The beloved walleye is one of North America’s most sought-after sportfish and considered by many to offer the best table fare. Their flesh is sweet, delicate and pleasing to the palate. Enjoy three of my favorite walleye recipes: Beer-battered Walleye, Blackened Walleye and Stuffed Walleye. All these recipes and more are featured in my book; The Canadian Fishing Cookbook.
The popular beer-battered walleye dish has been a favourite of mine for years, as it blends two of my favourite pastimes: living off the fat of the land and, of course, beer drinking. In some parts of Canada this recipe is known as Beer-battered Pickerel and in parts of Québec it is called Beer battered Doré. Whatever the name, the end result is the same, with walleye being the single best fish choice in the beer-battered fish-fry circles.
-peanut or sunflower
-oil, for deep-frying
-3 cups flour, divided
-1¾ tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
-½ tsp cayenne pepper
-2 × 341 mL bottles beer
-2 lbs (1 kg) walleye fillets
Place oil in deep-fryer to depth recommended by manufacturer and preheat to 370º F (188° C). Mix 3 cups flour, salt and cayenne pepper together in bowl, then whisk in beer until smooth in consistency. Place remaining flour on plate. Pat walleye fillets dry with paper towel then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Dip each fillet one by one into batter and then gently place in hot oil. Deep-fry until golden brown, turning only once. Use slotted spoon (never a fork!) to transfer fish to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Over the years, the noble walleye has fallen victim of what one might call a fish
identity crisis. The walleye’s smaller and less prevalent cousin the sauger has
often been mistaken for walleye. In parts of Québec, where walleye take on a purplish-blue tinge, walleye are known as blue walleye. Since the original blue walleye of the Great Lake–St. Lawrence region are said to have become extinct over 50 years ago, the bluish colour of Québec’s special walleye is believed to be from water colour and a specific algae in the lake water.
Although scientists have yet to prove the existence of the old remnant blue walleye population elsewhere in Canada, residents of Québec remain convinced that these beautiful blue-coloured fish are one and the same. Regardless of their colour, distribution or name, the walleye remains one of this country’s most important fish species.
6 to 8 small tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh thyme
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp each salt, pepper and paprika
2 tsp each chili powder, ground cumin and dried thyme
2 × 12 to 15 oz (340 to 425 g) fresh walleye, cleaned but not filleted
2 Tbsp canola oil
Preheat oven to 250º F (120° C). Arrange tomatoes cut-side up in shallow roasting pan. Mix garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and oil in small bowl and drizzle over tomatoes. Bake for 3 hours until tomatoes are chewy. Heat heavy skillet until smoking hot. In small bowl, mix salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin and thyme. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel. Brush fish with oil and rub with spice mixture. Cook fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until meat flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to serving platter and arrange dried tomatoes attractively on fish. Serve immediately
4 × 12 to 14 oz (240 to 400 g) walleye fillets
2 Tbsp butter
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 white bread slice, crumbled
1 cup breadcrumbs
½ tsp each parsley and garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350º F (175° C). Arrange walleye in baking dish. Brush fillets with butter and drizzle lemon juice over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine crumbled bread, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder, egg, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 4 clumps and place on top of each walleye fillet. Cover dish with foil and bake for about 10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve hot.
I hope you enjoyed these three tasty walleye recipes. All these recipes and more are featured in my book; The Canadian Fishing Cookbook.