Crappie is a type of freshwater fish which is found in lakes around America and Canada. The fish is alternatively known by names such as calico bass, perch, crawpie, moonfish, grass bass, Oswego bass, speckled bass, shiner, speck, and strawberry bass. This fish is popular in Scandinavian countries where it is considered as a part of their everyday meal.
This fish belongs to the family of sunfish and is one of the most sought after game fishes of all times. This fish tastes like lobsters and are often known as poor man’s lobster. The fish is available in two varieties as black and white.
Crappie fishing is an integral part of the American culinary history. It is believed that most the families depended on this fishing for their livelihood during the Great Depression. This was largely because there was no restriction on catching this fish and investments on the fishing instruments were also very frugal. Today crappie fishing is considered more of an art more than a mere act and it is supported using various tools.
Methods of Preparation
- Deep Frying – This one of the popular methods of preparing the crappie. The fish is filleted and soaked in dressing made up of buttermilk prior to frying in the oil or butter until golden brown. The buttermilk breading gives good flavor to the fish. Sometimes, they are dredged in abadoo or Cajun seasoning mix and then coated with mustard prior to frying.
- Pan Frying – The fish fillets are pan fried in butter or oil. They are seasoned with spices and then fried.
- Baking – The fish fillets are sometimes soaked in the marinade consisting of Louisiana hot sauce or Tabasco sauce and then baked in the oven until its center turns moist.
- Grilling – The fish fillets are tightly wrapped in the aluminum foil after dredging with flour and other seasonings and grilled until the flakes turn softer.
- Fish Pancake – This pancake is served as a breakfast item in many homes in Southern America. The crappie fillets are cooked and flaked and mixed with the pancake batter and fried in the skillet.
- Crappie and Rice Cheddar Bake – The fish fillets are combined with rice and shredded cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper prior to baking. It is served as a main course dish along with a glass of cranberry juice or white wine.
- Southwest Grilled Perch – The perch fillets are seasoned with spices and coated with butter and grilled. The grilled perch is served over a bed of rice and is often topped with corn mixture and seasoned with salt and pepper.
- Ayasannas Crappie – The perch is filleted and rinsed in water and dried and spread over the baking dish. The fish fillets are topped with mayonnaise and breadcrumbs prior to baking. The dish is usually served over a bed of freshly steamed rice.
- Cornflake Perch – This dish is best served as an appetizer. It is prepared by the cornflakes are crushed and perch fillets are rolled over them and seasoned with butter. The seasoned fillets are baked in the oven until they become soft and flaky.
- South of the Border Baked Perch – This dish gets its unusual name from its combining ingredients which comprises salsa, Monterey jack cheese or shredded cheddar and green onions. The perch fillets are baked twice to get the right texture. They are once baked with the salsa topping and then with green onion topping. The dish is served after garnishing with cheese or sometimes it is also added along with the green onion topping.
The fish is cut into small fillets and stored in the refrigerator. It is wrapped in the air tight bag and stored in the freezer. The white perch can remain fresh for months altogether when stored under refrigeration. Vacuum freezing is considered as a best method of storage. Sometimes the fish fillets are soaked in lemon juice for sometime before storing.
- The omega-3 fatty acid in the fish protects against many degenerative diseases. It is found to be useful in curbing age-related macular degeneration. It helps to restore the eyesight and boosts memory power.
- The nutrients in crappie fish help to lower the risk of depression and hypertension. The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish block the signaling that occurs in the brain in cases of depression and mania.
- Regular consumption of crappy helps to curb the risk of breast cancer and some other forms of cancer that affect skin, prostate, colon, pancreas, laryx and lung.
- Regular consumption of this fish helps in curbing the pain associated with inflammations like rheumatoid arthritis.