Almost every year, we head up to the Northwest Territories here in Canada to catch some gigantic northern pike.
These northern pike recipes that I’m going to share today are tried and true recipes. They have been used with great success many times.
Northern Pike is primarily a freshwater fish that can be found in a lot of lakes and rivers in the northern hemisphere. It is also called a Jackfish.
Some confuse a pickerel with a Northern Pike, but they are not the same. Pickerel fish are usually a lot smaller, with different color scales.
Pickerel fish also have a sharp dorsal fin, while the Northern Pike does not,
Northern Pike will often lurk at the edge of weed beds and is an opportunist that can be best described as an omnivorous carnivore.
It spawns in the spring, immediately after the ice melts.
It is both a commercial fish, as well as a sports fish.
Be prepared for a fight when that big fish bites on your hook. The Northern Pike can get as big as 30 lbs.
On our trip recently to the NWT, we got a lot of 20 lb Northern Pike. It was amazing to catch all of those!
Why Northern Pike
A lot of people will say that the northern pike doesn’t taste good.
For some reason, it has gotten a bad rap in Alberta anyways. I truly believe it’s because it has not been properly prepared.
Northern Pike rivals the top fish in the country when cooked properly.
It’s a meaty fish, that can provide enough meat for a large family. When we caught a 20lb Northern pike, we only needed one fillet to feed our family of 7.
Be sure to keep the fish in cold water after catching. Ice it until you are able to freeze or refrigerate the meat.
We usually fry northern pike. It’s our favorite recipe, but baked fish is a nice change.
Fresh fish is always the best. If you do freeze your catch, vacuum sealing is the best way to keep the freshness in.
How To Fillet Northern Pike
Check out this video for the right way to fillet northern pike. You want to have boneless fillets.
Our fish-eating experience changed once we learned how to remove the y bones. Always rinse your fillets in cold water before preparing.
Fried Northern Pike Recipe
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Our favorite recipe by far, this fried northern pike recipe will be a crowd-pleaser.
2 cups cracker crumbs, crushed.
1/2 cup white flour
Montreal steak spice
1 egg, whipped
Lard, or Peanut oil for frying (Canola oil works too)
Lay boneless pike fillets onto a cutting board. Generously season the fish on both sides with seasoning salt, Montreal steak spice, and Italiano.
Go heavy on the seasoning salt and light on the Italiano.
Cut the fish into 1/2 inch pieces, about 2 inches long. Place fish into a bowl. Add the egg, and stir gently.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep pot (or use a deep fryer) to 375°F.
Meanwhile, In a medium bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs and flour. Using a batter pro makes this much easier.
Add several pieces of the egg-coated fish into the flour mixture. Toss with a fork. Once the oil is hot, add several pieces of fish, and fry.
Fry till golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Enjoy! This is a delicious way to enjoy northern pike.
These can be served with tartar sauce or hot sauce.
Baked Northern Pike Recipe
Northern pike Fillets
Large Red onion
Red or yellow peppers, slivered
Green Pepper, slivered
Stick of butter
Place pike fillets on a cutting board, and season on both sides with the seasoning salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Go light on the garlic powder.
Place fillets in an oven-safe baking dish. Slice the onion into rings, and place it on top of the fish.
Do the same with the peppers. Drizzle with melted butter.
Cover, and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Remove lid, and bake for 10 more minutes.
The peppers and onions should be nice and tender, and the fish cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
You can also cook the fish on a BBQuer, or an open fire. Place the fish into an aluminum foil container.
Cover, and place on medium-hot coals. This is a simple recipe, but sure to please.
Serve with rice or healthy homemade chicken noodle soup. This is one of our favorite healthy pike recipes. The pike meat is flaky and delicious.
Another way to cook northern pike is by buying a premixed batter, and then frying them. I was unable to find the exact one we use but will try to add it once I do.
Northern pike is the top fish we eat in our home. We aren’t close to any ocean and my husband loves to fish. Each fish recipe can be modified according to personal preference.
These northern pike recipes will convince even the most skeptical eater. Be sure to clean them, and keep them cold after catching.
The important thing is to clean them well, remove all bones, and cook with the right seasonings.
What’s your favorite way to cook northern pike? Let me know in the comments below.