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Fish: Many kinds, many methods, lots of good eating

Here in fishing country, everybody has a favorite way to fix walleye fillets. In fact, there probably are as many methods to cook them as there are lures used to catch the prized pike.

Here in fishing country, everybody has a favorite way to fix walleye fillets. In fact, there probably are as many methods to cook them as there are lures used to catch the prized pike.

A friend, Paul Searcy, cooks walleye, seasoned with just a little salt and pepper, on an untreated cedar plank in the oven. (You also can do it on the grill, but be sure to soak the wood beforehand.)

Co-worker Brad Dokken, the Herald's outdoor writer, likes to fix his walleye on the grill, rubbed with a little vegetable oil, spiced with some Greek seasoning and placed atop aluminum foil or a fish grate. (You can find this seasoning in the spice section of supermarkets.)

But the method most people employ, but probably the one that's the least healthy but some say is the tastiest, is deep-frying in oil, either using something on the lines of a Fry Baby or Fry Daddy or a deep, cast-iron frying pan.

The latter was the method my cousin, Dick Tiedeman, who lives in Walker, Minn., employed whenever I went fishing with him on Leech Lake. A meal of his fried walleye, baked beans and fried potatoes was always something I looked forward to after a day on the water.


My preferred method is baking in the oven, with a light coating of something like Shore Lunch. But the last couple of years, I've hardly wetted a line, so the only walleye fillets we've eaten are the ones that have been given to us.

While still a big walleye fan, I've developed a taste for other kinds of fish. I've become particularly fond of halibut, tuna and especially salmon. (All are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which research has shown reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, among other things.)

Just about every year, I've receive salmon and halibut from my 89-year-old uncle, Curt Hendrickson, Crookston. He's been going to Alaska each summer for about the past 25 years, and plans on doing so again this year, to go fishing with my cousin, Paul, who lives in Anchorage. My brother, Kevin, also is planning a trip.

I think the halibut Uncle Curt gives me is my favorite, but salmon is a close second. I've baked it, poached it and most recently grilled it.

Just last week, I made aluminum-foiled wrapped Herbed Salmon Steaks on the grill. The steaks were courtesy of Pat Healey, a physical education teacher in the Grand Forks Public School system, who each summer goes to Lake Michigan to fish for salmon. Shallots, Vidalia onions, a freshly squeezed lemon and lime along with some herbs from my garden perfectly accented the salmon.

That was our second meal within a week that featured the Great Lakes salmon. The first, Honey-Glazed Ginger Salmon with Pineapple, also was prepared on the grill and was equally as tasty.

Sadly, my supply of salmon is just about depleted, so I guess store-bought will have to do. That's not a concern, though, since supermarket quality has improved greatly in recent years.

But I won't turn down any freshly caught salmon, either.


Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136; (800) 477-6572, ext. 136; or jtiedeman@gfherald . com.

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