Shore Lunch Whitefish Recipe. And Breakfast TV!

whitefish fillets, slices of bread and fresh small tomatoes in a white plate
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whitefish fillets, slices of bread and fresh small tomatoes in a white plate

There’s nothing like a TV camera staring you down to motivate you to get your recipe written and posted. Indeed, if I had this kind of motivation every day, I would have three or four cookbooks under my belt and this site would be updated about three times a day.

This morning I am live blogging from the Breakfast Television station here in Edmonton as their Blogger in Residence for this Wednesday. This very moment, Ryan Jespersen is peering over my shoulder, reading my WordPress dashboard. Soon there is going to be a TV camera zooming in on this as well.

Again, no pressure.

Luckily, Ryan Jespersen is just about the easiest person in the world to work with and since I’ve known him a while, it’s like chatting with a friend about my website even though there are TV cameras in my bubble. Indeed, anyone who comes on Breakfast Television is made welcome in that very same way.

When Ryan asked me to participate in this and I saw the week that he had chosen, I knew that I was going to do a whitefish recipe. Open water angling (lakes) has commenced today on most Alberta lakes – but always check the regulations on the particular body of water you are fishing – so I knew I wanted to celebrate what we anglers have been waiting for since ice fishing season ended.

When you have a segment on Breakfast TV, it usually runs about 4 minutes. Unless I wanted to create a complex recipe that took several segments, I had to make sure the ingredients were simple, very fast to prepare and something that anyone can do. Fisherman’s Shore lunch is the concept of cooking your catch for lunch. Recipes abound for Shore Lunch Fish, from the very simple to some so complex I can’t see how anyone on the “shore” could possibly be cooking it up midday.

Here’s the first shot I took this morning, when everything was all purty and ready to go.

Buns, butter, fresh tomatoes, skillet and seasonings

Ingredients Needed:

whitefish fillets
preferred seasoning (I’m trying Cabela’s Garlic & Butter Fish Crisp today)
cast iron pan
butter or margarine
water,milk or egg

Buns, butter, fresh vegetables of choice to round out your lunch

1. Filet your whitefish as you wish, removing the rib bones and if you have a larger whitefish, removing the pin bones as well. I find on smaller whitefish that digging those pinbones out are more of a pain that actually eating the fish with them still in the filet. If you are skilled, you can remove the pinbones in a smaller filet without ripping it apart.

2. The next decision is whether or not you are leaving the skin on the whitefish. Frying whitefish with the skin on makes a delicious, lovely crispy skin that many people enjoy eating. That said, there is a large layer of brown fat under whitefish skin which is where a lot of that oily, strong flavor comes from when you are preparing whitefish. It’s also thought that the fat on animals is where all the toxins are stored, possibly why the fat is so strong flavored as well.

3. Moisten the whitefish filet with water, egg or milk. The lovely part about this is that every fisherman ready for a real shore lunch is going to have water handy to prep the fish. You can also choose your own flour and spice mixture and carry this in your tacklebox as well.

4. Heat up your cast iron skillet to a medium heat – hard to gauge when you are on the shore indeed- but we need to make sure that the butter doesn’t burn. I suggest in this case margarine for the simple fact that it won’t burn like butter will. The taste will be different however!

5. Place the whitefish filets in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes per side, watching closely. The fish should pull apart in lovely flakes when it’s cooked properly.

6. Remove from the skillet and enjoy with the other items you have brought for lunch!

I was happy to pull off a picture of half decent quality, it’s very hard not having your props in the kitchen with you! I think in retrospect I would change the bread to one thats color isn’t as close to the finished fish. When you aren’t in your kitchen, it’s hard to switch out bread!

I’d like to thank the Breakfast Television Team for having me on, what a great experience this was! I love that I was able to show everyone the work that goes into creating a recipe and how you have to roll with the punches when you are writing up recipes for your readers!

Have a fabulous Wednesday everyone and let’s get fishin’!


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. seosquidoo says

    Great and very unique recipe i must say… thanks for sharing your amazing recipe with us.. I do like <a href=”″>Crepe Recipe</a> also.

  2. Melanie says

    Mmmm… reminds me of fried perch from the St. Lawrence river with my grandparents. Perch rolls are SOOOOO good. Hotdog bun, tartar sauce, and butter fried perch. Not fancy, but D-lish!

  3. ACanadianFoodie says

    Saw you! Loved you! Good for you! Yummy fish! Post a clip from the show here of Ryan and you!


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