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Reel in these new fish recipes

  • 9/16/2020 9:08:00 AM
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If you’re looking for a new way to eat those Iowa fish you've caught, here are some great ideas:Shake up the fish fry with our recipes for fish tacos and more |  Iowa DNR

Gritters’ three-layer fish tacos
Courtesy of Scott Gritters


  • Coleslaw mix
  • Miracle Whip
  • Cream cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Green peppers
  • Red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fish
  • Fish batter mix
  • Cheese
  • Salsa

Layer 1: Take coleslaw mix and equal parts of Miracle Whip and cream cheese. Keep the coleslaw slightly drier than normally served coleslaw. Add pepper and generous amounts of lemon juice and stir together.

Layer 2: Cook green and red peppers, onions and mushrooms in olive oil until tender. Season with your favorite spices and black pepper.

Layer 3: Use fish fried in your favorite fish batter, cut in long, thin pieces. Three inches long and half an inch wide works well.

Place the fish in a strip near the edge of a soft tortilla shell. On one side of the fish, place a thin strip of the vegetable mix. On the opposite side, place a strip of the coleslaw mix. Sprinkle with cheese and salsa of your choice.

Bob Mittendorf’s Pickled Fish

Courtesy of Bob Mittendorf 


  • 3 pounds of fish
  • White vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canning salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Sliced onions

Cut fish into bite-sized pieces. Add enough white vinegar to cover the fish, along with canning salt. Mix and let stand for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator, stirring mixture each day.

After 5 - 7 days, rinse well and cover with cold water, let stand 8 hours in the refrigerator, then drain. 

Mix sugar, pickling spice, white wine and water and bring to boil. Add 1 1/3 cup white vinegar and sliced onions to the mixture of sugar, spice, wine and water. Layer fish and liquids in container. Add hot peppers if desired.


Microwave fish filets

Courtesy of Dennis Weiss

Walleye, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch or northern pike filets are recommended for this cooking method. 


  • Fish filets
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Lemon pepper
  • Dried onions
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning

Lay filets on several layers of paper towels and blot dry. Spray a flat, glass dish with cooking spray and place filets in dish one layer thick. Sprinkle seasonings over filets to your taste. Place dish in microwave and cook for one minute at medium or high heat. Rotate filets, outside filets to middle and middle to outside. Drain any excess liquid from dish. Cook in microwave for one minute, rotate again and drain. Repeat 45 seconds to one minute until filets turn white and start to break apart with a fork. 

Optional: when fish are almost ready to break apart, crumble Ritz crackers over filets and sprinkle a light coating of grated orange and white cheese over entire dish. Cool for 30-40 seconds to melt cheese and finish cooking fish. 


Fish Cakes


  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cooked boneless fish
  • 1 can cannellini beans, mashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil (for frying)

Crush the crackers into fine crumbs. Add half to a large bowl and save the other half for breading.

Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the onions and peppers until tender.

Add the cooked vegetables, fish and remaining ingredients to the bowl with half of the cracker crumbs. Mix well.

Pat the fish mixture into cakes that are 2 inches wide. Gently dredge the cakes in the cracker crumbs, coating both sides.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add the oil. Gently place the cakes into the hot skillet and cook, in batches, until golden brown on both sides.

Serve with chili-lime sauce.

Make these fish tacos with your Iowa catch  |  Iowa DNR