Beer-battered perch

Delicious as the may be, it’s a wonder that people eat perch. They are notorious for swallowing the hook; they have sharp, spiny fins that will slice your hand open when you try to release them from said hook; and you have to catch dozens of them to get a decent meal out of it. Not to mention how tedious they must be to filet. I, myself, have no firsthand knowledge of that last part, since, fishing for them as a child during summers on the St. Lawrence river, I actually didn’t think they were edible. We’d catch them, yell for our dad or uncle to come release them and pray they wouldn’t come floating back up to the surface.

Having since moved to the midwest, I’ve now experienced them in all of their golden-fried glory. Perch are Dave’s favorite—so imagine his delight when we stumbled across them a few weekends ago at the Green City Market. An undeniable splurge at 17 bucks a pound, but like I said, it can’t be easy to butcher those suckers.

So it was a dinner of beer-battered perch sliders with homemade tartar sauce, washed down with some of our city’s finest: Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale.

Beer-battered perch

You’ll need:

1 lb of perch filets

1 12-oz can of beer

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

Extra flour for dredging

Vegetable oil for frying

Prepare beer batter by mixing beer, flour and salt.

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

Near the stove, dredge each filet in flour and dip in batter. Transfer immediately to the frying oil, slowly lowering each piece into the oil with tongs. Doing this slowly gives the batter time to solidify before you release the piece into the oil, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom or sides of the pan. Fry in batches, each batch for about 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove and let drain on paper towels.

Prepare tarter sauce by mixing 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of chopped sweet pickles, 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic and the juice from half of a lemon.

These are A-MAZ-ING as sliders made with soft dinner rolls slathered in tarted sauce. Best of all—no fishing required.

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