George Wilkes of The Angry Trout Café in Grand Marais, Minn., shares the history behind the recipe: “Though the exact recipe has changed over time, the idea of deep-fried gobs of fish-flavored dough was given to me by Mark Brown, who makes something like this when he goes on camping trips in the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — the variations on this recipe are endless. The important thing is to use a good piece of fish.”
Fish Fritters


For the fritters:

  • 10 ounces finely chopped fish, such as lake trout or herring, bone and skin removed, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
For the tartar sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
Time estimates

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes  


In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder, set aside. In a larger bowl, mix all other ingredients. Add flour mixture a little at a time while continuing to mix. Drop spoon-sized gobs of the fish-dough mixture into canola oil (if you’ve got bear fat, all the better!) that has been heated to 350 degrees. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce.


Makes 36 fritters

Thumbnail photo: Sifu Renka/Flickr

See also:

Slow food recipes

Fish Fritters
Start with a good piece of fish and let your imagination be your guide.