This past year I was able to get my hands on some of the best fish I have ever eaten! Eating walleye fillets was a new experience for me and I just wanted to share my simple recipe that I used to turn the fillets from this:
1. Walleye fillets (I would recommend two fillets per person)
2. Olive oil (you can use your oil of choice for cooking)
3. Tartar sauce (if wanted)
4. Lemon wedges (if wanted to squeeze over cooked fish)
5. Fish Fry Mixture (I used a pre-made mix from the store, but you can make your own. See below)
1. If you make your own batter I would use cornmeal and flour mixture, ½ & ½, in a large one gallon plastic zipper bag. I would start with 1 ½ cups of each and this should season 6 fillets. Season flour/corn meal mixture with Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning or with Garlic Salt & Pepper. Season to taste but remember not to over-season your mixture. A ½ teaspoon of garlic salt and pepper would be fine. And if using a pre-made seasoning I’d start with the same amount too. Mix the ingredients well in the bag. Next, crack and scramble at least three large eggs in a bowl. Dip the fillets in the egg batter and then place the fillets in the seasoned mixture of flour/corn meal.
Take your washed and clean walleye fillets and ensure all of the bones and skin is removed from them. And if using a pre-made seasoning mix, just ensure the fillets are moist from clean water and batter with the mix. If making your own mixture, follow instructions above from the Ingredients section.
Warm up olive oil (or oil of your choice) in your cooking pan. I like to have enough oil in the pan so when the oil heats up and I place the fillets in the pan, at least a quarter to half of a fillet is submerged (at a minimum) in the hot cooking oil. I heat my oil over medium heat and I test the temperature by sprinkling some of my batter in the oil. If the batter you sprinkled in begins to bubble consistently, as if the batter is cooking, the oil should be hot enough to cook your fillets.
Place your fillets in the hot oil. I would cook each side of the fillets for approximately 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Once they are cooked to a golden brown, place the fillets on your plate lined with paper towels using your cooking tongs or fork.
Serve with a vegetable of your choice like a nice side salad and enjoy. And don’t forget to squeeze lemon over the fish and the tartar sauce if you like to use this too. Make it a goal to introduce someone new to fishing in the future!
To learn more about walleye and where to find them in New Mexico please visit http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/fishing/game-fish/warm-water/.
Department photos by Storm Usrey.