MeatEater Cooks | Montana Walleye Fry

By | January 17, 2023

Seth and Chester are no strangers to a good fish fry. In this episode, they're working with Chef Kevin Gillespie to find a slightly more elevated approach to this classic preparation. The end result is sure to leave you with a strong desire to head out and catch a limit of walleye.

Stay tuned for Seth and Chester's upcoming series, the Montana Walleye Tour. Coming to our channel on 1/24/23.
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So what do you think is the craziest Thing that happened well you guys were Out on the walleye tour Oh that's an easy one we're at Fresno in The tournament you're allowed to use two Rods so okay I casted this guy out I set It down right here And I grabbed another rod And I'm starting to fish with that rod And I hear this Rod starting to be Pulled out of the back of the boat And I look over to see this Rod just Disappearing in the water excellent A fish just took my rod there Might have been some cussing in there And I had no idea what happened I Believe that there's a lot of costing no One else saw what happened my rod went Under There's a slip bobber I'm like the I'm Using the other Rod that I have in my Hand to try to like hook it and bring it Back in Well it's gone it's like I'm like we're Never getting this thing back Um and we're pretty disappointed because You're Tournament Fishing right right And a fish to be able to pull the rod Out is probably going to be able to Measure yeah right and you're now one Short you're a shorter Rod so that's Like yeah so that's like screwing you as Well so I'm like telling everyone what Just happened and I look over and I see

This bobber pop up to the surface Right there oh here let's go get it We're hustling to get over to where the Bobber pops up to the surface you got Like a lobster buoy going now where You're like it's there I know where it Is now as soon as we get over there it Goes back down again fish swimming Around with my rod and the slip bobber And finally we get over to the bobber Chet gets it in the net and I start Pulling it in I can feel there's a fish On the end of it Ryan's grab the line There you go Oh it's a big one Jake okay And I end up hand lining in a 20 and a Half inch walleye oh my gosh What the hell happened at that point in The tournament it was our biggest fish Nice and for this Lake a very nice fish Like a 20 inch fish is like one that you Know you want if you can get five of Those during this tournament we're Sitting really pretty dude you got like That's like an old man in the sea style Way of fishing hand lining in your your Big giant fish yeah it was a crazy story That's amazing actually that's pretty Sweet well I have never actually cooked A Montana walleye I've cooked plenty of Walleye before but I've never had any From here so but I have an idea that I Think you guys will really enjoy sweet Looking forward to it

Foreign Fellas beautiful day outside it is Gorgeous appreciate you letting us uh Cook up some fish with you here so yeah No problem so the dish that I have in Mind for you guys like Most of the time in meat eater Cooks we Really kind of like take it to a crazy Direction but you don't always need to Reinvent the wheel sometimes you just Need to ask yourself what makes the Wheel special and so we're making fried Fish we're because honestly it's one of The best things to do with walleye it's A really good fish for frying but I do Think there's a couple ways that we can Make it a little bit nicer and so I want To show you guys a slightly different Spin on I don't know a classic that Everybody knows right that sounds great Man you know what today is it's Friday Friday Friday fish fry where I come from In Wisconsin it's like a tradition yeah Exactly every Friday Catholics have These fish fries so it's fitting it Works out perfect well speaking of so to Get started obviously we need some some Fish fillets here so what I'm thinking Is uh you know a standard fillet but Skin off as well because this is going To come out a little bit better that way So do you have a preferred technique That you like to use I mean I I really Wouldn't call it I mean sure it's a

Technique but it's kind of the way I did It growing up yeah why don't you show me How you do it so I'm going to start with This one okay and it's you know not Gutted right and there's a lot of meat Up on the back by the head so you want To come underneath the fins here And not just cut straight across but Kind of angle it back up towards the Head and you can kind of just take your Knife and go at an angle like that And you know Then just take your knife And Work it right along the you can feel it Right those bones going along the spine There you want to keep it pressed down As much as you can so you're not missing Any of that meat And then you and that wasn't the best Job because there's still some there But I like to keep this little tag on so It's easier to skin it here And you just go Oh so you skin it without even like Pulling it off you just leave it in Place right that's pretty smart It's the same way I grew up doing it too Just keeping it attached and then we can Clean you know these bones up this these Ribs later but there's one Today's recipe is actually inspired by a Method that's used in Japan and it's Called uh well the term that you usually

See is EB fry but EB actually Specifically means shrimp but what's Important about it is that it's a method Where you're frying in a coating of Flour and eggs and then a type of bread Crumbs called panko which are not like Our breadcrumbs that we have here in the United States they're not toasted bread They're actually like bread that's Effectively been dehydrated and so That's why they're so white it's also Why they're so crispy and so the panko Breading allows you to fry it a little Bit higher temperature so you get a much Much crunchier end product but what's Great about this for something like this With little small fillets I'd be afraid If we put this in cornmeal or even in a Batter that by the time we fried it it Would just be annihilated like it would Just be hammered what'll be really great About this is that that panko is going To be almost like a bulletproof vest It's going to create an armor for these Fillets so they're actually the fillets Itself isn't cooking from the oil the Fillet is steaming inside this Encapsulation of the crunchy bread and So it's going to be a lot more moist and It should come out a lot less kind of Beat up from the fryer and then also Simultaneously we're going to get a Crunchier texture than you can ever get Frying a little thin fillet if we were

Cornmeal breading this they'd cook so Fast that we wouldn't really have much Crunch we should get a really really Nice crunch using this method So jet how many fish do you keep in your Freezer anytime well I I actually keep a decent amount but I need to reveal something to you guys Okay you already know this yep I cannot Eat freshwater white flaky fish and it's It's it's like it's so ironic because It's like the love of my life I get in Trouble for fishing all the time and it Just saddens me to say I'm not gonna be Able to eat this beautiful dish so so All right let me make sure I understand This so Okay You can butcher this for us and hear us Oh right I didn't even acknowledge that You have gloves on like yeah so you Can't eat this and I can't really Experiment too much that's fair but uh It's it's insane Chet's the uh best Fishing partner you could ever ask for Because you don't want to keep anything You can't keep any fish Perfect perfect but the reason why to Answer your question how many fish I Have fish in the freezer because I like To give it away as gifts ah okay okay so That's awfully nice that's kind of funny Well Yes you're not gonna be able to taste

This Cool so these are in the bag now these Are good to go we're just gonna let These sit for a second here so how long Do you like to let those sit just like a Few minutes five minutes at most Basically all right I have some dishes Set for you guys over here if you Wouldn't mind let's set these up on The Cutting Board here so Flour empty container bread crumbs this Is going to be our order of operations Here this is It's what's called a Three-stage breading meaning literally It goes into three different processes Here we need to mix up the one in the Middle and this is the egg wash for this So the way it works is the wet fillets Need obviously something will stick to Them and so we start by going into flour To dry the outside basically okay then We go into egg which wouldn't stick to The wet fillet without the flour and Then we go into breadcrumb and this is All all of our texture is happening here This doesn't really do anything other Than create sort of that barrier so that That steam takes place now a lot of the Times you'll see recipes and it's just Plain eggs and if that's the case they Don't really contribute anything to the Flavor either but what I have found is That I really like a mix of eggs and Kind of a strange ingredient especially

If we're doing something Japanese but Plain yellow like hot dog mustard right Into the egg into the egg wash and this Works with any kind of fish that you're Breading I do this with catfish all the Time that little bite and acidity from The the mustard just kind of makes it Taste better you just get like a little Bit more of a well-rounded flavor oh Yeah yeah I can I can start it comes out Really good about it it sounds it's Gonna be good yeah yeah this is one of The tasting notes that you get so but You could do this honestly like we we do This if we're doing this same sort of Breading works for oysters it works for Shrimp honestly they'll do pork cutlets The same way and so we'll use that Mustard component in it every time so So I'm like for uh like a pork schnitzel Sandwich exactly yeah now you're talking Now we got you back in the world with Midwestern food right I'm gonna have to Try this out with pork yeah deep fried Pork sandwich So I'm just gonna crack a few eggs in Here so that we have plenty of egg wash For all of our fish so Just kind of break up our eggs here Take some of our mustard not a ton I Mean I have more here than I need And just start kind of whisking it into This and mixing it up Now you can go pure like straight eggs

Which a lot of folks do but I think it Works a little bit better if you just Add a little bit of milk to it or heavy Cream or something like that doesn't Need to be very much So since there's three of us here my Thought is like we can each own a step To this okay this is gonna work and then Stash them on that yeah that'll be Perfect on that plate yeah excellent Yeah man a little teamwork this is Teamwork baby Thank you I'm looking forward to watching the show I know it's going to be a lot of fun Maybe it will uh maybe even I will learn To be a decent fisherman after watching This it was a blast actually we actually Should take you fishing sometime see That's more like it that's what I'm Talking about yes nice to have good fish Buddy Let's turn the fryer all the way up to Its top tip which should be 375 on these 375 perfect now while that comes up to 10. I want to show you guys how to make The sauce cool all right All right guys well I'm gonna I'm gonna Jump in here and kind of take the reins For a moment if you don't mind uh this Will just be easier if I show you how to Make it walk you through it as opposed To you know you'll probably be a little Faster I might be just this tiny bit

Faster than you guys so tartar tar sauce Is tartar sauce basically and there's a Lot of like theories as far as how did We end up with tartar sauce in Japan uh And I don't know that anybody actually Knows like the exact answer to that but What's cool about it is that it has some Familiar kind of components so if you've Had tartar sauce before but you've had It and I've had targets okay so then You'll know what it it'll look very Similar but it also has some kind of Uniquely Japanese ingredients that are Pretty cool as well and to me I mean if I'm being honest yeah thank you sir I Think that the I think the Japanese Tartar sauce is kind of the superior one To do it better yeah I mean they do a Lot of things with just sort of more Precision and this is definitely one Where they've kind of thought out the Flavor profile a little bit more in my Opinion and you end up with something That's just a little bit tastier So it just starts one of the first kind Of ingredients that's a little bit Strange for it is that it really does Rely on a fairly significant amount of Raw onion that brings some bite to it And it also just brings a little bit of Texture in the sense that it adds some Crunch you know The next is pickles and so we're using Both sweet pickles and sour pickles now

These are both gherkin pickles so They're like little small cucumbers so Kevin my family has a pickling business So we actually have gherkins are these Are these uh what What's your brand Forest floor Foods these are not your Families Though if I had known that see you're You're waiting to reveal too much Information to me here Chester like if You said we need to make sure make sure We use my family's pickles I'd have said Okay if you said make sure you make Something anything literally other than Fish I would have said You can't be on the episode but but we Still we would have done something Different is what I'm saying so when you Introduce yourself to people you should Be like my name is Chester Floyd I'm Allergic to fish and my family owns a Pickling company yeah sour gherkins Which are called cornichons which is What these are and they're teeny teeny Tiny so obviously we can't dice those we Kind of just slice them up into small Pieces And these are all I would say all these Ingredients are fairly normal to a Tartar sauce like it's not weird to have Sweet and sour pickles in a tartar sauce Now is when we start kind of taking a Turn into the ingredients that are a Little bit strange for the American I

Guess palette for it the first is that We're going to use this right here which Is uh dried mustard so this is powdered Mustard that has then been bloomed in Water and although it looks very much Like regular yellow mustard the Intensity of this is way way stronger so Yeah if you've ever had like Chinese hot Mustard it's kind of like that it's Gonna be spicy It doesn't have the same vinegary note To it it's just so like the drying of it Just makes it more concentrated well no So it actually it's it's not this yeah Please it's not that this has been dried It's actually that unlike with the rest Of the mustard it's Mustard always starts dry it starts with Mustard flour or ground mustard seeds But that's all this is is ground mustard Seeds that have then been rehydrated in A little bit of water basically it's Very good yeah it's got a bite it's Intense it's delicious so that's our First one a little bit of white pepper Is our next one a white pepper again Just doesn't show up very much in American cookery have you guys tasted White pepper actually don't do that so Don't stick your finger in here it's a Lot stronger super intense yeah much Much stronger than than black pepper Yeah The next one is gonna be yeah are you

Good I'm good I would give you something To wash it now I don't have anything It's great all right so the next one is Sesame oil so roasted like dark sesame Oil and it's not very much but you want Some you can't use them much because It's just so intense like you smell it Like the the aroma of it is really Really really strong then is this Ingredient which is Um lemon vinegar so lemon juice that has Been turned into vinegar as a opposed to Just fresh lemon juice we're going to Use both this stuff is amazing yeah it Smells like it's like lemonade yeah yeah Not a very common ingredient not at all It's actually kind of hard to find but It makes a huge difference and it's one Of my favorite ingredients if you're Doing anything with fish not just fried It doesn't matter like just fish in General this is an ingredient that Really sets It Off Fresh lemon juice so we have the lemon Vinegar and we're gonna have fresh lemon Juice both And then hard cooked eggs so hard-boiled Eggs Which is again gets a little bit weird Here but the Japanese tartar sauce uses Both the the yolks and the whites of a Hard cooked egg now these are your peel This one please do yeah these are your Friends eggs so they're super fresh

Which means they're gonna be kind of Hard to peel but that's okay When we mix stuff up they kind of just Happen to break up but leaving those Chunks of egg in there is again one of The Marquis of this style of sauce it's Just the preference that that they would Have to be able to see all these sort of Individualized ingredients so I saved what I think are the two most Interesting agreements for the last year So this is the first one which is Pickled wasabi Stems so when you eat wasabi like in Sushi yeah the root it's the part that Grows underground this is the part that Grows above it so this is the green Plant the leaves the stems stuff like That and it has almost a caper like Quality to it you should taste it here What is this what would a Wasabi plant Like Be similar to it's just horseradish kind Of you know does it have a bite like This oh for sure it absolutely does yeah But it's very but it's also got like a Salty kind of Vegetal capery kind of odality to it as Well yeah so a little of that And then this right here which is Basically yeast extract And salt so this is what's going to make It Ultra Ultra savory So then finally some mayonnaise

A lot of stuff that I've never cooked With And then last but not least we need to Add a little bit of fresh herbs to this So we have some fresh dill here And some parsley it's a little bit of Both All right guys so this is our tarutari We're a Japanese tartar sauce which Looks really really good so I mean that's it like we're ready to go At this point sweet So there's one last little sort of Tidbit that I wanted to share with you Guys before we Chuck this in the fryer This isn't filled with just anything This was a trick I learned like in Scotland and like they do this in a lot Of the you know fish and chip shops There instead of frying in vegetable oil When they fry fish frying beef fat oh I Like it so this thing is loaded with Beef fat which is just gonna make this Even better so anytime you're frying There's you know there's no hard and Fast rule as far as how much can go in You kind of just have to eyeball it I Think this basket looks like it can hold Yeah I'm gonna say five pieces of fish And that's probably it as far as temp We're up high we're up at 375 but in Reality like these household Friars Never really can hold that temp yeah so What I do is I bring it up to that to

That knowing that when I drop this in We're gonna drop this down to 360 365 And that's what it's going to fry up and For this we're going gbd like nothing Else golden brown and delicious baby Perfect yeah we don't need it there's no Timer nothing gbd that's what we're Going for here give it a little Shake Just to make sure there's nothing Sticking together real quick that looks Awesome it's gonna be fast man these Things are gonna float quick and we're Going to be we're going to be good to go There Look at that oh man Those are pretty yeah that's like Picture perfect yep just let them drain Here for a sec so that We don't end up with any extra Grease Set these bad boys out here on our Platter for us And I might be speaking too soon here But do you add salt or anything of these After you're the season before kind of Yeah and I mean there's plenty of times To season when it's all said and done But in this scenario it won't cling to It the salt's not going to stick to that Exterior right there which is why it's Really important that we season that Fish on the interior so What do you think guys man that looks Amazing looks pretty tasty to me Cheers everybody yeah Pros cheers

Oh so good it's terrible gesture yeah It's awful horrendous you're not missing Anything All right dude I'm getting notes of Delicious beef fat Crunchy yeah pickle I feel like the only thing we could have Done to kick this up a notch would have Been use Chester's family's pickles yep That one made a little better Seth you've eaten a lot of fish Like for a fried fish this is Up there really yeah if not the top is It that sauce that's making it that like The sauce To me it's the textural contrast like It's like that's why you do it this way Because it's so crunchy and yet like you Can see the fish in here and it's still Like super super juicy it's like just Barely cooked that's what you want yeah Like I said before I do a lot of fish Frying with cornmeal and I think the panko just blows it out of The water really yeah Yeah well good I'm glad you'll enjoy it Man you know my thing with fishing is Like I know I'm not a great fisherman But what I really like about fishing is This part it's like the camaraderie the Fact that you just spend time together In the boat you know shooting the breeze Like enjoying the outdoors hanging out With each other telling stories man yep

Occasion apparently playing a little Music so yeah Check you know any good fishing songs Nope not really you know any good songs Yeah a couple good songs playing Something man let's hear it cheers Cheers