Walleye is one of the most delicious (and often times, most expensive fish) you can find at the grocery store or at a restaurant, as any fan of seafood will tell you. It’s soft, flaky texture, along with the lack of an overpowering, “fishy,” taste, continue to make walleye a much-desired dish. Famously preferred fried, with a side of chips and a wedge of lemon, walleye is my fish of choice for this installment of recipes, in which I offer two delicious spins on the classic fried walleye, both of which were given to me by an old coworker of mine who used be a walleye and muskie guide in Minnesota. Enjoy!
Crazy Larry’s Fried Walleye
6 to 8 ounces of walleye fillets
Breading (1 part lemon pepper, 3 parts flour)
Egg, slightly beaten
1. Heat ¾ inch of vegetable oil in frying pan.
2. Lightly coat fillets in egg and remove.
3. Thoroughly coat each in breading mix.
4. Place in heated frying pan and cook until golden brown. Flip and repeat.
Crazy Larry’s Fried Walleye Sandwich
4 slices of thick-sliced bacon
4 walleye fillets
1/2 of a fresh lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup of peanut oil
4 whole wheat buns
Butter, softened at room temperature
8 slices of ripe tomato
1. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove from pan, drain on paper towel, and set aside, remembering to keep the bacon drippings in the pan.
2. Rinse the fillets and pat dry. Then squeeze juice from the lemon over them and season with salt and pepper.
3. Dredge fillets in cornmeal and coat thoroughly.
4. Add the peanut oil to the bacon drippings and heat just until it begins to smoke.
5. Add fillets and fry until crisp, roughly 5 minutes for each side. Remove the fillets and drain on paper towel.
6. For the sandwich buns, preheat your broiler. Split the buns lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Butter each side and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Then place on a pan and broil until brown, roughly 3 minutes. Spread garlic mayonnaise on the buns, then add the lettuce and tomato, followed by the walleye fillets and a strip of bacon.
These recipes can’t get any easier and, from experience, can’t get any tastier either. Larry is known for his ability to perfectly fry fish with his own breading combinations and I’ve had the privilege of taste-testing many of his recipes. Believe me when I say that you can’t go wrong with his takes on classic fried walleye.