Ever since I heard Kid Rock’s version of Sweet Home Alabama, I’ve wanted to try walleye. Walleye are rich in the Midwest and just like the man says in his song, people literally can catch them “off the dock” in a gazillion regional, land-locked water sources. But, being from the PNW, I’ve always eaten way more salmon and trout than anything else. Alas, a few days ago one of the local fishmongers (yes, there are fishmongers in the Midwest) had fresh walleye in the case so I decided to give it a whirl. And I loved it!
Walleye skin is beautiful with flecks of yellow, gold, blue and green
Most (if not all) walleye is wild-caught and most get a thumbs up from the Seafood Watch (stay away from Lake Superior’s Wisconsin waters, Lake Manitoba, Winnipeg and Winnipegosis). So not only is it a good fish to eat from an environmental and sustainable standpoint, it’s also good for you and incredibly delicious.
Walleye is pretty mild, maybe not so much as halibut, but it doesn’t have an overwhelming fishy taste either. The fillets are fairly thin—at least the ones I had—so I highly recommend grilling (see below) or pan-frying. Of course if you follow along or even just stop by here every now and then, you probably know I’m a big fan of simple preparation when it comes to my seafood and generally, grilling is the way to go … especially when it’s an uber fresh piece of fish. So while this is technically a “recipe” for grilled walleye, there’s really nothing much to it and it can be adapted for just about any kind of fish.
Walleye, two ways
Make a tinfoil “boat” by folding the edges up a bit so the small amount of liquid can stay on the fish and not drain into the grill. Spray foil with a little cooking spray. Rinse and pat dry fillets, place on foil. Then do one of the following:
- For simply grilled, evenly space pads of butter over fish along with lemon slices, fresh tarragon, sage or rosemary (save the dill for salmon), salt and pepper.
- For a Cajun version, space the butter as described above, and then smother the fillets with your favorite Cajun spice. That’s it!
Heat grill to medium-high, place foil on grill, close grill and let fish cook for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness. Once it’s done, serve directly over sauteed spinach and some fresh tomatoes, or sauteed tomato with beets, or with whatever floats your boat and enjoy … hope you love it as much as I do.
A note about my recipes … most of what I cook isn’t a precise science. It’s look, taste and feel. And I encourage you to cook the same way. Add a little more of this, or a little less of that … and pay attention … and before long you’ll be a wiz at cooking seafood.
Coming up NEXT on the blog … one more new-to-me fish species : ) Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler
DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox