Perch refers to a family of small, freshwater fish that are found in various areas of the United States, Canada and Europe. In North America, perch are found around the Great Lakes region in streams and lakes. It doesn't take much more than a basic pan-fry at home or right on shore to prepare perch fillets that are sweet and flaky. Basic cooking utensils and a few minutes are all you need.
Prepare your perch fillets so they are ready for the pan. Clean a whole fish by removing the innards, head and tail and cutting down the backbone to separate the fillets. Remove small bones with pliers or tweezers and leave the skin on if you like the look and taste.
Dredge the perch fillets in seasoned flour or seasoned breadcrumbs, or just lightly season it with salt and pepper, depending on your preference.
Set a non-stick or stainless steel saute pan on your stovetop over medium heat. If you are on the shore over a campfire, ensure the fire has burned down to mainly coals so the fillets won't burn.
Add oil or butter or a combination of the two in the preheated skillet. When the butter melts or the oil starts to shimmer, it is ready. Lay your perch fillets into the pan, releasing them away from you so the oil doesn't splash. Saute the fillets for about three minutes per side, until they are flaky and cooked through.
Place the fillets on a paper towel to drain for a couple minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
- The Foodsafety.gov website recommends cooking fin fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill all bacteria.
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