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Add A Little Fish To Your Dinner

As I write this Louis Riel Day is just around the corner and if the weather is good – and even if it’s not – I’m certain many Manitobans will take the day to enjoy a little ice fishing.

Much the same way camping gear has brought a lot of indoor comforts outdoors, gear for winter fishing now makes a pleasant and comfortable pastime out of what could otherwise be the epitome of discomfort – sitting for hours on a frozen river or lake. Portable tents and heaters, depth finders and fish finders of all ranges mean you can ice fish in ease and comfort no matter how cold it is outside.

There are loads of great locations for ice fishing in Manitoba. The lake-dotted Whiteshell in eastern Manitoba and the south basin of Lake Manitoba and many points in the Parklands are all lures for ice fishers.

Last February Asessippi Parkland Tourism hosted a Lake of the Prairies Ice Fishing Derby and had a turnout that exceeded their wildest expectations. Another derby is planned for February 26.

Many ice fishers are highly organized, with gear and patience enough to be rewarded with actual fish. But I’ve concluded that the draw to this winter activity is mostly about relaxing and enjoying a silvery winter day outdoors.

And yes, it’s about good eating at day’s end too.

If you’re not a fisher and seldom cook fish, I encourage you to add it to your diet more often. Fish are easy to prepare and there are many wonderful recipes for using the wide variety of species available in Manitoba.

Here are two selected out of From Lake to Platethe Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporations’ online recipe book (www.freshwa With this recipe book you have plenty of reasons to cook fish more often, and to want to catch a few for yourself occasionally too!

Beryl Parrott of Franklinsent us several delicious homemade soup recipes last week including these two for a pizza soup and festive fruit soup. Thanks, Beryl


Beryl writes that she’s picked up this recipe while attending one of the musical productions hosted by the community-based Strathclair Drama Club.

1 tbsp. oil

1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1 c. sliced mushrooms

Sauté until soft.


1 qt. canned

tomatoes or juice

1 c. beef broth

1/2 tsp. oregano

and basil

500 g diced pepperoni

Simmer 20 minutes. Serve with grated mozzarella cheese on top.


Beryl had a taste of this soup when it was served at a Scandinavian evening at the Minnedosa United Church.

1/2 lb. prunes

1 c. dark raisins (Muscat)

1/2 c. Minute Tapioca

2 sticks cinnamon

1 can red cherries

(with juice)

2 qts. water

1/2 lb. apricots

1 orange, sliced or juice

of 1 orange

1 c. white sugar

3 apples, peeled

and diced

Soak fruit, orange, lemon, tapioca, cinnamon overnight. Add apples and simmer next day 30- 40 minutes (slow and watch because of tapioca thickening). Add cherries with juice. Delicious served with cream.


ManitobaCo-operatorRecipe Swap

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The name of these two recipes reflect the fact more than half of the haul of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation is exported to the U.S. where Americans call “walleye” what we call pickerel. This is one of our most popular sport fish in Manitoba. This recipe is a simplified version for making jambalya, which usually requires preparation of all the ingredients separately.

1 lb. Freshwater Fish

walleye fillets, fresh

or frozen

1/2 c. chopped bacon

1 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. chopped green


1 clove garlic,

finely chopped

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 c. boiling water

1 can (14-1/2 oz.)


1 can. (8 oz.)

tomato sauce

1 c. uncooked rice

1/4 c. chopped parsley

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 dash ground cloves

1 dash nutmeg

1 dash cayenne pepper

Thaw fillets if frozen. Skin walleye and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook bacon until crisp. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; cook until tender. Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling water. Combine all ingredients and pour into a well-greased 8-cup casserole. Cover and bake in a moderate oven for 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes or until rice is tender and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serves 6. Source: Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation

OnlineFrom Lake to Platerecipe book.


Pan-fried walleye makes a simple, delicious meal.

1 Freshwater fish

walleye, skin on

(at least 6 oz.)

2 tbsp. flour

1 to 2 tbsp. cornmeal,

bread or cracker crumbs

1/2 tbsp. seasonings

of choice such as

garlic, celery or lemon,

salt, tarragon, thyme,

turmeric, pepper, other


1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp. canola or olive oil

Combine cornmeal/crumbs and seasonings. Rinse walleye fillet and pat dry. Dredge both sides in flour. Dip walleye fillet in beaten egg (one egg is enough for about four fillets). Shake off excess liquid and then dip fillet lightly in seasoned cornmeal/ crumb mixture until coated on both sides. Pan-fry walleye fillet in oil over medium-high heat, skin side down, for 3 minutes. Turn and fry skin side up for 2 minutes, then turn again and fry skin down for 2 more minutes. Total time may vary based on size of fillet. Serve immediately.

Serves 1. Source: Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation

OnlineFrom Lake to Platerecipe book.



About the author


Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.



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