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Four ways to prepare fish for those who do and don’t like fish, and anyone in between
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Four ways to prepare fish for those who do and don’t like fish, and anyone in between

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The biggest criticism of fish is that it tastes, well, fishy. We get that.

Salmonids — trout and salmon — are often the fishiest-tasting fish in the state. Their dark pink meat has rich oils and flavors that many like, and many don’t.

Fortunately for those who are a bit more fish hesitant, trout and salmon aren’t the only options in Wyoming. We have plenty of white-meat options, fish with a lighter feel and taste, ones that flake and melt in your mouth.

And cooking them doesn’t need to be complicated. Often, the simplest recipes are the best to highlight the natural flavors in the meat.

So to accommodate busy summer schedules and picky eaters, we’ve borrowed a concept from The New York Times cooking section, and crafted four recipes that are only loosely recipes and can be made up in camp or at home.

Feel free to consider these a basis from which to cook. Switch out ingredients as you see fit or find in your cupboard or camper. Most of these recipes work with any kind of fish.

Happy fishing, and happy cooking.

Pan-fried walleye

Most fried walleye recipes want you to bread and deep-fry the fish. And don’t get us wrong, that’s a delicious way to eat the light, mild-flavored white fish. It’s also messy and a hassle, especially if you’re cooking the fish while camping and need to contend with a pan full of oil.

We came up with a compromise.

Ingredients

Walleye filets

Flour

Pepper

Lowry’s Seasoning Salt or other seasoning of your choice

Egg (whisked)

Butter (a lot)

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients together. If you don’t want to make your own, you can always buy fish-fry mixes at any grocery store.

Pat walleye filets until dry, then dip in the egg and dredge in the flour mixture. Meanwhile, melt a generous amount of butter in a frying pan over coals or on medium-high heat. Place the filets in the buttered pan and cook until both sides are brown and the meat flakes.

Walleye fry

Walleye fries in a cast iron skillet over an open fire.

Salmon salad

This light lunch is perfect served with crackers or on bread. Put it in a to-go container and take it with you on the trail or the boat. The ingredients complement the flavor of Wyoming’s kokanee salmon.

Ingredients

Salmon filets

Cream cheese

Sour cream

Chopped capers

Balsamic vinegar

Cholula or your favorite hot sauce

Mesquite seasoning

Garlic powder

Ground pepper

Worcestershire sauce

Mustard

Instructions

Grill, bake or fry the salmon with salt and pepper. Peel cooked fish from the skin and make sure you remove any bones. Place fish in a bowl with cream cheese and sour cream (go light to start and add more as you need). Mix in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and hot sauce. Feel free to eliminate any of these you don’t like, and use to the proportions you enjoy.

Finally, add garlic powder, ground pepper and chopped capers. Taste as you go.

Salmon salad

Salmon salad

Catfish tacos

Fish tacos may be one of the classic ways to eat fish, and for those who are a little more fish-averse can be a great way to begin. Catfish has a lighter flavor — though a word of caution: The bigger they grow, the fishier they taste. Layer on salsa, refried beans and guacamole and you may even convince your anti-fish friends to try a bite.

Ingredients

Catfish filets

Lemon juice

Smoked paprika

Garlic powder

Sea salt

Pepper

Salsa

Guacamole or chopped avocado

Corn tortillas

Refried beans if desired

Chopped cilantro

Instructions

Place catfish filets on a piece of tinfoil and season with lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Grill until the meat flakes apart. You can also pan fry or bake the meat if you don’t have a grill or campfire.

Layer tacos with your choice of toppings and beans along with the pieces of catfish. This recipe works well with most game fish in the state.

Fish tacos

Fish tacos

Teriyaki smoked trout

Trout are likely one of the stronger-tasting fish in the state, but also more flavorful. This recipe accentuates the fish while offering a little something extra. Eat it on its own as a snack, with crackers and cheese as a lunch, in a salad or on rice with a quick vinaigrette.

Ingredients

Trout filets

Soy sauce

Ginger powder or minced fresh ginger

Teriyaki sauce

Garlic

Instructions

Season trout filets with soy and teriyaki sauce, ginger and garlic. Place on tinfoil on low heat in a smoker until done. You can also place it in a cold smoker and then finish the filets on a grill or in the oven. Enjoy!

Teriyaki smoked trout

Teriyaki smoked trout

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