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How to Cook & Eat Bluegill

author image Laura Reynolds
An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.
How to Cook & Eat Bluegill
Fried fish in a pan. Photo Credit: minadezhda/iStock/Getty Images

Tender little panfish -- bluegills, crappies, pumpkin seeds and small perch and bass -- are freshwater fish small enough to be cooked in a frying pan over a hot fire built lakeside. These Great Lakes and Southern favorites are best eaten soon after catching. Although recipes vary according to favorite local seasonings, pan-frying is the preferred preparation and source of the bluegill's nickname. Cooks should insist that fishers gut and remove tails and fins before delivering fish to be cooked.

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Step 1

De-scale the fish with a dull knife or scaling spoon and wash the fish in cold water. Fillet the fish by drawing a fillet knife down the backbone and peeling the fillet away between the ribs and second set of bones. Remove the second bones as you peel the fillet away.

Step 2

Soak the fish in a beaten egg, 1 cup of milk or Italian dressing. Use enough to coat the fish completely.

Step 3

Season flour or cornmeal with salt, pepper, garlic powder or other seasonings in a bowl. Drop the fish into the mixture and turn, a piece at a time, until coated evenly.

Step 4

Place fish in about 1/8 inch of oil in a hot pan and fry for four to five minutes on each side. Fish will be flaky and white when done.

Step 5

Serve with a garden salad and hot rolls or Italian bread. Serve the fish with capers sauteed in lemon butter or with lemon wedges as garnish.

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