Classic Minnesota Shore Lunch

Fishing is a valued tradition in the land of 10,000 lakes. It’s part of most kids life growing up in Minnesota and many continue to fish through adulthood. Today, I’m teaching you how to make the Classic Minnesota Shore Lunch.


Panfish are the simplest fish to catch in Minnesota and they are wonderful to eat. I went out with the kids and caught a stringer full for dinner. Johnnie though he should use this musky lure.

Besides the food, fishing keeps my kids outdoors, teaches them discipline, patience and self-reliance. It’s a great sport and I encourage everyone to try it.

This post was originally posted at Check out or other wild game recipes like our Grilled Pheasant Poppers too.

Minnesota Fish Fry Recipe

A true Minnesota Shore Lunch would be cooked with lard instead of oil but we adopted this classic for the home kitchen. After you fillet your fish, rinse the fillets in cool water before refrigerating.


  • Fish fillets
  • Saltine crackers
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Lard (today we are demonstrating this recipe using vegetable oil. Lard is much easier to camp with and it the traditional frying medium and is, therefore, the classic recipe)


Pat the fish fillets with a paper towel to dry the off.

sunfish fillets

Coat with flour by laying them in a bowl like shown.

fish fry recipe

Mix the egg and milk beating it firmly until smooth so that you can dip the flour-coated fillets in the liquid.

Let the loose liquid drip off back into the bowl and rest the fillet on cracker crumbs.  The crumbs that attache to the fish will make your crust.

easy minnesota fish fry recipe

Frying the Fish

Heat your lard or vegetable oil. Place the fillet’s in the hot lard or oil and flip after a couple minutes when the crust turns golden brown. The fish are done when they flake apart.

easy minnesota fish fry recipe

They are great with a pinch of lemon and salt and pepper.easy minnesota fish fry recipe


easy minnesota fish fry recipeeasy minnesota fish fry recipe

One last thing before I go. If you catch a northern, our son Jackson can show you how to fillet it on his YouTube channel. His directions work for almost any freshwater fish. If you want to learn how to fillet a fish, this is a great primer for you.

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About Chris 759 Articles
Chris Ashbach is one of the founders of Dan330. Chris is a pilot and avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring. He loves taking kids (especially his own) on trips to share his passion of the outdoors. Chris is also a gardener, volunteers at Let's Go Fishing, and teaches Sunday school. Chris holds a MA in Organizational Leadership and is faculty at a local university in Minnesota; teaching undergraduate business classes.