Perch Recipes: Meals to Please Any Family

Recipes for Perch

Anglers in the northern half United States know that yellow perch can be just as thrilling on the hook as on the table. No matter whether you fish your perch on the open or through the ice, your family will be happy with a whole cooler full of vibrant fish.

Perch are a versatile choice for the kitchen because they have firm white flesh that is similar to Atlantic cod. Perch fried in oil is a delicious option, but there are other options.

Recipes for Yellow Perch

Fresh fish is best but perch can be frozen and slowly defrosted. It is best to not thaw it in warm water or in the microwave. Both will cause slight changes to the texture and cook the fish. Let the fish thaw in cool water, in a Ziploc bag.

I like to keep my perch clean and straight. Although it may sound strange, this keeps the fish fresher. It is a rule of thumb that the fish should be as intact as possible to retain its moisture while cooking. You’ll be amazed at the results!

This is how to prepare perch for your cooking. Make sure to get rid of all scales. Also, search the ventral cavity looking for any lingering pieces. The fish can now be released by removing their gills.

These recipes may call for fillets. If you don’t know how to make two fillets from an intact perch, this video will help:

Yellow Perch Soup Recipes

Perch Chowder

A steaming bowl made with fresh catch after a long day on the ice is simply the best.

perch chowder soup recipe

Elise Bauer provided this recipe.

  • 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 medium-sized yellow onions chopped (approximately 2 cups).
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Three large Yukon Gold potatoes, approximately 1 1/4 pounds each, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh thyme, 1 tsp. Dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay (optional; can be made with a bit of paprika or cayenne).
  • Cut into 2 inch pieces, 1 1/2 to 2 lb perch fillets
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Add the butter and oil to your pot on medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, add the onion and cook until translucent.

Mix the wine and reduce the liquid by about half.

Add the potatoes, clam liquid, bay leaf, thyme and Old Bay. If necessary, add water to cover the potatoes. Reduce heat to medium, bring to a boil, and then cover the pan with a lid. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Heat the cream in a separate saucepan until it is steamy (but not boiling).

Add the fish to a pot. Cook the fish covered for 10 minutes on low heat. You want gentle heat, not more than a simmer.

Once the fish has been cooked, take the soup off the heat and add the parsley. Let the soup cool for at least 30 minutes before you serve it.

Grilled Yellow Perch Recipes

Grilled Perch Tacos

This recipe is our take on Natasha’s Kitchen tacos. Grilling the perch adds a wonderful smokiness and flavor to this Mexican-inspired dish.

perch taco recipe

Prep. Prep.

Serves 4-6

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (or 1 medium lime)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 tsp.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 24 small white corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 lb. Perch fillets
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 small purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 medium avocado, medium diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, medium diced
  • 1/2 Red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 lime cut into 8 wedges for serving

Mix the mayonnaise, Sriracha, lime juice, garlic powder and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Stir until well blended.

Turn the grill on medium heat. The perch fillets should be brushed with olive oil. Season them with cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and cumin. Turn the perch fillets carefully and place them on a hot grill. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You can use nonstick spray to keep the fish intact. However, be sure you follow the instructions.

Once the perch has been cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and then use a knife and fork to cut it into smaller pieces.

Place the tortillas on the barbecue and let them cool on a plate.

Place a large amount of grilled perch in each tortilla. Add the salsa, tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, cheese and taco sauce. Enjoy!

Grilled whole Perch

Grilled fresh perch is a delicious treat and is perfect for summer barbecues.

grilled perch recipe

Prep time: 20 Minutes

Serves 4-6

  • 4-6 whole perch, 8-10 in. long
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 10-12 black olives pitted and diced
  • 1 tsp. Capers

Get your grill ready.

Each whole perch should be rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper both inside and outside. Grill the fish on medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Use a spatula or long-handled tongs to minimize turning.

Do not pierce the fish with a sharp knife at its backbone.

Transfer to a tray and add the caper, tomato, and olive garnish. A drizzle of olive oil can be added to make it even more delicious.

Poached Yellow Perch Recipes

Elegant Poached Perch

This poached perch recipe, which is easy to prepare and elegant in appearance, is a throwback of classic French cuisine.

poached perch recipe

Prep time: 20 Minutes

Serves 6

  • 2 tbsp. Finely sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 lb. Fresh perch fillets
  • 1/2 tbsp. Butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine, 1 cup white wine, 1/2 cup clam juice or fish stocks
  • Wax paper

Preheat oven to 350°F

Sprinkle half the green onions and garlic on a baking tray that is oven- or stove-top-safe. Season the fillets to your liking with salt and pepper, then arrange them in the tray. Sprinkle the rest of the onions and garlic on the fillets. Then, carefully pour the liquid into a tray.

You want to just cover the fillets in liquid.

Bring the liquid to a simmer on the stovetop. Cover the tray with wax paper. Place the covered tray in the bottom third of the oven. Cook for 8-12 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the flesh.

Place the fish on a plate and drizzle some of the poaching sauce over it.

Fried Yellow Perch Recipes

Fresh Fried Yellow Perch

This is the most time-tested and simple way to fry fish on the stove. This is a great idea that I have used hundreds of times.

fried perch recipe


Serves 4

  • 2 1/2 lb fresh perch fillets
  • Zatarain’s Louisiana Fish Fry or Louisiana Fish Fry (1 cup seasoning mix per 1lb. (of fish)
  • Canola oil
  • Plastic food storage container or paper bag with a tight-sealing lid
  • Thermostat for freezing

Place one-inch of canola oil in the bottom of a large skillet or pot. Heat on medium heat. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, add a little more than 1/2 cup Zatarain’s Louisiana Fish Fry to a medium-sized paper bag or Tupperware plastic storage container with a lid. Toss a few perch fillets in a single bowl.

Once the oil reaches the desired cooking temperature, add only a few fillets to the pan at a time. Ensure that you continue to monitor oil temperature as the fish is being cooked. It will drop as the fish is added, but it will return to normal soon.

Cook until golden brown, turning fish once. The finished perch should be removed and allowed to cool on a baking sheet or oven rack.

Serve with tartar sauce, lemon wedges, cocktail sauce or ketchup.

Last Thoughts

Perch are my favorite panfish, and I love all types of them. But, they stand out because they can be used for anything, even frying.

Try some of these recipes and let us know what you think.

We would love to hear from your comments, so please comment below!

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.