Baked Lemon Thyme Walleye

walleye drawingThis is a recipe that I came up with for family members that couldn’t have fried fish. I compromised by searing one side of the fish and finishing it in a very hot oven. You’ll need an oven-proof pan for transfer to the oven. A heavy cast-iron skillet works well for me. I’ve tried this recipe with bass, bluegill, crappie and walleye. Walleye being my favorite, but it would work for any light flavored fish.

Begin by preheating your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ingredients:

4 large walleye fillets
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon course salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 lemons
1 large bunch of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable, olive, or peanut oil

Rinse the walleye thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Slice 3 of the lemons into 1/4 inch slices and set aside. Juice one of the lemons into a large bowl, add the walleye and coat thoroughly. Set this aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients. DO NOT let marinate for more than 2-3 minutes or the lemon juice WILL cook the fish. Which I guess is alright if you’re looking for a walleye ceviche!

Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Heat your oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. When ready add oil and then butter and spread around to coat the bottom of the pan.

Remove the walleye from the lemon juice and drain well, but don’t pat dry. Give each walleye fillet a dusting with the seasoned flour and sear in oil and butter in oven-proof pan. When one side of the fish has a golden brown crust on it, remove fish from pan and place on plate, flipping the fish crust side up on the plate.

Now, line the entire bottom of your oven-proof pan with the sliced lemons and then spread your fresh thyme out over the top of the lemons. Then pour the remaining lemon juice marinate over the lemon slices and thyme. Now slide the fish back into the pan, crust side up, onto the lemon slices and thyme bed that you’ve created.

Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and cook until fish is white and flaky, usually 5-6 minutes.

REMEMBER! The handle of this pan is going to be VERY HOT coming out of the oven and you can’t just grab it like you normally would! Trust me….I speak from experience (that ended at the ER). USE A POTHOLDER!

To serve, use a spatula and lift out whole pieces of fish on their beds of lemon an thyme and plate. I usually serve with extra lemon wedges, rice and roasted root vegetables/squash.

Scott Brown
Edwardsville, IL


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