Cracker Crumb Fish: A simple recipe with spectacular taste

My family has been going to the same resort in Minnesota for over 60 years. While I obviously haven’t been attending as long as my family, I have many fond memories at the lake. A good portion of these memories all take place in the water, where I was either playing King of the Raft or floating around with a beer in my hand. As much as I cherish those memories, there is a topic that dominates a good majority of my memories of Minnesota: fish. Whether I’m in a boat catching it, watching them swim under the docks, or eating them fresh out of the fryer, I love fish.

My older brother and I showing off a basket of the day's catch. Despite my expression I was having fun...I swear.
My older brother and me showing off a basket of the day’s catch. Despite my expression I was having fun…I swear.

Fish is an integral part of the Minnesota resort experience and seems to find its way into every aspect of daily life. From waking up to the sounds of fishing boats leaving the docks to smelling the fish cleaning house as you walk to your cabin, you are always being subjected to fish. Above all, fish finds its way into your daily diet. Fish is generally so plentiful that one could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if they wanted (believe me, I have). I’ve had it fried, grilled, pan seared, and cooked in just about every other fashion available. Those methods are all great, but there is one method that I enjoy above all. I present to you, the cracker crumb method.

This is a recipe that I’ve only ever seen utilized by my family, so hopefully I won’t vanish once I share it with you all. This is an extremely simple recipe and requires very few ingredients. For this recipe you will need the following:

  • One half-sleeve of saltine crackers, salted or unsalted
  • One egg
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter, salted or unsalted
  • One pound of thinly sliced fish filets, catfish or any lake-caught fish is ideal

Begin by crushing up the half-sleeve of saltine crackers into small crumbs. Leave some larger pieces for a little extra crunch. Once the crackers are crushed up, place them in a shallow bowl. At this point you should also start heating a pan over the stove on medium-high heat. Don’t place the butter in the pan yet (unless you enjoy burnt butter).

You want some very fine pieces as well as some larger chunks. Everyone loves a good crunch!
You want some very fine pieces as well as some larger chunks. Everyone loves a good crunch!

Next you will crack the egg into a separate shallow bowl. Whisk the egg with a fork until the yolk is completely broken and blended, as if you were making scrambled eggs. At this point you can go ahead and place one and a half tablespoons of butter into the pan and coat the bottom.

Stir the yolk until it's a solid yellow in all directions! Also, don't mind the cracker crumbs that found their way into the bowl.
Stir the yolk until it’s a solid yellow in all directions! Also, don’t mind the cracker crumbs that found their way into the bowl.

Now grab your first piece of fish and dip both sides in the egg, then roll the fish through the cracker crumbs. Make sure that both sides have a generous coating of crumbs before placing the fish in the pan.

Make sure you really, really coat every inch of the fish in crumbs. I would even call this piece a little undercoated!
Make sure you really, really coat every inch of the fish in crumbs. I would even call this piece a little undercoated!

 

Cook the fish for approximately 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the filet. The crumbs should be a golden brown on each side when you’re finished. Afterwards, remove the fish from the pan and salt to taste. Add the other one and a half tablespoons of butter to the pan and repeat the above steps for the remaining fish.

The crumbs should be a nice golden brown when you're finished. Feel free to let them go a little longer if you like a bolder flavor.
The crumbs should be a nice golden brown when you’re finished. Feel free to let them go a little longer if you like a bolder flavor.

Congratulations, you’ve just made cracker crumb fish. It’s extremely easy but very tasty, and works well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For those of you craving a little more spice, some creole seasoning in the crumbs is a great touch. Feel free to change up the type of crackers or add in different seasonings, as this is definitely a recipe you can make your own. More than anything, appreciate the simplicity of this recipe as you sink your teeth into the first bite. Let this dish take you back to a cherished childhood memory, when things were simpler and life wasn’t so stressful. I hope you enjoy making this dish as much as I do!

Perfection!
Perfection!

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