When you're the Captain's wife, you end up with a lot of fish in the freezer every fishing season. There really is something undeniably great about fried fish- notably Perch + Walleye if you're talking Lake Erie bounty. But really, how much fried fish do you need when there are some other easy and notably awesome ways to enjoy the fish you've worked so hard to catch.
I personally love to cook and learn about food. I especially love to share my creations with others, and in lieu of handing you a finished plate of food- I want to share some of the recipes that I make over and over again with our Lake Erie catches. They're not difficult to make, and they'll give you a whole new appreciation for walleye outside of the deep fryer.
Try giving your Northern Border walleye a Southern Border makeover. If you have the listed spices on hand, this is a recipe absolutely worth making.
→ Spice Rub: 2 tsp. salt ∙ 1 tsp. pepper ∙ ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper ∙ ¼ tsp. smoked paprika ∙ ½ tsp. dried oregano ∙ ½ tsp. garlic powder ∙ ½ tsp. cumin
→ 2 c. shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix ∙ 1 tsp. honey ∙ juice of ½ lime ∙ S&P to taste ∙ chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
→ ¼ c. mayo ∙ ½ c. sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) ∙ 1 small clove garlic, grated ∙ ⅛ tsp. cumin ∙ ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper ∙ juice of ½ lime ∙ S&P to taste
→ 1-2 lb. Walleye or other firm whitefish
→ Tortilla shells of your preference (flour or corn)
1. Prepare walleye into strips suitably sized for tacos. Mix together spice rub ingredients and season liberally.
→Blend together the honey, lime, salt and pepper in bottom of large bowl with a whisk until combined. Toss cabbage or coleslaw mix in with the liquid, toss a few times while preparing the rest of the meal and add fresh cilantro if desired.
→Mix mayo, sour cream, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, salt & pepper in small bowl. Let sit for flavors to combine and proceed to cook the walleye.
→Coat bottom of heavy skillet with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Sear seasoned walleye strips until cooked through on both sides (2 minutes per side). Remove to plate and let rest. Build tacos with shell, mayo/sour cream mixture, walleye and top with coleslaw mix.
It’s not your normal fancy crab cake, but no one ever cares when they try these walleye fish cakes. You can make these with perch as well, or really any whitefish you like.
→1.5 lb of walleye filets ∙ Milk ∙ 1 bay leaf
→¾ c. mayonnaise ∙ 3 eggs ∙ 1 c. cooked rice* ∙ ½ c. shredded parm/romano blend ∙ ¼ cup minced onion or sliced scallion ∙ 1 tsp. garlic powder ∙ 1 sleeve crushed saltines or other crackers ∙ 1 tsp. Italian seasoning ∙ 1 tsp. salt ∙ ½ tsp. pepper
→1/3 cup mayonnaise ∙ 1 T. Dijon mustard ∙ 1 T. sriracha
1. Place walleye filets in small saucepan with bayleaf. Fill halfway covered with milk, fill to covered with water. Simmer for 5 minutes until cooked through. Drain, let cool and flake.
2. In large bowl, mix cooled flaked walleye with next batch of ingredients (mayonnaise through pepper). Add crushed saltines and mix. Using ¼ cup measurements, form into “cakes” and set aside. Cakes can be pan-fried in vegetable oil and drained on paper towel lined plate, or sprayed with canola oil and baked at 375° on parchment lined baking sheet for 16-18 minutes. (Flip once partway through cooking and spray with more canola oil)
3. Mix remaining mayonnaise, Dijon and sriracha to taste. Serve alongside walleye cakes for dipping.
*I prefer to use the Long Grain & Wild variety of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice which can be cooked in the microwave for 90 seconds before adding to the walleye cake mixture. The taste and texture, in my opinion, work well for this recipe.