Panko Bass. Largemouth Bass, that is.

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Cooking and Grilling, Panko Bass

Go fishing in freshwater ponds and lakes pretty well anywhere with some warm weather and you’ll catch Largemouth Bass. Head into any small town bar in the south and chances are, you’ll see a Largemouth mounted on the wall. They’re plentiful, and they just don’t get the respect they deserve.


Given my experience this past week, these fish are excellent to eat.


Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Cooking, Fish, Largemouth Bass


Given that I grew up in the south where generally everything we ate was fried, I never had the chance to really enjoy the texture and flakiness of largemouth bass. But when my son brought in four large largemouth bass, I had the opportunity to try a new technique, and it worked.


Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Cooking and Grilling, Panko Bass


So don’t take this fish lightly. It’s delicious. Here’s what I did.


1.  After fileting the bass, brine the meat overnight in a little salt water.

2.  The next morning, rinse well and dry the filets. Wrap them in freezer or parchment paper until you’re ready to cook them (today!)

3.  USE PANKO!! It’s revolutionized my bass experience!


Panko Bass:

2 lbs bass fillets
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspooon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
garlic powder to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Toast the panko. Add olive oil to a skillet, then add the bread crumbs. Stirring well,  brown on medium-high until golden brown, and transfer to a plate.
  3. Mix flour, salt & pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne in a bowl.
  4. Beat egg together with lemon juice in a separate bowl.
  5. Dip the fish in flour mixture (not thick or it gets pasty), then egg & lemon juice, and finally in breadcrumbs (I didn’t hold back on these), patting to coat well.
  6. Place coated fillets in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until temp reaches 145.
  7. Apologize for ever having laughed at the idea of considering Largemouth bass a gourmet dish.


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