. It's not like fish have evolved since 1977 and require new cooking techniques. It does have some erroneous info about gar meat being soft and unappetizing, but I can forgive it since it's also got some great salmon smoking info and brine recipes.


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com

2020: 10 days fishing 11 species 0 lifers. 2019: 34/45/13 2018: 39/40/5