Fried Perch recipe for the absolute best, lightly breaded yellow perch fillets you’ve ever eaten. Deep fried to golden, perfectly cooked and never greasy. A family recipe that always gets rave reviews!
This easy fish recipe will walk you through the best way to deep fry fish that’s never greasy with delicious taste and texture.
If you tried enjoy fried fish but have tried deep frying fish in the past and found it greasy, give this perch recipe a try.
What is perch?
Yellow lake perch are one of the most popular freshwater fish. As the name says, they’re a light golden-yellow color with darker stripes along their sides.
They’re mild – not fishy and you can buy them at most seafood markets and grocery stores or even catch them in the Great Lakes.
When I think fish fry, deep fried perch is what comes to mind.
what’s in this fried perch recipe?
- Fresh yellow lake perch fish fillets
- Seasoned cracker meal
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying (can also use peanut oil)
- Deep fryer or a deep pot for frying.
how to make fried perch:
TIP: If you’re using a pot instead of a deep fryer, you’ll need a thermometer to get the oil to the right temperature.
Preheat the oil in the fryer to 375° (medium-high heat).
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 then rinse and dry fish using a paper towel.
BREADING THE FISH:
In bowl #1 whisk the egg and cold water together.
Add the cracker meal to a second shallow bowl.
Working with one filet at a time, dip in the egg mixture letting any excess drip back into the bowl then dredge lightly in the cracker meal and set on the plate. Repeat until all the pieces of fish are coated.
FRYING THE FISH:
Carefully place the fish in the hot oil adding as many as the fryer will hold then cook 2-3 minutes total time until golden brown.
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 lemon wedges for a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top plus your favorite sides.
how to fry fish without a deep fryer:
If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can still make this delicious fried fish. Use a deep heavy skillet or pot adding 2-3 inches of oil. You want enough oil to cover the filets completely.
Preheat the oil using a thermometer to 375° (it’s important to heat the oil to the right temp) then follow the instructions above.
what sides go with fried perch?
There are many options – any of the options below are excellent choices.
Lemon wedges – a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top brightens the flavor.
French Fries – we love this air fried version from fresh cut potatoes, lightly salted and golden.
Cole Slaw – crunch slaw with a simple tangy-sweet dressing. Just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes!
Rye bread or pumpernickel bread
New England Clam Chowder – creamy New England Style chowder loaded with clams, tender potatoes and crispy smoky bacon. Make ahead in just 30 minutes.
Macaroni and Cheese – easy, creamy Mac and Cheese from scratch – no Velveeta! Stovetop or baked with a buttery crisp breadcrumb topping.
tips for best results:
For the best fried fish you’ll ever eat, follow these tips:
- The best fish you can make always stars with the freshest fish.
- Be sure the temperature of the oil is right before you start frying.
- Watch the fish closely – it fries quickly!
- This is a good recipe for frying all kinds of fish. Get creative!
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If you tried this easy recipe for how to deep fry fish then I’d love it if you’d leave a comment and some stars!
Fried Perch Recipe
- 1 pound lake perch fillets
- 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 then rinse and dry fish using a paper towel.
- 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.
Fried lake perch is the best. Lightly breaded, some fries, cole slaw, some radish, scalians and a cold beer. My Friday tradition.
It’s such a treat and what a great tradition! 🙂
I moved from MI to NC a few years back and really missed my Lake Perch. I order it every time I’m back in MI (if a restaurant is open, that is). Any perch aficionado knows ocean perch just cannot compare!! So I finally broke down, spent the big bucks and ordered 5 lbs of frozen lake perch thru Walleye Direct. I still have a few lbs in my freezer, so I’ll definitely add this to my rotation! Thx for the recipe Bernie – look forward to a taste of Michigan!
Hi Jeannie 🙂 I get missing a good perch dinner – there’s really nothing else like it! I’ve never heard of Walleye Direct. Sounds like a good source for out-of-towners craving some hometown food. I’m so glad you found that site and this recipe – I hope you enjoy both ~ take care ~ Bernie