Field & Stream Online Editors

Ice fishing shanties tend to fill up with two things: fish and beer. (Though sometimes, it’s true, one outweighs the other.) Here’s a way to funnel those two classic ingredients of shanty life into one satisfying and hops-scented meal this winter-strips of walleye fried in beer batter and served with a beer-based dipping sauce. Any firm-fleshed, coldwater fish, such as walleye and pike, will work well here.

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1/4 cup onion, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer plus 1/2 cup beer

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 pound walleye fillets, cut into finger-size segments

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Oil for frying

Heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes. Saut¿¿ until the onion is translucent and soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the dry mustard, the paprika, the vinegar, chicken stock, 12 ounces of beer, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until reduced by two-thirds. Add the sugar and cook for 1 more minute. Using a fork or whisk, mix the cornstarch with a teaspoon of cold water; add it to the sauce and stir until thickened. Set aside.

In a fryer or deep pan, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, salt and pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of mustard and 1/2 cup of beer until you have a pancake-like batter. Dip the fish in the batter and fry, in batches, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain it on paper towels and serve immediately, using the sauce for dipping.