Here we are again with a fish recipe, very common in the area of Lombardy region lakes 🙂 and this is one of my favorites, I would eat a lot of this crunchy and boneless fillets! And I really like the European Perch.
The most difficult part, if you are not used to do it, probably will be making the fillets from the whole fish, but you can find many tutorials on Youtube, or you can ask the fisherman/fish seller to do it for you (at a higher price, of course). In the case you are gonna make them yourself, be sure to have a sharp filleting knife.
As I grew up on a lake in Italy, I ate this recipe many times, but here in Hungary where I am now, it seems that only who is going fishing knows this fish, and for me it’s very strange because in Italy this is a very valuable fish…but it’s ok like that, it means I can get for very good price a very good fish from Balaton lake 😀
About the fish: if you get the whole fish, you have to count a loss of about 50% of the original weight when you make fillets, so consider it when you measure the portions for each person.
INGREDIENTS (4 people)
- 5/600g of European perch fillets
- bread crumbs (do it yourself from a good quality bread, don’t buy the ready ones, those are usually made with industrial bread which often contain artificial additives, and with those ones you will not have a nice texture on the fish, in my opinion)
- 50g butter (or extra virgin olive oil if you prefer, but the two have different results, in this case I prefer the butter, a good one, and that’s the traditional option)
- sage (4/5 leaves)
- rock coarse salt
- First of all clean the fish a make the fillets, you can have a look HERE…but there are also different techniques 🙂
- Then pass each fillet first in the flour, then in the egg and then in the bread crumbs
- In a large pan, add the butter and melt it. How much butter? It depends how much large is the pan, it has to cover all the bottom surface and has to be enough in a way that after it will be absorbed by the breadcrumbs there must be still butter on the bottom, otherwise the fish will attach on the pan, so I suggest to have a pan where all the fish perfectly fit, so you will not use extra butter. Probably about 50g of butter for this amount of fish.
- When the butter is hot, add the sage, and then the fillets. We will cook at medium/low fire, but if you use butter take care not to reach its burning point (if you are not sure, a clarified butter could help you). That’s important to have a final golden color on our fillets (and also because burnt butter/oil is not healthy).
- We will cook the fish about 3 minutes on each side, maximum 4 minutes. It depends of course from the thickness of the fillets: for this recipe I think the best perches are the ones which are about 16-20 cm long, so medium-small size.
- When they are ready, add salt on them (on one side is enough in my opinion, and actually I like to add it when I turn the fillets in the pan, just 2 minutes before they are ready) and serve them with a slice of lemon and with some fresh salad, grilled vegetables or potatoes (if you want, before serving them you can put them on absorbing paper, if you have problems with some extra butter 😉 ).
PS: Also the sage “chips” are very good 🙂
I told you they are very tasty, right? 🙂