If you’re a fan of the Friday night fish fry, it’s very likely you’re familiar with yellow perch. This freshwater favorite might just be the ultimate fish for frying. That’s because its small fillets are tender and delicate, with a mild, sweet and delicious flavor profile.
For this installment of Cook Your Catch, Taylor Wright, of “The Canadian Tradition” television series, shows how to make yellow perch tacos. A dish that is at once simple and exquisite.
- Two whole lake perch (or four prepared fillets)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
Preparing the Fillets
For this recipe, you can either purchase fresh, pre-cut yellow perch fillets or you can head out on the water yourself and catch your dinner.
In the video below, Wright shows his process for filleting perch. You can also check out this Dockline blog on How to Fillet Fish with a Fixed-Blade Knife. The same steps work for yellow perch.
Once you have all your fillets, be sure to rinse them in cold water.
Next, combine the breadcrumbs with the panko in a bowl and set aside. Crack a fresh egg in a second bowl, add the cream and whisk together to combine. Then place the flour in a third bowl.
It’s now time to dress the fillets and get them ready to fry. Dip each fillet, one at a time, into the flour, covering both sides of the fish. Then, do the same with the egg wash, making sure to coat the fillet thoroughly. Finally, transfer the fillet into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and cover thoroughly. Do this for all your fish, and then set aside on a clean plate.
Before you make the simple sauce, pour two cups of vegetable oil into a pan on your stovetop, and set the burner to medium heat.
Making the Sauce
In a small bowl, combine a cup of mayonnaise with some of your favorite hot sauce. Be mindful of the fact that not everyone has the same tolerance for heat. Extra hot sauce can be placed on the table for anyone wishing to dial up the spice level.
Frying the Fish and Serving Dinner
With your sauce prepared, check to see if your oil is hot enough to fry your fish. The easiest way to do this is to use a kitchen thermometer. The ideal temperature for frying fish is between 350 and 365 degrees. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, place a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see bubbles forming around the spoon that float to the surface, then your oil has reached the appropriate temperature for frying.
Fry each of the fillets for a couple of minutes on each side. They should be golden brown in color. Carefully lay each of your perch fillets into the pan to prevent the hot oil from splashing. After you’ve cooked all the fillets thoroughly on both sides, lay them on some paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Then, place roughly one to one and a half fillets on top of the tortilla. You can use either corn or flour tortillas or a combination of both. Spoon some sauce on top of each tortilla and add a little chopped lettuce for color and crunch. Fold it up and dig in! Just be careful – fish right out of the frying pan can be pretty darn hot.
And there you have it – yellow perch tacos. Simple. Easy. Delicious. Enjoy!