The Lost Italian: Walleye cakes for open fishing

Tony Nasello shows us a fun and easy way to make and eat all the walleye you catch, or maybe still have stored from last summer! Paired with the roasted red pepper aioli shown last week, it’s the perfect summer treat.

Walleye Cakes

Makes 4 to 6 servings (approximately 10 entrée-sized cakes or 15 to 16 appetizers/hors d’oeuvres)


-1 pound walleye fillets
-1/4 cup real mayonnaise (if using a fresh -Basic Aioli, omit the garlic powder below)
-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-3 dashes Tabasco
-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
-1 whole egg
-1/3 cup diced red pepper
-1/3 cup diced red onion
-Juice of half a lemon
-1 teaspoon granulated garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
-1/2 to 1 cup Japanese-style (panko) breadcrumbs
-Vegetable oil for frying


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake the walleye fillets whole in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using. When cool, use your hands to break the walleye up into small 1/2 inch-pieces, or use a knife to rough chop.

Use a whisk to mix all ingredients together except the walleye and breadcrumbs. Add the walleye and a half cup of breadcrumbs. Use a rubber spatula to lightly toss all ingredients until well combined.

Test the mixture by squeezing some in your hand: if it crumbles, the mixture is too dry; add more mayonnaise or aioli, one teaspoon at a time. If liquid leaks out, it is too moist; add more breadcrumbs. The mixture is ready when it can hold the form of a cake.

Form the mixture into desired-sized cakes. Heat 3/4 cup of oil in a 10-inch pan over medium-high heat. Test for readiness by tossing in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle, the oil is ready.

Place the walleye cakes in the pan, being careful to leave a little space between each cake. Sauté golden brown, about two to three minutes each side. Serve immediately with Tuscan Bean Salad and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli.