If you read my Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage post then you already know that a few weeks ago my husband came home from a fishing trip with more walleye than we originally knew what to do with. But then quickly came his brainchild of a having a good old-fashioned fish fry, which neither he or I had ever attempted. I am not typically a fan of fried fish. I worked at Old Bag of Nails Pub for nearly two years and never once ate the famous fish and chips. I marvel at how my sister in law gets so fired up when fish sandwiches make their way through the sandwich rotation at McDonald’s or Wendy’s. Not me….never really cared for fried fish. That all changed when we fried up some very fresh Lake Erie walleye and made a delicious tangy sauce to dip it in. This was really my husband’s idea and effort and while I invited him to be my first “guest blogger,” he kindly declined and said he’d trust me to take it on. We called up some family to come over for our first ever fish fry and got down to it. We debated heading out to purchase a fryer but settled on frying it up in two large pots of oil on the stovetop. This quickly turned into a pretty funny scene as my husband’s brother and his cousin were both in the kitchen with him. There was egg batter and flour mixture everywhere, timers going off every few minutes to rotate fish in and out of the sizzling oil. It was a pretty funny sight…they were drinking beer and generally acting like hunters who had brought back a prized kill to prepare for the women and children. The fish turned out incredible with the spicy flour mixture that my husband came up with. Our cousin commented that it was the best fried fish he’d ever had in part because it resembled tempura texture. I whipped up an alternative type of tarter sauce using mayo, malt vinegar, pepper and fresh thyme. We cooked up a few trays of frozen french fries – extra crispy of course! Our cousin’s wife made a delicious homemade coleslaw using blue cheese and dried cranberries….a great complement tothe savory fish and tangy vinegar mayo sauce. This was one of those meals that was delicious to eat and even more fun to make…..a great Sunday afternoon meal!
Fried Walleye with Malt Vinegar Mayo (Serves 6)
10-12 walleye fillets (can substitute other white fish such as cod, grouper, snapper, perch)
1 48 oz. bottle vegetable oil
5-6 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
2-3 tsp. pepper (this is what really gave the batter some distinct flavor)
1 cup mayo (could easily cut with half plain greek yogurt)
¼ cup malt vinegar (more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Sauce: In small bowl, whisk together mayo, malt vinegar, pepper and fresh thyme; chill.
Fish: Clean fish fillets and pat dry with paper towels. In large bowl, beat eggs. In another large bowl, mix flour and spices. Dredge each filet in egg mixture and then flour mixture and set aside. In large pot over medium heat, heat oil to approximately 350-375 degrees (to test the oil temperature, drop a piece of bread or a cracker in the oil — if it turns light brown and becomes crispy, it is good). Immerse no more than two filets at a time for 1-2 minutes per side (depending on size). Remove carefully and set on drying rack layered with paper towels. Serve immediately with malt vinegar mayo.