Caveman Cuisine: Pan-Fried Pan Fish

These fish are made for frying...literally.


Fresh pan-fish (bluegill, crappie, perch, bass, etc.)
Butter mixed with powdered garlic, onion, black pepper, cayenne and salt
Tallow (I used approximately 4 tbsp to fry 4 medium sized bluegills)
Lemon or lime slices
Optional: Mixed garden salad with avocado, red cabbage, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, etc.

Step 1: Catch some fish
Disclaimer: Follow all local, state and federal regulations. Ensure that you are fishing in clean, unpolluted water and watch out for man-eating crocodilians.

Pan-fish, such as the bluegill pictured below, are found in all 50 states. They like grubs, worms, or pretty much anything else. Bottom line, they don't try too hard to avoid getting caught.

Step 2: Clean your fish
Note: A scaling board is recommended as it makes the slippery task of holding a slimy fish much easier.

With a robust knife, cut off the dorsal (top), anal (bottom), and pectoral (side) fins.  Insert the knife into the anal pore (technically, the fish's "hoo-ha") and, moving away from your own body, slit the belly.  Scrape out the innards with the knife and pull whatever is left out with your fingers.

With the fish firmly attached to the scaling board, use a scaling knife (or the edge of your regular knife) to scrape off the scales.  When you are all done, wash off your catch and put in in the fridge in a plastic bag or bowl.  If you aren't going to cook your fish right away, put it in the freezer in a vacuum sealed plastic bag.

Step 3: Butter up the fishy
Rub the fish liberally with seasoned butter.  While you melt your tallow in a large frying pan.

Step 4: Off the plate and into the frying pan
When your tallow is hot (a drop of water should violently sputter) fry one to two fish at a time (don't overcrowd the pan) allowing them to cook approximately 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Step 5: Dig in!
Plate your fish over a bed of mixed greens and dress with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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