Pike, also called northern pike and sometimes walleye pike, is a large, freshwater fish found primarily in northern regions of the United States and Canada. The fish meat has a white coloring and a mild flavor and is best when prepared fresh, rather than frozen. The fish tends to be most flavorful when the meat is taken from small pike, so some anglers throw back larger fish and save room for the smaller, more appetizing catches. When you do bring one in, you can prepare the pike in one of several ways.
Add seasonings to the fish as you prefer. With a whole, fresh pike you have two options: seasoning the outside of the fish and/or adding seasonings or dressings inside the body cavity. For example, you may choose to place a bread dressing inside the cavity of the pike, or you may want to add salt, pepper or herbs to its exterior. You can also place lemon slices or seasonings inside the body. Apply seasonings in the combinations desired based on how you want your fish to taste.
Place the pike on a baking sheet and set the pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, pulling out the fish when it flakes easily when scratched by a fork. If desired, you can then remove the fish and cook it in an oiled stop top pan for about two to three minutes per side, flipping once.
Place the fresh pike on a grill preheated to medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes per side, flipping once. If desired, you can wrap the pike in tinfoil before placing it on the grill -- this will help it keep its moisture and strong flavors, and the fish meat will cook through faster.
Place the pike on a broiling pan and set it in the oven. Broiling is a process almost identical to grilling. The only difference is that the heat source is situated above the fish and in an oven, rather than underneath. As with grilling, broiled fish should be placed on a broiling pan and cooking under the heat for about 10 minutes per side.
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- Any fish should be cleaned before cooking -- this process consists of removing the internal organs of the fish, which can become foul-tasting when cooked and make you sick.
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.