Cook Your Catch: Crappie Sliders
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Cook Your Catch: Crappie Sliders

It’s true, sometimes the best things come in small packages!

Cook Your Catch: Crappie Sliders

Crappie are a favorite among anglers for good reason. Found throughout the U.S. and targeted pretty much any time of the year, these freshwater fish can be caught in a variety of ways, from simple live bait under a bobber to more advanced tactics utilizing modern sonar technology. They’re also a favorite to catch under the ice in wintertime. On the table, they offer seafood lovers the perfect combination of flaky, tender meat with a mild, tasty flavor.

For this Cook Your Catch recipe, veteran outdoorsman Blaine Garrett shows how he fries some up and pairs them with a tangy slaw and some spicy tartar sauce for a unique take on an American tradition - the slider.

Slider Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds crappie (9-10 fillets)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 package, fish fry mix
  • Cole slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dozen small rolls

Spicy Tartar Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dill pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing the Spicy Tartar Sauce

Before we get to the fish, the first thing you’ll need to do is make the spicy tartar. While it’s incredibly easy to make, this feisty condiment plays an essential role in the kicked-up deliciousness of this meal. You’re gonna love it!

In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, relish, Dijon mustard, minced onion, garlic powder, smoked paprika, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, and salt and pepper together. Be sure to give everything a really good stir. And, believe it or not, that’s all there is to it. Set it aside until it’s time to dress those buns.

Preparing the Crappie and Slaw

Pour some vegetable oil into a cast iron skillet and set on the stove over medium-high heat. Be sure to add enough oil to cover the fillets.

Next, fire up your grill, setting it to 425 degrees.

With your stove and grill heating up, it’s time to prepare the crappie. Begin by laying the fillets flat on a couple layers of paper towels. Once you have all the fillets laid out, gently roll the paper towels to remove as much of the surface moisture as possible. Removing the excess moisture helps the fish fry up nice and crispy and prevents the batter from clumping while you’re dredging the fillet.

Next, check the temperature of the oil. To fry fish properly, you want your oil to be somewhere between 350 and 360 degrees.

To dredge your crappie, place your fillets in a bowl with your favorite fish fry mix, turning the fillets over a few times so that they are evenly covered on both sides.

Now gently place them into the hot oil to fry. While your fish is working on its complexion, place a cast iron, grill-safe skillet in your pre-heated grill.

Next, in a bowl, combine a package of coleslaw with the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice and vinegar and mix everything together thoroughly. Set aside.

With your tartar sauce and slaw completed and your fish cooking, put your rolls on the skillet and place on the grill. Close the top and allow them to toast for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Once you have your rolls nicely toasted, remove them from the grill and spread some of your homemade spicy tartar sauce on the bottom bun.

Next, when the fillets are golden brown and begin to float to the top of the pan, remove them. Then, place some of the crappie on top of the buns, followed by a little slaw. Slap the top buns on, and bam, you’ve got yourself a plateful of delectable homemade crappie sliders, Blaine Garrett style!

For more great recipes by some of the world’s foremost anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, search “Cook Your Catch” in the Mercury Dockline Blog.

Cook Your Catch: Crappie Sliders
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