Beloved by commercial and recreational fisherfolk alike, walleye (Sander vitreus) makes a delicious freshwater addition to any Great Lakes table. Fun fact: the largest recorded walleye was caught in Tennessee in 1960 and weighed precisely 25 pounds!
Todd Marsee, Michigan Sea Grant’s graphic designer and resident foodie, enjoys cooking walleye for his family. Here’s his latest dish:
“In early November, Michiganders were blessed with some unseasonably warm weather, which meant I could leave my grill outside a bit longer! So I picked up two walleye fillets at the grocery store and decided to make dinner. Here’s my process:
- Preheat the grill.
- Put the fillets meat-side down for about a minute, then flip to the skin side. This will give you some nice grill marks and add to the flavor.
- Spread about a generous dollop of butter over the fillets.
- Sprinkle with whatever spices you like best. I usually use garlic powder or minced garlic, oregano, and sea salt.
- Cooking time depends on how thick the fillet is and the type of grill you use. Walleye usually starts flaking apart as it cooks. My rule of thumb is that when the edges of the fillet start flaking, like you can see in the picture below, I give it another minute and call it done.
- If you’re new to grilling fish, here are some tips for working with different grills and temperatures.
Our walleye had sweet, thick, flaky meat. And walleye typically doesn’t have many bones, which means I don’t have to pick through the kids’ dishes and can eat my own while it’s still hot!”