Pan-fried walleye comes with a light, crisp coating and is quick and simple to make.
All you need to enhance the delectable, natural taste of walleye fish is just a few ingredients.
And this recipe is made perfect by the crunchy golden crust and the juicy, flaky fish.
Well, you are about to find out why the walleye is one of the most popular catches here in Michigan and all over the Midwest, and for good reason. It is just so delectable and easy to make.
There are countless ways to cook it, but I will say that this simple recipe for pan-fried walleye with a light seasoning and crunchy light breading is my favorite.
You can squeeze on some fresh lemon juice before you serve it, and for dipping, proceed to add some tartar sauce on the side.
It just does not get much better. You also have the option of cutting the walleye fillets into any size you like, including nuggets, which are perfect for kids.
In addition, you can add it to a toasted bun and slather it with tartar sauce to create one of the best fish sandwiches around. It is also delectable for fish tacos.
As you might be aware, walleye is a freshwater fish. This fish is native to several lakes in Canada and the northern United States. It is a white, extremely mild-tasting fish.
This pan-fried walleye is mouth-watering and can be served with just a fresh squeeze of lemon juice or a bit of homemade tartar sauce.
With this recipe, you can pan-fry almost any white fish fillet; however, keep in mind that the cooking time might differ as it is based on the size of your fillets.
As previously mentioned, this fish is a mild freshwater fish in the perch family.
It comes with a light, flaky texture, is amazingly good without any fishy taste, and is one of the most popular freshwater fish in the Midwest.
However, in southeast Michigan, some of the best walleye fishing is in Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and the Detroit River.
Can You Cook Walleye with the Skin On?
The short and straight answer to this question is yes, you can cook walleye with the skin on, but I strongly suggest against that when you are frying and breading the fish.
However, this is based on your preference, but in my opinion, I suggest that you remove the skin before you fry.
Pan Fried Walleye
This pan-fried walleye has a light, crunchy golden breading with succulent, flaky white fish inside. This is a fast and simple recipe that can be used any night.
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Servings: 4
- 1 – 1 ½ pounds of walleye fillets
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup of vegetable oil (more may be needed as this is based on the size of the skillet).
Homemade Tartar Sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of fresh dill
- A pinch of black paper
- First, you are to cut the fish into a few pieces; that way, they will fit easily into the skillet, and then you can proceed to season them evenly with ½ teaspoon of salt and then set them aside.
- That being done, get a shallow bowl and then mix the egg and milk in it. Also, get a second bowl and combine bread crumbs, old bay seasoning, and flour in it.
- After that, make sure you are working one at a time. Proceed to dip the walleye fillets into the egg mixture, dredge in the flour mixture, and press it gently into the fish.
- When that is done, add oil to a large skillet with deeper sides once the fish is breaded. I suggest you use enough oil so that it will come around halfway up the sides of the fish and heat the oil over medium heat to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now, add the fish to the hot oil, and make sure you do this flesh side down and do it carefully.
- That being done, cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn and cook the second side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it becomes golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remember that the cooking time will differ depending on the size of each piece.
- It’s time to remove the fish from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. You can serve right away.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
You are to get a small bowl and add all the ingredients to it, then proceed to blend well and refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
What to Serve with This Recipe
You can make a homemade Caesar salad from the store that is in a bag.
When it comes to excellent side dishes to have with salmon, I suggest you go with smoked potatoes in foil or smoked asparagus.
You can serve this dish with some dairy-free slow cooker mashed potatoes or twice-baked potatoes.
You can also have a seafood night and make some garlicky shrimp Alfredo.
And some air fryer garlic bread would be a good side dish.
Make sure you always store the leftovers in clean, food-grade containers. However, keep in mind that the type of container you use does not matter.
You have the option of using glass, zip-lock, plastic, and so on. Just ensure that you store your leftovers in a tightly sealed container before you put them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Sauces for Fish
You certainly don’t need anything more than a squeeze of fresh lemon with well-seasoned crunchy skin and juicy flesh inside.
However, if you are a sauce person, you can never turn down a sauce, even for fish. So, below are my favorite sauce suggestions for fish:
Marie Rose Sauce, Tartare Sauce, or Cocktail Sauce.
Lemon Butter Sauce for Fish
This is a true ripper. I consider it to be restaurant-worthy; it requires just 2 ingredients, and the secret is to brown the butter, so remember that.
Lemon Cream Sauce
This is simply a richer cream sauce with lemon.
Simple Lemon Butter Sauce
It can be cooked with peas, asparagus, and beans. It is so delicious.
Creamy Dill Sauce
It is traditionally recommended for salmon, but it is, of course, equally good with other fish.
Note that crispy pan-fried fish does not remain crispy for that long. The surface of the fish loses crispiness as it cools. So it is highly recommended that you eat it fresh off the stove.
What Kind of Oil Is Best for Frying Fish?
Well, the best oil for frying fish has always been a neutral oil that can withstand higher heat without burning. A few options for this include canola oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, and vegetable oil.
You can use either fresh or frozen walleye for this recipe. However, make sure you defrost the frozen fish completely and blot them with paper towels; that way, they will become dry before breading.
Also, you have the option of using any large nonstick skillet, cast iron skillet, or any with a higher side.
Make sure you brown it only to a light golden color; after that, remove it from the skillet.
In addition, ensure that you leave a little space between the fish when frying so that they will crisp evenly.
That being said, this brings us to the end of this guide, as you now have the best recipe for pan-fried walleye.