Homemade Pan-fried Perch

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  Did you know they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions?  

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  And they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.

Homemade pan-fried perch

I love eating out.  But it’s not always the right move.

Like when the CSA veggies are piling up.  Or I am having a bad weight week.  And if I’ve had a couple bad restaurant meals in a row, well…  

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  And they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.

Pan-fried Perch Closeup

Recently, my husband and I tried  out a new restaurant–and got a terrible fish fry. This made me wonder…  How hard would it be to make pan-fried perch at home?

Perch are the darlings of the Great Lakes.  Small, tender and flavorful, they go for a premium price—and are well worth it!  The only trick is not to overwhelm their delicate flavor with thick breading or heavy oil.  

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  And they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.

Served!

The Pan-fried Perch Experiment

To investigate this question, I bought a pound of perch–then decided to go the “America’s Test Kitchen” route.  I tried four different oils for frying: butter, sustainable palm oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.  

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  And they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.

Egg and flour breading

For the breading, I tried: flour alone; flour, egg, flour; flour, egg, breadcrumbs; and egg, flour.

We fried one fillet at a time, in all the different combinations.  And it was fun almost burning our fingers and tongues as the latest came out of the pan!  

The Results

In the end, the breading we liked best was egg followed by flour.  This produced a light coating that added flavor without smothering the fish.  For the frying oil, palm and coconut oil were clearly the losers–and we were surprised when olive oil edged out butter.  Sautéing in healthy olive oil–another reason to eat at home!  

frying perch

Frying

I served it with coleslaw (to kill a couple CSA veggies) and rye bread for a lighter presentation.  And of course a nice beer–those saved calories have to go somewhere…

Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  Did you know they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.

A bite of perch

Pan-fried Perch
Serves 4
Pan-fried perch are the darling of the Great Lakes fish fry.  Did you know they are easy to prepare at home with some simple instructions.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
444 calories
24 g
224 g
16 g
48 g
3 g
230 g
443 g
0 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
230g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444
Calories from Fat 140
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 224mg
75%
Sodium 443mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 0g
Protein 48g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
8%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 T milk or water
  6. 1 1/2 lbs lake perch fillets
  7. olive oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix well.
  2. In a second bowl, beat eggs with milk or water.
  3. Dip perch fillets in the egg mixture, then the flour. Set aside while you do the remaining fish.
  4. Heat oil until hot but not smoking. Fry fish fillets a couple minutes per side or until golden and cooked through.
beta
calories
444
fat
16g
protein
48g
carbs
24g
more
Art of Natural Living http://artofnaturalliving.com/
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6 thoughts on “Homemade Pan-fried Perch

  1. Jean Wilde

    Love that you tried all the different breading methods. I usually use flour, milk, breadcrumbs, but I’m going to try this method next!

  2. cheri

    What a fun “test” to do at home, I love eating out as well but anymore it depends where and how they prepare the food. Perch sounds wonderful, love how you prepared it.

    1. Inger

      I think think this would be good with any delicate fish you were worried about overwhelming. And yes, it was fun! Thanks!

  3. David

    We used to get perch in our lake in Vermont. My poor mother had to gut and clean them! But they were so tasty! I love your experimentation with the frying, too!

    1. Inger

      The things our mother’s did! I remember my mother filleting smelt which are even smaller (and everyone else eats the bones). I am sure I’d lose half the fish, so glad someone did it for me!

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