Caught a fresh walleye fish and looking forward to cooking it? No problem! We will tell you all about the methods you can cook your fish with these pan-fried walleye recipes.
What is a Walleye Fish?
Walleye, also known as pickerel or doré, is a freshwater fish native to Canada and the United States. They are a prominent catch for both recreational and commercial purposes.
The walleyes are easier to catch between late afternoon to nighttime because of their nocturnal nature.
he pickerel is used for fillets since it’s not too bony. The taste is buttery and sweet with a low level of fishiness. Texture-wise, pickerel is firm and flaky, similar to other freshwater fish.
Pickerels are also rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, protein, and omega 3-fatty acids.
22 Pan Fried Walleye Recipes
1. Best Fried Walleye by All Recipes
A 25-year-old recipe from the author’s dad, the best fried walleye recipe is incredible if you want to go for a homemade feel.
Instead of breadcrumbs, the walleye fillet is coated with saltine crackers for maximum crunchiness.
2. Honey Fried Walleye by Captain Vince Russo
You will definitely taste the sweetness with this honey-fried walleye recipe. The honey-infused oil makes for a sweet crust and tender fish.
If you are looking forward to using honey along with a walleye, this is the recipe for you.
3. Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Walleye by Recipe Diaries
If you want a quick and easy walleye dish, this is the recipe for you. With just a combination of lemon, pepper, and butter, you can make this delicious dish with just a quick prep time.
The process itself is fast. You can serve this dish in just 15-20 minutes.
4. Walleye Wings by Tyler Wolden and Erik Osberg
Straight from the catch, Tyler Wolden and Erik Osberg share their tutorial on how to make walleye wings.
Using the pectoral fin, they managed to imitate the shape of the more common buffalo wings.
If you want a fatty and tasty treat to go with beer, this is a good recipe for you.
5. Buttery Pan Fried Walleye by Pillsbury Kitchen
We ensure that you can taste some good ol’ buttery goodness from this recipe. With the help of buttery cracker crumbs, you can have a very savory treat.
Almond nuts are also an ingredient, so expect a very nutty taste.
6. Pan Fired Pickerel by Jeizel’s Kitchen
With this recipe, you will really feel a very home-cooked vibe. Jeizel used an all-in-one fish seasoning for a tasty and easy pickerel dish.
It’s perfect for feeding massive batch of people such as in family gatherings and parties.
7. Pan Seared Walleye with Veggies by Elizabeth Gale
Want to mix a couple of greens on your diet? This recipe is the one for you.
Along with the spice-coated walleye, the author also served it with zucchini and brown rice. This recipe is a full-blown meal made to satisfy your hunger for good food.
8. Homemade Garlic Butter Walleye by Dora Morrow
Fresh from summer fishing, Dora Morrow shared her favorite way to prepare a walleye. With just three ingredients, butter, garlic, and salt, she made sure that the dish is both fresh and tasty.
If you are a fan of garlic, you will surely like this recipe.
9. Parmesan-Crusted Walleye by Wisconsin Cheese
This delicious recipe is terrific if you love a crunchy and cheesy walleye dish. The buttery, nutty and sweet flavors combined with the flaky walleye is another way to relieve your cravings.
10. Pan Fried Walleye by David Canterbury
For a more camping feel, try out David Canterbury’s recipe. Watch as he uses ready to go camping food to satisfy his walleye cravings.
This simple and easy way to make a pan fried walleye is incredible for camping and outside trips.
11. Fresh Walleye with Mustard-Dill Sauce by Chatelaine
This recipe is more complicated than the others, but we assure you that the efforts are well worth it.
The flavors of dijon mustard, mixed with other flavor flavorings will make your taste buds scream in delight.
11. Beer Batter Walleye Recipe by Jeremy Critchfield
Check out this video for a tasty beer-flavored batter. Jeremy shared his recipe from his home recipe book. He incorporated one of Pennsylvania’s pride, the Yuengling beer. The dish also has a spicy lemon dip. Incredible for those who want to have a citrus and tangy walleye.
12. Pickerel (Walleye) in Brown Butter Sauce by Recipezazz
The buttery and citrus taste of this recipe’s brown sauce is sure to make your day.
If you caught a fresh pickerel and looking forward to tasting its natural flavors, this is the best dish for you. The taste is not overpowering and perfect for the delicate texture of the pickerels.
13. Pan-Fried Walleye by Beyond the Chicken Coop
This golden-brown and tasty walleye recipe wouldn’t disappoint you. It’s easy and quick.
The ingredients and methods are also really basic and easy to follow. Perfect for those who are new to cooking.
14. Walleye Almondine by Ricardo Cuisine
This nutty and buttery dish will surely please your palate. Made by Ricardo, the recipe is incredible if you want a flavorful and saucy walleye dish.
15. Pan Fried Pickerel with Cannellini Bean Salad by Jay del Corro
This refreshing and flavorful meal will have your mouth watering. The pickerel is glazed with a brown butter sauce while the salad is made with cannellini beans.
If you want a healthy and easy meal packed with vitamins to satisfy your palate, this is the one for you.
16. Seared Walleye Fillet With Brown Butter Caper Sauce and Spätzle by Spencer Watts
This filling and tasty dish by Spencer Watts is loaded with carbs and protein. The recipe incorporated spätzle, a type of noodles from Germany. Spätzle is relatively easy to make.
We guarantee you that this is a perfect combination. Along with the brown butter sauce, you will surely love this dish.
17. Pan Fried Pickerel with Potato Chips by Great Taste Of Manitoba
What combination is tastier than fried pickerel fish and potatoes?
This recipe will have you covered. Watch as Ellen Pruden along with Ace Burpee walk you through the cooking process of making pan fried pickerel with potato chips. This dish can be eaten as a snack or as a meal.
It’s packed with protein and carbohydrates. You will surely get the energy you need to start your day.
18. Pan Fried Pickerel Over Roasted Summer Veggies by Taste Canada
This recipe is best for a refreshing summer treat. Shared by Taste Canada, it utilizes different vegetables found in the local area.
The combination of pickerels and cauliflower, cherry tomato, and asparagus will surely fill your stomach.
It’s also rich in nutrients such as protein.
19. Deep Fried Perch and Pickerel with Tartar Sauce by Leonard Omstead
Watch as Leonard Omstead give tips on how to fillet and cook pickerels.
Partnered with a freshly made tartar sauce, you can ensure that this recipe is flavorful and easy to make.
20. Pan-fried Lake Erie Pickerel with Sautéed Wild Leeks and Double Smoked Bacon by Edible Toronto
What’s better than pickerel along with leafy greens and bacon?
This recipe has it all. If you want to try a protein-heavy food while still incorporating leafy greens, this is the recipe for you.
The dish offers a cacophony of flavors from the leeks and bacon.
21. Mustard Pepper Walleye by Aikens Lake
If you are a fan of mustard, you will definitely like this dish.
The recipe is easy and quick to do. You only need two ingredients for the seasoning: mustard powder, and pepper.
Tips with Cooking Pan Fried Walleye
Keep the Fish Dry
Fish is moist whether it’s straight from the water or the fridge. You need to make sure that it’s dry before putting it in oil.
Oil and water are not a good combination. Moisture can cause the oil to pop and burn the skin.
To make sure that your fish is dry, pat it with a paper towel before frying.
You can also dip it in flour to coat the pickerel. The flour will absorb any moisture present in the fish.
Use Oil for Pan Frying
To get the best results, use the appropriate oil when cooking a pan fried walleye. You can use canola, vegetable, avocado, or corn oil when cooking your fish.
These oils have a very high smoking point, perfect for frying your pickerels in high heat. Avocado oil is the best of the group, although it’s costly. You can use the other oils as an alternative.
Clarified butter is also a great option since it has a very high smoking point. The butter flavor is also an amazing partner with pickerel fish.
If you want to use olive oil for cooking your fish, make sure it’s the refined one and not the extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oils have the lowest smoking point from any variation of olive oil. The oil may turn acrid if you use something with a low smoking point.
Use Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron is great for pan frying and sauteing any food. It has even heat conduction that can result in a very crispy crust.
Cast iron skillets also have a non-stick surface, perfect for searing your fish.
Be Creative with the Breading
One of the fundamental parts of frying fish is the breading. Everybody loves crispy, juicy, and golden brown fish. Alternatively, you can use a lot of other breading except regular bread crumbs.
Panko is one of the most popular substitutes for regular bread crumbs. Straight from Japan, panko is created by drying crustless white bread.
It has a drier and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs. Panko absorbs less oil resulting in a lighter and crunchier crust.
You have a slew of ingredients to choose from as a breading substitute. Nuts, oats, and crushed crackers are among the popular substitutes.
Spices bring out the best in your dish. From the classic salt and pepper to cajun, mustard, and many more, spices is a must-have in your pan fried walleye recipe.
You can buy pre-made fish seasoning or customize it yourself. If you want to get started, we have a few suggestions like:
- Ginger – Ginger has been mixed with fish for a long time. The strong and pungent flavor and aroma of ginger are great if you want to lessen the fishy flavor of your walleye.
- Paprika – The earthy and sweet taste of paprika is a good combination for your fish. Paprika also has a smoked variation that has a smoked and distinct taste perfect for fish.
- Parsley – The earthy and peppery taste of parsley is certainly a good partner for your pickerel. It’s incredible when combined with lemon and butter.
- Chives – If you want a hint of onion and garlic taste with your fish, chives might be the best choice for you. Chives can be used as a garnish or mixed with your compound butter.
Preheat the Oil
Before putting in your walleyes, make sure that your oil is at the right temperature. You can know if the oil is hot enough for frying in two ways.
Method number one is using a cooking thermometer. Make sure that your oil is between 350-375°F.
If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you can use an excess batter and drop it into the oil. If the batter starts sizzling, it means that your oil is ready for frying.
Sear the Fish
Flipping and checking your fish every minute is something a lot of us do. Unfortunately, it’s bad for the frying process. Let the fish sear for the right amount of time before flipping.
Sear the fillets for 3-5 minutes on each side. If you are going to fry a whole pickerel fish, let it sit for 8-10 minutes on each side.
Flipping the fish too early can cause it to crush into pieces. Instead, let the pickerels rest until you have a seared seal.
Pan fried walleye might be a simple dish, but it offers a lot of flavors. Most of the recipes are simple to make and quick to prepare.
We hope we help you choose a delicious pan fried walleye recipe to try out.
Michael Johnson is the founder of Pan Mastery, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.