Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Okay y' we go! First, fillet about 15 quality sized gills ( 8-9.5 inches), skin them, and check thoroughly for bone removal. Put a pot of water on medium heat and add the fillets, bringing the pot eventually to a slow boil. As the pot heats up, occasionally stir the fillets, as they will break down and flake nicely.

Next, drain the fish meat thoroughly in a collander and place the meat in a large bowl. It is important to make them as dry as you can get them, so when you add other ingredients it wont become too difficult to 'pat' them into cakes. Should look something like this below...before adding ingredients...

Then, add any spices, herbs or flavorings that you prefer to your dry mix of the meat. Some cooks will marinate the flaked bluegills overnight in teriyaki or other flavorings. Choice is yours. Then, beat a large egg and add to the meat, stirring completely. You may need to add more egg, but do so carefully, not to over saturate them. Gradually mix in some seasoned bread crumbs and mix until you can form nice, patted cakes that will stay together. Then coat the patties with your favorite coating...flour, pancake batter, House Autry, what ever. Then place them in a pan of cooking oil, your choice, at 375 degrees and allow about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Once they are golden brown on each side, simply drain them on paper towels and serve with or without rolls, favorite veggies, etc. They make dynamite sandwiches or can stand alone with the best of them!

Clearly, there are many variations of this fish cake recipe that we all can tweek to our prefered tastes. I think next time out I am going to try and make bacon/cheese bluegill burgers! The real secret is to mix the fish and flavorings so that the patties stay together during the pan-fry process. Too dry or too moist and they tend to fall apart.

Hope this helps!

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Comment by tony "crazy goofy grampie" russo on February 1, 2015 at 1:54pm

Thanks for the how to do pics. Made them for dinner last. 4 big gills, andy"s seasoning, egg and plain breadcrumb. Delicious!!!!!! 

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on October 8, 2013 at 3:20pm
Sounds good, Allen. I'll treasure it, and try to do it justice.
Comment by Allen Morgan on October 8, 2013 at 2:57pm

David, yup, basic mirepoix, onions, celery, carrots, along with white wine and halved lemons.  Let this simmer for about an hour, then poach the salmon in it.

If you want, I'll PM the salmon patty recipe to you.  It's amazing!

Comment by John Sheehan on October 8, 2013 at 6:50am

Thanks for the tutorial Jim .Would like to try this !

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on October 7, 2013 at 7:02pm

"Court bouillion" - that sounds cool. Lots of aromatics, I expect? 'Fine herbs', lemon, etc.?

Salmon patties are very popular here in the Deep South, and I like them. Most people use canned salmon - a bit strong for some, I think the bluegill/catfish patty is a great alternative. Ive been known to put shrimp in them, when no one was looking.
Ronald, I also like them chilled, but only for about an hour before cooking. They should be succulent and fresh tasting, in my humble esteem. 

Comment by Allen Morgan on October 7, 2013 at 6:23pm

One of the country clubs I worked at had a killer Salmon Patty recipe (I have a copy).  They would make a court bouillion, a highly-seasoned broth, and poach the salmon in that, before mixing everything.

Comment by Ronald A Wilson on October 7, 2013 at 4:36pm

man your killing me with those great looking and im sure tasting fish cakes .i also do fish cakes with another type of recipe ,but i make mine up in patties and let them sit overnight in the frig , seems to help them bind together and soak up all the flavors 

Comment by Leo Nguyen on September 30, 2013 at 9:37pm

Man, I'm still drooling after looking at this blog the 7th time.

Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on September 29, 2013 at 7:20pm

THANKS FOR THE POST  SIR JIM , SOON as I get back from Iowa I'll have the chef here give this a whirl. THEY LOOK GREAT BUDDY !!!!!!!

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on September 29, 2013 at 7:17pm
Fantastic Jim!
Good call, seasoning the poached fish, first. I like to add crumbled Ritz crackers and an outer coating of Panko crumbs and/or cornmeal.
I always add a bit of minced green onion too. For a sauce, I like mayo, sour cream, paprika and a touch of horseradish.
Like you say, there are a million ways to do it. Thanks for sharing; they look great!

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