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Old 06-11-2009, 06:36 AM   #1
fishnlady
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Default Eating Crappie?

We recently tried Crappie fishing & decided to eat some to see what they were like. We found them to be a nice mild taste, but quite mushy. They were on ice until getting them home, so I'm wondering why the meat is mushy. I'm hoping someone can tell me if this is common? Or is it something to do with the water temp of the lake, time of year, or my cooking method (grilled), or ?
Thanks for any help you can give.

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

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We recently tried Crappie fishing & decided to eat some to see what they were like. We found them to be a nice mild taste, but quite mushy. They were on ice until getting them home, so I'm wondering why the meat is mushy. I'm hoping someone can tell me if this is common? Or is it something to do with the water temp of the lake, time of year, or my cooking method (grilled), or ?
Thanks for any help you can give.

I just looked up a bunch of recipes and they are all saying that deep frying the meat is the best way. Sorry I couldnt be more help to you.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:57 AM   #3
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Of course fresh is best, cause they spoil easily, if not fresh than keep them as cold as possible, I like a egg batter with flower, cornmeal, bisquit, or pancake batter, whip up a couple eggs, dip the fillets, than roll in your favorite flour, or cornmeal mix, with your choice of spices, fry in butter, margarine or your favorite cooking oil, & enjoy, they can be a little mushy if not done properly, but that can be said about many fish.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

we just put them in bread crumbs, and fry em up
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

You didnt eat them out of the willamette did you!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

Thanks for all your input guys! (No Boomguy, these fish weren't from the Willamette. We know better than that.) I was trying to cook them in a healthy manner, but maybe that is where I went wrong. They were kept in the live well until they went into the ice chest on the way home.
I will definitely try them again. Maybe I will try the crumbs or cornmeal & bake instead of fry. And I will have to try grilling them again, but making sure they are patted really dry first to see if that helps. I prefer my fish grilled, sometimes with a little Cajun seasoning.
We will be back out this weekend to see if we can catch some more. I will try some of your cooking ideas. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

Soak them in salted water for a while before you cook them - that'll help firm up the flesh and bring the flavor out in them even more. When you remove them from the salt water, pat them dry with a paper towel. Then coat them however you plan to and enjoy. best way to have 'em is battered and deep fried though, not baked or grilled
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

Crappie in general arent quite as firm as most other pan fish as far as the texture of the meat goes. Pearch, bluegill and smallmouth all have a lot firmer meat when you eat them. However IMO they just dont taste as good although bluegill are real close and you can always fry them a little longer to make them a little firmer. It seems as though the texture of the meat can also very from different body of waters some.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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I have found that crappie are very delicate in their texture and taste. Even when you fry them they tend to fall apart if you are pan frying them. Healthy is good, but with this fish I would sin just a little every now and then and deep fry them. I really like the Pride of the West batter. You can get it at any supermarket in the seafood section. I add a little salt to the mix.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

The ones I cooked in bacon grease at camp sure were good! You have to fry them a little on the crispy side. Did the egg dunk and cracker crumb deal. I will have to try the deep fry method. Usually cook them in butter.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

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I was trying to cook them in a healthy manner, but maybe that is where I went wrong.
Some things are just made to be deep fried and floating in grease, not oil.
Crappie, walleye, and a host of other whitemeat fish are just that way.
A little lard ain't gonna hurt ya.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:01 PM   #12
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The ones I cooked in bacon grease at camp sure were good! You have to fry them a little on the crispy side. Did the egg dunk and cracker crumb deal. I will have to try the deep fry method. Usually cook them in butter.
I'm trying to think of anything that wouldn't taste good in bacon grease...
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:11 AM   #13
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I'm trying to think of anything that wouldn't taste good in bacon grease...

truer words have never been spoken
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #14
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

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I'm trying to think of anything that wouldn't taste good in bacon grease...

Tried Timber squirrel some years back, didn't help...yuck!
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:16 AM   #16
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Tried Timber squirrel some years back, didn't help...yuck!
Porcupine wasn't all that good either, altho I think the Bacon did grease helped a little.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

I've done an oven baked chicken recipe that I bet would transfer well to fish such as crappie. Mix up FF buttermilk with some salt free cajun spice. Dip the skinless chicken or fish in this and then roll in Panko. Place on cookie sheet and spray the panko covered edibles with cooking spray. Bake at some temperature, can't remember what, but probably 350-400 would work.
In the past, I've had my best luck with frying by making sure the meat was patted try with paper towels and then tossed with Corn Starch. Something about the starch helps to form a good crust.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

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I've done an oven baked chicken recipe that I bet would transfer well to fish such as crappie. Mix up FF buttermilk with some salt free cajun spice. Dip the skinless chicken or fish in this and then roll in Panko. Place on cookie sheet and spray the panko covered edibles with cooking spray. Bake at some temperature, can't remember what, but probably 350-400 would work.
In the past, I've had my best luck with frying by making sure the meat was patted try with paper towels and then tossed with Corn Starch. Something about the starch helps to form a good crust.

That sounds like a winner. I will try it. We will hopefully catch some this weekend.
Thank you everyone for such great ideas.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #19
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In the south most people use salted yellow corn meal. I like it too. Cook frys in the same oil and some of the corn meal sticks to the frys. Good stuff.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

  1. Fillet your crappie.
  2. crush some saltine crackers into semi-fine crumbs.
  3. beat a couple of eggs.
  4. dip the fillets into the egg.
  5. dip them in the cracker crumbs and coat each side well.
  6. fry in margarine or butter over a medium heat.
  7. yum.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:43 PM   #21
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

Stop! All of you. Just STOP! You guys are killing me. Can you say obesity. Im gaining weight just reading this.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:11 PM   #22
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Try- Golden Dipt beer batter fishermans choice fry mix (by McCormick & Co)
fried taters & onions, coleslaw, cornbread..............YUMMY...................... ...
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #23
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

This thread really makes me hungry.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #24
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hold a fish fry, the Southern way to create community....catch a bunch, scale them, gut them, batter and fry them, drink lots of cold beverages, and use the cornmeal batter you are frying them with to make hush puppies...that is when you roll a ball of batter up and fry it, then throw it to your dog, that has been begging for some fish, and you say "hush puppy!" I am not kidding. good times...
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #25
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hold a fish fry, the Southern way to create community....catch a bunch, scale them, gut them, batter and fry them, drink lots of cold beverages, and use the cornmeal batter you are frying them with to make hush puppies...that is when you roll a ball of batter up and fry it, then throw it to your dog, that has been begging for some fish, and you say "hush puppy!" I am not kidding. good times...
oh man you must have lived in the south as well haha, hush puppies and bbqs all the way man lol
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:51 PM   #26
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Google beer batter, and pick one that looks good. I prefer one that calls for using flat beer.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:20 AM   #27
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Default Re: Eating Crappie?

Thank you everybody for all the great tips. We decided to give Crappie another chance. After we were done trout fishing this weekend we decided to catch a few Crappie for dinner. I decided to dip the fillets in milk then coat with cornmeal, rice flour, & cajun seasoning; then fried them in a cast iron skillet. They were awesome! I guess for some things you just have to forget about healthy cooking. Well, I didn't totally forget about healthy cooking -- we had steamed broccoli too.
I am looking forward to trying out some of your ideas on future Crappie or other fish (maybe Catfish).
Thanks all.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:13 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by fishnlady View Post
Thank you everybody for all the great tips. We decided to give Crappie another chance. After we were done trout fishing this weekend we decided to catch a few Crappie for dinner. I decided to dip the fillets in milk then coat with cornmeal, rice flour, & cajun seasoning; then fried them in a cast iron skillet. They were awesome! I guess for some things you just have to forget about healthy cooking. Well, I didn't totally forget about healthy cooking -- we had steamed broccoli too.
I am looking forward to trying out some of your ideas on future Crappie or other fish (maybe Catfish).
Thanks all.

Sadly...if it taste good it probably isn't all that healthy, if it's healthy food...it taste like healthy food. For Catfish, try soaking in Butter milk overnight first, than cook similar to crappie.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:24 PM   #29
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Mushy fish flesh can mean the fish was sitting in water dead. My dad always taught me to keep fish iced but not drowning in meltwater, it can make a huge diff.

As southern friend recently commented that he knew of 2 ways to cook fish:
the first way is to fry it
the second way is to F it up......
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:05 PM   #30
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One more tip. I was very hesitant to do this the first time but it's good. Dip the fillets in yellow mustard before cornmealing them. It doesn't taste like mustard but adds a good flavor.
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