Walleye and zander

Other Names: Pike-perch: Amerikanischer zander (German); doré jaune (French); lucioperca americana (Spanish); picão verde (Portuguese); pickerel; sandra americana (Italian); yellow pike. Zander: European pickerel or walleye; fogas (Hungarian); gjoers (Norwegian); kuka (Finnish); levrek, sudak (Turkish); lucioperca (Spanish); perche brochet, sandre doré (French); sander; sandra (Italian); snoekbaars (Dutch); sudak (Russian); yellow pike. Sauger: Jack salmon; jackfish; lucioperca canadiense (Spanish); picão canadiana (Portuguese); river pike; sandra canadese (Italian); sandre canadien (French); spotfin pike. Percidae.

General Description: Several fish in this genus are called pike-perch because of their resemblance to freshwater fish in the unrelated pike family. Walleye (Sander vitreum) are an
American fish with long, tapering bodies that are brown and yellow on a silvery background. Like others in the lake perch family, they have spiny dorsal fins. The walleye gets its name from its smoky, silvery eye, said to resemble blinded or walleyed domestic animals. Almost all commercial pickerel sold in the Midwest is yellow walleye.

The legendary zander (S. lucioperca_) is a rare European freshwater fish that may be the most prized table fish in Europe, where it is also known as pike perch. It is almost identical to the walleye and can be prepared by any method. Sauger (_S. canadensis), a close relative and lookalike of the walleye, inhabits large bodies of water like the Great Lakes.

Locale and Season: Walleyes are commercially important in Canada, where the fishery is most active in winter months.
Zander are found in northern Europe and Russia.

Characteristics: Walleyes can grow up to 25 pounds, but 2 to 3 pounds is average. They have succulent, pure white, firm, clean-tasting flesh with few bones, very fine flake, and delicate flavor. The cheeks are also delicious. Zander from low-salinity seawaters, including the Aral, Baltic, and Black Seas, are less valued. Saugers weigh 3 to 5 pounds but because of their smaller size are not as prized as the nearly identical walleye. They all may be cooked with or without skin.

How to Choose: Even when fresh, walleyes have opaque (rather than bright) eyes, adapted to the dim light in which they forage. Choose fillets from whole but small fish to get
both the fattier, richer head meat and the leaner tail portion. Yield is 45 percent.

Storage: Store whole fish refrigerated up to 2 days; store fillets refrigerated up to 1 day.


Bake, broil, deep-fry, sauté, pan-fry, or poach.

Suggested Recipe: Grilled Walleye with Tartar Sauce (serves 4): Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 2 chopped hardcooked eggs, 2 tablespoons capers, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons drained dill pickle relish, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and the juice of 1 lemon to make the tartar sauce. Combine 4 tablespoons melted butter with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 table-spoon chopped dill. Season 2 pounds walleye fillets with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, skin-up at first, brushing with the melted butter mixture, flipping once, until the fish flakes, 4 to 8 minutes total. Serve
with tartar sauce.

Flavor Affinities: Almond, basil, butter, capers, celery, chervil, chives, dill, lemon, marjoram, mustard, paprika, potato, shallot, sweet onion, tarragon, tomato, walnut, white wine.

from Quirk Books: