Mama Hanson’s Pan-Fried Fish

9 Jan

The first time I experienced the deliciousness of this recipe was at the hands of my mother-in-law who’d gotten her hands on a bunch of tiny brook trout.  I don’t normally like fried fish but after eating it this way, my opinion was forever changed. This recipe works best with very small fish. As in under 6″. The smaller the better, really.

 This weekend we caught a total of 23 small perch, all of which needed to get eaten post-haste. Keep in mind that anytime you have fresh fish available, you want to eat it within 24 hours. It takes a nose-dive in quality and taste after that. I guessed at the quantities in this recipe after watching Mama Hanson make it. It’s a pretty lenient process, so eyeballing is definitely ok. Don’t try eating these with a knife and fork. Hands work best. If your fish are small enough you’ll be able to eat them bones and all (skin included for trout). For larger fish the bones will come off easily when properly cooked.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • vegetable oil
  • 30 cleaned small fish (heads and tails removed)

Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine flour, salt and pepper on a large plate. Coat each fish inside and out with the flour mixture and put on a plate. Sprinkle fish with a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning.

Place half of the fish into the pan rib-cage side down and press down into the oil, slightly spreading  the rib cage so the fish will remain standing. Cook for approximately 2 minutes until golden brown and then turn fish, cooking on each side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining fish. Serve immediately.

 You’ll know you did it right when this is all you’re left with!


3 Responses to “Mama Hanson’s Pan-Fried Fish”

  1. Rachel January 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm #


  2. Paul January 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Those looks really tasty! I’m going to assume Rachel’s reaction was due to the fact that there might have been some crappie mixed in there. Heh heh. Crappie.

  3. Karen @ Gravy Training January 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Crappie did taste crappier than perch. 😀

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