How do you know that Spring has officially started? For me, it’s when the Crappie start biting! Ever since I was a little kid, my parents would take us out at the beginning of Spring to (hopefully) catch a pile of Crappie to fill the freezer. During Lent, we would have a fish fry every Friday. This is a tradition that we’ve carried on for as long as I can remember. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some fried fish… But it’s easy to get burnt out on. One day I thought, “There has got to be another way to cook these delicious filets!” So, here we are!
I tried this recipe out with the mentality of making “crappie crab cakes”. Just like with crab cakes, there are TONS of variations and flavors you can infuse in this recipe, but this is a fool proof, crowd pleaser that you can make with groceries you most likely already have stocked up. Fry it, try it, and repeat!
Crappie Hot Cakes
- 1-2 lbs of crappie meat
- ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small Serrano pepper, finely diced
This is optional. Just adds a little extra heat. Substitute a jalepeno for milder heat or leave out all together if you aren’t a spice lover like me.
- 2 small eggs
- a dash of Worcestershire sauce
- a dash of hot sauce
- 2 tbsp of mayo
- 1 tsp of Cajun Seasoning
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs (keep these cups separate)
- A few tablespoons of flour (use as needed at the end)
- ½ cup of Olive or Vegetable Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pat the Crappie filets dry and lightly season to your liking. I used Bolner Fiesta brand’s “Uncle Chris’ Gourmet Fish Seasoning”. Place on greased sheet. Bake for 15-20 min or until the filets easily flake with a fork.
- While Crappie is baking, sauté onion, peppers, and garlic for a few minutes until they are translucent. Then, place in a large bowl to cool off.
- When Crappie is done, flake/shred with a fork and add the meat to the pepper mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mayo, Cajun seasoning, chopped green onions, and 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
- Add the wet ingredient to the meat and pepper mixture. Mix thoroughly and place in fridge to chill for 20 to 30 min.
- While the mixture chills, place the remaining cup of breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. You want enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan about half inch.
- Remove the mixture from fridge and begin to form small patties.
Note: Crappie meat is different every batch. If the mixture is too sticky and falling apart when you try to make the patties, add a little bit of flour to the mixture until the patties hold together well.
- Press each side of the patties into the breadcrumbs in the dish.
- Fry the patties about 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels until all are finished.
Note: These serve really well with pasta with a white wine sauce. Dip the cakes into your favorite tartar or aioli sauce. Pair with a dry white wine.
Associate at Texas Ranch Sales, LLC
Matti has been an avid huntress from an early age and has recently become involved in the cattle industry. As a matter of fact, she co-hosts, with her dad, the national award-winning television hunting series “The High Road with Keith Warren.” She has been a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association and has worked with their Institute for Legislative Action. If Matti’s not working hard to fulfill her clients’ ranch dreams, she’s probably out hunting somewhere.