Delicious Walleye Cheeks Recipe to Wow Your Taste Buds


Are you looking for a mouthwatering recipe that will impress your family and friends? Look no further! In this article, we will share with you a delectable walleye cheeks recipe that will leave everyone craving for more. Whether you are a seasoned cook or someone who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to tickle your taste buds and satisfy your hunger. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to cooking the perfect walleye cheek dish.

What are Walleye Cheeks?

Walleye cheeks, also known as “poor man’s scallops,” are succulent morsels of meat extracted from the cheeks of walleye fish. These fish are popular in North America and are known for their delicate flavor and firm texture. Walleye cheeks boast a mild taste that is often compared to scallops but with a unique twist. This delicacy is an underrated part of the fish that is often discarded, but once you try them, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been cooking with them sooner!

Why Choose Walleye Cheeks?

Not only are walleye cheeks delicious, but they are also a sustainable and cost-effective option. By utilizing this often neglected part of the fish, you not only reduce waste but also get to enjoy a delightful seafood dish without breaking the bank. So, let’s get started and find out how to cook these delectable morsels to perfection.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we get to the cooking process, let’s gather the necessary ingredients:

  • 1 pound of walleye cheeks
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

The Cooking Process

Step 1: Preparing the Cheeks

Start by rinsing the walleye cheeks under cold water to remove any potential impurities. Pat them dry with a paper towel and set them aside.

Step 2: Creating the Coating

In a shallow dish, combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if desired). Mix well to ensure all the spices are evenly distributed.

Step 3: Coating the Cheeks

Dip each walleye cheek into the beaten eggs, ensuring it’s fully coated. Then, roll it in the flour mixture, pressing gently to adhere the coating to the cheek. Repeat this process for all the cheeks and set them on a plate.

Step 4: Frying the Cheeks

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the coated walleye cheeks to the skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the cheeks for approximately 2-3 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown.

Step 5: Serving and Enjoying

Once the cheeks are cooked to perfection, transfer them to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon wedges over the golden-brown cheeks to add a burst of freshness. Serve the walleye cheeks hot and enjoy!

Pro Tips for the Perfect Walleye Cheeks

You’ve now learned the basic recipe, but let’s take it up a notch with some pro tips:

  • For an extra kick of flavor, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
  • Experiment with different spices and herbs to create your own unique blend. Thyme, oregano, or smoked paprika could add a delightful twist.
  • Consider marinating the walleye cheeks in buttermilk for an hour before coating them. This will help tenderize the meat and add moisture.
  • To achieve a lighter and healthier version, bake the coated cheeks in the oven at 375°F for about 12-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I use other fish cheeks instead of walleye?
  2. While walleye cheeks are highly recommended for their delicate flavor, you can use cheeks from other fish such as pike or perch as a substitute.

  3. Where can I buy walleye cheeks?
  4. Walleye cheeks can typically be found at fish markets, seafood specialty stores, or ordered online from reputable suppliers.

  5. Can I freeze walleye cheeks?
  6. Absolutely! If you have leftovers or want to stock up, place the cooked cheeks in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months.


Walleye cheeks are an incredible culinary delight that offers a delightful seafood experience you won’t soon forget. With their delicate flavor and succulent texture, these morsels will surely impress your guests and leave them wanting more. Remember to get creative with your spices and experiment with different cooking methods to make this dish truly your own. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some walleye cheeks and start cooking!

Key Takeaways

  • Walleye cheeks are a delicious and sustainable option that often goes unnoticed.
  • By using walleye cheeks instead of scallops, you can enjoy a cost-effective and equally tasty seafood dish.
  • Follow the recipe and cooking steps carefully to achieve perfectly cooked walleye cheeks.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to add your own twist to the dish.
  • Consider freezing the cooked cheeks for later enjoyment.


Related Post