The Happy Camper: Fresh Fish Recipes

Kevin Callan shares some of his best fresh fish recipes, for great meals in the outdoors.

Credit: Kevin Callan

There is one thing I’ve definitely learned on extended trips.

Dehydrated meals will eventually rot your gut. It’s true you can prepare lightweight and nutritious meals while out for 10 or 20 days. But if you don’t push something fresh through your digestive system every few days, you’ll regret it. That’s why I pack a red cabbage, fresh onions, a bulb of garlic, lemons, limes and a carrot or two. I also stop to catch fish for dinner. Here are a few field-tested recipes I’ve come to depend on.

Baked Trout Amandine


4 small brook trout

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

1 lemon

½ tsp pepper

1 tbs dried lemon thyme

1 tbs dried sage


In a small pot, combine breadcrumbs, almonds, lemon thyme, sage and pepper. Mix well. Sprinkle contents of pot over the skin-side of a gutted trout. Roll trout in tin foil with slices lemon and bake in the coals of a campfire for 15 minutes.

Santa Fe Fish Cakes 


1 lb walleye or pike

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups dried potatoes flakes

2 tbs cilantro

1 tsp dehydrated jalapeno pepper

½ tsp dried onion

½ cup cornmeal

1 egg white or ½ cup powdered egg

1 cup dehydrated salsa

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

(*For best results, use an Outback Oven)


In a small pot, combine reconstituted potatoes, fish pieces, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, salt and pepper. Divide contents into small bundles and shape them into round cakes. Dredge in flour. Dip them egg white (or reconstituted powdered egg). Dredge them in cornmeal. Bake in a deep-dish frying pan or Outback Oven for 20 minutes. Reconstitute salsa in 1/4-cup boiling water and serve on top of fish cakes. 

Fish Fajitas


4 walleye, bass or pike fillets

½ dozen tortillas

1 medium to large white onion

Pinch of chili powder

Pinch of paprika

1 cup butter, margarine or cooking oil (it seems like a lot, but you want it to be deep-fried)

½ cup shredded white cheese

1 cup dehydrated salsa sauce

1 clove garlic


Reconstitute salsa in ½-cup boiling water. Place the frying pan over moderate heat and add butter, margarine or cooking oil. Add chopped white onion and fish fillets to pan. Add chili powder, paprika and reconstituted salsa on top of the fish and flip to cook other side; fish is done when flesh begins falling or flaking apart. Serve in a tortilla with cheese sprinkled on top and possibly extra salsa added.

Roast Lake Trout


1 medium-size lake trout — gutted, not filleted

1 small walleye fillet (or walleye cheeks if you have them)

2 fresh lemons

1 medium white onion

A few good pinches lemon pepper spice

1 McIntosh apple, sliced into chunks

1 cup butter (it seems like a lot, but you want it to be deep-fried)


Gut and head the lake trout and lay it on top a square of tinfoil. Fill the cavity of the lake trout with the cut-up lemon, apple, onion, butter and walleye (the apples help keep the meat moist while baking). Sprinkle on lemon pepper, wrap the fish up in tin foil and place it in hot coals for 20 to 30 minutes, turning it over halfway through. Remove from fire, open tin foil and peel or flake off meat (skin will stick to foil).