Mid-January. It’s time for Honey Fried Fish. The ice started forming early this winter, and ice fishing looked promising for the January 1 opening day. Hopes were dashed when the temperature rose and the wind kicked up, taking the ice out. It’s back but the Maine Warden Service pilot flew over local lakes and ponds and warned us to watch for holes. There’s plenty of ice in some spots but open water nearby. We did not go ice fishing on New Year’s Day. Better safe than sorry. We did have fried fish as I was trying a new fish recipe. I overheard a woman in the grocery store talking about adding honey to her fried haddock recipe. Interesting! And so I tried it at home. I use more honey than she mentioned and loved the results. Honey adds a depth of flavor I wasn’t expecting.
Any kind of fresh-water white fish works well in Honey Fried Fish. Bass, perch, walleye – whatever you’re catching will be great. Haddock, cod and pollack are easy to find in grocery stores and also work well. If you’re fishing for those fish just know that I’m envious.
Ice fishing is one of my favorite winter activities. We catch fresh meat for the table, enjoy being outdoors, usually throw a dead pickerel or two onto the ice for the eagles (the pond we most often fish is over populated with pickerel), and sometimes don’t come home until dark. I usually head out to fish with a recipe in mind, ingredients on the counter, and ready to cook as soon as we get home. If we’re fishing with friends we’re probably going to set up to cook on the ice. You can crack the eggs into a zipper bag and add the honey to have a safe way to take them with you. I’d coat the fresh fillets in the bag.
Honey adds a surprising depth of flavor. It’s rich, not sweet. I tried other seasonings in the recipe before deciding that the honey doesn’t need help. Try the recipe and let me know what you think!
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 pounds fish fillets bass, perch, walleye, haddock, any white fish will do
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- Heat 1/2" of oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat.
- Mix together the egg and 2 tsp honey.
- Mix together the flour, salt and pepper, and bread crumbs.
- Pat the fillets dry and then dip them in the egg and honey. Coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Carefully place fillets in the hot oil, keeping a little space between them so they don't cook together. Fry two to four minutes per side depending on size.
- Move the finished fish to paper towels to drain, and then plate. Drizzle the entire batch of fried fish with the remaining honey. Serve while hot.