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Walleye, also known as Sander vitreus, is a freshwater fish of genus Perciform, native to northern U.S. and Canada, fished commercially for food. The freshwater fish is of two types, viz. blue walleye and yellow walleye, with the latter one being used mainly for culinary purposes. Blue walleye is an extinct species, found in southern Great Lakes. Walleye is also known by various other names viz. yellow pike, colored pike, and pickerel, though the fish is not at all related to pike or pickerel. Walleyes normally weight upto 9 kg and grow upto 31 inches in length. Walleyes are normally fished at night because of their night-time feeding habits, with most of the commercial fisheries situated in Canadian Waters of Great Lakes. Walleye can be cooked in a number of viz. baking, frying, and grilling. The fish is often dipped in eggs, and coated with crumb mix prior to being cooked.

Significance in Minnesota, U.S.

In South Dakota and Minnesota, walleye is considered to be the state fish. In Minnesota, the fish is eaten on a large scale as compared to any other U.S. state. Baudette and Garrison, the two most popular regions of Minnesota, call themselves as,”Walleye capital of the World”, with both of them having a giant statue of the freshwater fish.

Popular Recipes

A few popular walleye recipes have been discussed as under:

  • Crispy baked walleye- the crispy baked walleye recipe suggests dipping walleye fillets in beaten eggs, pressing them in bread crumb mix (to get crispy breaded fish), and baking them on a greased baking sheet in oven until flaky and opaque in center. The bread crumb mix is a blend of potato flakes, parmesan, cheese, bread crumbs, and salt.
  • Grilled walleye- the grilled walleye recipe suggests cooking seasoned walleye fillets on hot grill after misting them with nonstick cooking spray, and grilling them until flaky. Pecan butter mix is poured on the top of fish towards the end of the grilling process, and the fish is served hot. The pecan butter mixture is a combination of chives, butter, orange juice, and pecans.
  • Honey fried walleye- this is a crispy fish prepared by dipping fish fillets in egg and honey mixture, coating them with crumb mix, and frying them on both sides in hot oil until flaky. The fish is served after being drizzled with honey. The crumb mix is an amalgamation of cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, and flour.
  • Pan fried walleye- walleye fillets are dipped in beaten eggs, coated with breading mix, fried in a hot frying pan in some oil until golden brown and served on a bed of lettuce.

Nutrition Facts

3 oz walleye fillet provides around 79 calories, obtained from 1 g of fat, 73 mg of cholesterol, 43 mg of sodium, and 16 g of protein. The fat content in walleye comprises healthy fats, thus proving to be good for heart health. However, the mercury content in walleye is quite higher than in other types of fish. Therefore, it is suggested to consume the fish in moderation to prevent against mercury contamination.

Further Reading

Catch More Walleyes by Mark Romanack