Fried Bream is the way to go when it comes to a food that is readily available and sustainable. Bream like Bluegill, Green sunfish, and Redear sunfish are some of the most delicious freshwater fish! The appealing look of the whole fish mixed with that crunchy exterior with flaky and moist flesh underneath, is surely a way to spend ones day.
Wash your hands up after eating this fish with Simple Homemade Soap!
For a side recipe using native North American ingredients try my Wild Rice with Lambsquarters!
Other favorite sides of mine include
The bream variety is tremendous! When fishing for bream species, you will come across a beautiful array of North American fish. With all different colors and color schemes.
You could cast a variety of baits, in a variety of different ways, in a variety of different places and you are sure to catch one, if not all varieties of bream.
This Green sunfish here was caught with a piece of worm the size of a pinky nail.
You will begin by scaling your fish! I like to place my thumb in the fishes mouth and start at the tail end of the fish.
To scale a fish you can use anything from a butter knife which I am using here, to a non serrated kitchen knife or even a pressure washer with a nail in the tail.
When doing your strokes, be careful not to prick yourself with the dorsal spines. Dorsal fins are the sharp spines on the top of the bream, closest to the head.
Get your knife started at a slight angle.
Get under the layer of scales, and apply pressure as you scrape toward the head, removing as many scales with each stroke as you can.
You will get better and faster with practice. After much practice I can scale 1 fish in about 30 seconds.
Remove the scales off of both sides of the fish.
After you get this done, take the time to make sure you removed all of the scales from the rest of the fish.
There are scales on the belly, around the fins, and along the back right behind the head. After some time you will be able to tell where the scales are and how to easily remove them.
The Bream fish will now be completely descaled.
I love the look of the whole fish here. It is such a beautiful and timeless way of preparing fish.
Whole fish is the way many of our ancestors cooked their fish. It has minimal waste and no matter if the fish was just caught, or was removed from the freezer, it maintains a fresh caught look.
Begin eviscerating the fish. Evisceration is the process of removing the guts.
Holding the fish upside down, insert your knife blade with the blade facing up, into the opening of the alimentary canal of the fish.
Run your knife up the center of the fish toward the head, slicing and opening up the internal cavity of the fish.
While slicing up the fish, you will run into a set of fins called the pelvic fins. These are the two fins that splay out sideways from the belly. These fins are connected to eachother with a small set of bones.
You will have to give the knife a little extra push to break through this set of bones. But, If you get your knife directly in between the fins and give a little push, they usually break pretty easily.
Remove the viscera from the bream fish. Try not to puncture the sac of roe to keep it uniform and not lose any eggs in the process.
If you catch a female bream during the spring, they will have a sac of eggs in them. This is called poor mans caviar and is a delicacy.
Bream roe is a salty and sweet treat, better eaten raw than cooked for nutritional benefit. But you can prepare them in the same way as the rest of the bream fish which I will show you.
After you have descaled and eviscerated your bream, it is completely ready to continue with the rest of the recipe, but I like to add a special spin to it.
I like to score the fish with a diamond pattern! It looks so beautiful and makes the fish easier, and more pleasant to eat.
Score the fish diagonally, cutting down to the bone leaving about a 1/2 inch to 1 inch gap in between cuts. Score the fish down the entire length going one direction. Then score down the entire length of the fish in the other direction making a diamond pattern down the center of the fish.
You see the diamond pattern on the fish?
This is what you want it to look like! Feel free to play around with how large or small you make the diamond pattern.
Measure out your ingredients. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
These ingredients are perfect because they are easily obtained.
I had the toughest time finding a good overall breading. Either it would not be crunchy at all, or it would just slip off of the fish. The milk, flour, and cornmeal mixture will amaze you for any breading application.
Mix up your dry ingredients until the cornmeal and flour are evenly mixed.
Place your fish in the milk and get all parts of the fish well drenched!
You can really use any milk here. You can use cows milk or even better, you can use buttermilk.
Next, place your fish in the flour and cornmeal mix. Apply some pressure to the fish and mull it around a bit to make sure you get your breading mix in to the slits that you have cut in the fish.
Then flip the fish over and repeat the process. Your entire fish should be well coated in the breading mix.
Your bream is now ready for the pan!
Begin heating up your skillet, and add your oil that you will be frying with.
You can use any oil you please but I much prefer some homemade rendered lard, and a good dollop of coconut oil. Coconut oil adds a delicious tropical kind of taste to it. Think of coconut shrimp and you get the idea.
Heat your oil until it starts smoking very lightly. Then carefully place your fish in the hot oil. Always drop food in oil starting closest to you, and ending farther away from you to avoid splashing hot oil on yourself.
Fry your fish on one side, checking periodically to make sure you don’t burn the breading.
Once you notice the underside becoming a lovely golden brown, its time to flip your fish to cook the other side.
As you can see, this side of the fish is beautifully golden brown.
As I am cooking the second side of the fish, I like to spoon some of the hot oil overtop of the already cooked side. I do this so that it stays extra crispy and stays evenly hot on both sides.
This step is not necessary as the fish will still be crunchy delicious, but you certainly can and you will not regret it. On a side note, its very satisfying to do this. You will see.
Oh buddy! If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!
This recipe will make a vegan want to reconcile!
After your bream is sufficiently brown on both sides, remove it from the oil, and place on a plate with a paper towel on it to absorb any excess oil from the fish.
If excess oil remains on the fish, it can soften the breading and make it less crunchy.
This also helps to avoid your fish being too oily and greasy to eat.
Enjoy your meal! I am about to go hook some bream and make up some breakfast with my 2 oldest boys. I will enjoy mine as well.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning (optional)
- Descale and eviscerate your bream.
- Place bream in milk and then coat in breading.
- Heat up your skillet and cook your fish golden brown on both sides.
- The most important step. Enjoy!
You can multiply this recipe for as many fish as you have for a meal. Adjust the ingredients as you please, but always use 1 part cornmeal to 1 part flour. That is "Golden Brown" ratio.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 29gCholesterol: 325mgSodium: 707mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 36g