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Crappie Recipe

Crispy Crappie & Potato Balls

This cold-water crappie recipe is inspired by a fantastic Spanish preparation that uses salt cod. These flavorful bites are great as an appetizer or as a main dish, if the ice fishing has been particularly good.


  • 1 pound crappie fillets, skinned, and seasoned with salt
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 1 1⁄4 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs


Bake the potatoes in the oven until tender. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes.

While the potatoes bake, bring the milk and crappie to a very gentle simmer just until the crappie is tender and cooked through— about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Add the fish to the potatoes and mash with a fork so the potatoes and fish flake apart and begin to combine. Add half the warm milk and stir.

Reserve the other half of the milk for later.

Add one egg, the sliced onions, lemon juice, and nutmeg to the mixture, and stir until well blended.

Using your hands, or a #3 cookie scoop, ball up the mixture the size of a golf ball.

Dredge the balls in flour.

Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes until cool.

Heat a fryer or a pot of oil to 375 degrees.

Combine the second egg and reserved milk mixture in a bowl and dip each ball into the mixture, then put them in another bowl with the bread crumbs.

Coat well and fry the balls until they are golden brown and hot inside.

Serve these with horseradish sauce or garlic mayonnaise.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Neal Brown of Howe & Brown Hospitality.

Connect on social: @nealjbrown