Tony’s Mustard-Fried Panfish

The first fish that I ever caught was a bream; incidentally, that’s also the first fish my kids ever caught. When August arrives, the fishing gets tough — and the tough go bream fishing. It can fill a hot August day with excitement, anticipation and dinner.

One would think that the dinner part is my favorite. In this case, my favorite part of a bream fishing day is the anticipation. Waiting for that cork to dance and dip below the water’s surface, never knowing where a big prize might be. While writing this, the excitement has me already planning my next trip. Enough of that. We all know what’s next: Dinner! And nothing is better than fried panfish fillets. I hope you plan a trip soon with a kid and get to enjoy the pleasure it will undoubtedly bring them and you. This recipe was derived from my boss’ recipe for speckled trout. Thanks, Tony.


  • 8 panfish fillets (bream, crappie or similar)
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼  tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup prepared mustard


In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, paprika, pepper and garlic powder.

Preheat oil in frying pan or deep-fat fryer to 370 degrees.

Spread mustard over both sides of each fillet, then coat with the dry mixture. Place them gently into the preheated oil.

Do not overstack them in the oil. Maintain separation between pieces to ensure even cooking.

Fry fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until fish appears golden brown and flakes easily with a fork.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with coleslaw and fresh tartar sauce, enjoy. Serves 4-5.

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