Tag Archives: panfish recipes

Fish Tacos with Apple Slaw and Chipotle Mayo

One of my favorite ways to eat the bounty of panfish that the hubs brings home from his ice fishing escapades is in these SoCal style fish tacos. Because panfish are bite-sized to begin with, they’re perfect for this dish but you could easily use a similar white fish that’s local to your area. Add in a little spicy mayo and some tangy slaw for crunch and you’ve got one tasty little taco!
fish tacos

Panfish Tacos
serves 2-3
2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C flour
1 C vegetable oil
16 panfish fillets (8 panfish) or 2 lg tilapia fillets, sliced into small chunks
4-6 small flour tortillas
Chipotle Mayo
hot sauce (I like Crystal brand)

Set up two shallow bowls, one with flour, one with eggs. Pour panko into a large Ziploc bag or bowl (I like a bag because it makes it easy to toss). Add salt and pepper and mix well. Meanwhile, add vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and begin to heat oil. Oil should be about 1/4-1/2 inch deep in pan. Use a kitchen tongs to dip each piece of fish first into the flour, coating lightly on all sides, then into the egg wash and finally into the panko. Place several pieces into the panko bag and pat the bag to toss the fish within so that the breadcrumbs coat each piece fully. Remove each piece and place on a separate clean plate.

Test temperature of oil by carefully flicking a tiny bit of water or 1-2 panko crumbs into the pan. Oil should pop if it is hot enough. If oil is not hot enough, your fish will soak up oil and be greasy instead of crispy and flaky. Carefully add fish pieces to the hot oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side and turning with a tongs part way through the process. While fish are frying, set up a plate with 1-2 paper towels. Extract one fish and double check that it is done. Fish should be golden brown and flaky in the center. Transfer fish to the towels to absorb any excess oil. Assemble tacos immediately.

fish fry

Cilantro Apple Slaw
1/2 granny smith apple, julienned
2 C broccoli slaw mix
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp cumin
dash cayenne
dash salt

In a medium bowl, combine apple, slaw mix and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, cayenne and salt. Drizzle over slaw and toss well to coat.

Spread a thin layer of mayo on each tortilla. Top with several pieces of fish and slaw. Sprinkle with hot sauce.
fish tacos



Filed under Main Dish

Panfish Chowder & Cheddar-Bacon Biscuits

At my house, it’s currently ice fishing season, which for me equals panfish cooking season. And as much as I love having locally, sustainably caught fish delivered fresh to my table, there are only so many ways to cook the bite-sized perch, blue gills and crappies.

Yesterday with a free Sunday on my hands and nothing to do but watch the playoffs (Go Pack!), I detoured from our frequent fish fry and tested out a fish chowder. I based it on the tastes of a traditional New England Clam Chowder and was delighted with the results.

If you don’t have a fishing obsessed person in your house, you can easily substitute a variety of other white fishes such as tilapia, walleye, pike or even cod. Try to use whatever is local to your area to get the freshest catch and best flavor.
Fish Chowder

Panfish Chowder
6 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 Tbsp butter
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1 lb panfish (see substitutions*)
2 bay leaves
2 C clam juice
2 C chicken broth
2 C half & half
2 tsp corn starch
kosher salt
* Ideal substitutes would be other white lake fish, such as perch or walleye, but you could also use a mild white fish such as tilapia.

Chop bacon into small pieces and place a large stockpot. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add butter, onions and celery. Add bay leaves and season with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk in corn starch. Add clam juice, broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes cook.

Remove bay leaves. Add fish and half & half and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed to bring out flavors.

Panfish Chowder

I served my chowder with some tasty homemade buttermilk biscuits that I gussied up with some bacon and cheddar because, well, who doesn’t love bacon and cheddar!

Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Cheddar-Bacon Biscuits

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
3 3/4 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp shortening, chilled
1 1/2 sticks butter, chilled & diced into small pieces
1 1/4 C buttermilk
1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar
4 strips bacon; cooked, cooled and diced

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, soda and powder. Pulse 4-5 times to combine. Add shortening and butter chunks, distributing evenly over flour. Pulse 15 or so times until mixture is slightly crumbly. Add bacon and cheddar and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer to a large both and slowly add buttermilk, working mixture together with a spatula until dough is slightly sticky.

Transfer to a clean, floured surface. Flour your hands and knead for 30-45 seconds so that dough becomes smooth. Reflour surface and roll dough into a large circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Use a 2 1/2″ round biscuit (cookie) cutter to cut each biscuit, taking care not to twist the cutter as you cut. This will prevent uneven biscuits. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve warm.


Filed under Main Dish, Sides