Fried Perch ~ lightly breaded Great Lakes fish filets deep fried until golden with tender, moist fish inside. Serve with hand cut french fries, cole slaw, lemon and tartar sauce. Say goodbye to greasy fish!
Say goodbye to greasy, tasteless fried fish – that’s not what deep fried fish is about. This easy recipe walks you through how to fry fish the right way for the best flavor and texture.
Do yourself a favor and skip the frozen sticks. Grab some fresh fish, a few grocery store ingredients and bring back the Friday night fish fry tradition. In our house, it never left.
What is perch?
Yellow lake perch are one of the most popular freshwater fish. As their name says, they’re a light golden-yellow color with darker stripes along their sides. They have a delicious, mild taste – not fishy at all. You can buy them at most seafood markets and grocery stores. They can be fresh caught in any of the Great Lakes!
Friday Fish Fry:
Fish on Fridays is a long standing tradition in our family. We have a few restaurants in the area we like, but our favorite is the fish my husband makes at home. After years of frying fish my husband Ray has it down to delicious perfection.
Michigan is famous for its miles of shoreline along the Great Lakes and inside those lakes is a wealth of fish including perch, walleye and white fish. Because of this, an old school fish fry isn’t just popular in our house. They’re popular all over the state, including churches who hold them as fundraisers.
what do i need to make fried perch?
- fresh yellow lake perch
- seasoned cracker meal
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- Deep fryer or deep pot/pan for frying
how to make fried perch:
TIP: If you’re using a pot you’ll need a thermometer to get the oil to the right temp.
Preheat the oil in the fryer to 375° then line a plate with wax paper and set it aside. This same plate will be lined with paper towel for the fried fish as soon as all the fish have gone into the fryer.
If the fish filets are still a ‘butterfly’, cut in half so you have two filets.
Prepare a breading station:
In bowl #1 whisk the egg and water together then in a second bowl, add the cracker meal.
Working with one filet at a time, dip in the egg wash letting any excess drip back into the bowl then dredge lightly in the cracker meal and set on the plate. Repeat until all the fish is coated.
Gently place the fish in the preheated oil adding as many as the fryer will hold then cook 2-3 minutes watching closely until the desired golden color.
As you remove the fish from the deep fryer, let the oil drain from the basket for a couple of seconds then transfer to the paper towel lined plate and serve right away with your favorite sides.
how to fry fish without a deep fryer:
No deep fryer? No problem. Use any deep skillet or pot adding about 2-3″ of oil (enough to cover the filets completely).
Preheat the oil using a thermometer to 375° and follow the instructions above.
what do i serve with fried perch?
French Fries! Rounded out with a side of cole slaw, a slice or two of good bakery bread, fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over the top and your favorite tartar sauce.
We also love this New England Clam Chowder with the perch. Creamy, hearty – a meal on its own – a cup goes really well with fried fish.
tips for the best fried perch:
- Start with fresh fish.
- Be sure your oil is the right temperature before you fry.
- Watch the fish closely – it fries quickly!
need dessert suggestions?
If you tried this Fried Perch recipe or any other on the blog then I hope you’ll leave a comment and some stars!
- 1 pound yellow lake perch
- 1/2 cup seasoned cracker meal
- 1 large egg + 3 tablespoons water
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- Preheat the oil in the fryer to 375°. Line a plate or platter with wax paper then set aside. This same plate will be lined with paper towel for the fried fish.
- If the fish filets are connected like a ‘butterfly’, cut in half so you have two filets.
- Prepare a breading station: Bowl #1 whisk the egg and water together. Bowl #2: add the cracker meal.
- Working with one filet at a time, dip in the egg wash letting any excess drip back into the bowl then dredge lightly in the cracker meal then set on a plate repeating until all the fish is coated.
- Gently place the fish in the preheated oil adding as many as the fryer will hold. Cook 2-3 minutes watching closely until the desired golden color.
- As you remove the fish from the deep fryer, let the oil drain in the basket for a couple of seconds then transfer to the paper towel lined plate and serve right away.