This fish belongs to the valuable commercial species. Zander hunting sometimes turns into a sporting event. Just like the sturgeon, pike perch was very popular in royal circles. But the Chinese for a long time could not understand the taste and value of this fish, and after catching it, they threw this fish out of their nets back into the reservoir.
The same thing happened with caviar, which is called galagan. It was thrown away or given as feed to poultry and pigs. And only in 1847, pike perch caviar was recognized as a delicacy.
This spieces is a predatory fish, belongs to the class of Ray-finned fish, the order Perch-like, the Perch family. Amateur anglers call pike-perch a stupid fish, although it is difficult to agree with this because pike-perch lives only in clean water bodies, with a sufficiently high percentage of oxygen that pike-perch needs for its life.
In appearance, the pike perch is of decent size, some individuals grow more than one meter long, while the pike perch’s weight can be 20 kg, but on average, the fish’s weight varies from 10 to 15 kg.
The scales of the fish completely cover the long body of the fish; on the back there is a high sharp fin and an elongated flat head.
The color of the pike perch is usually gray-green, the belly is white-gray. On the central part of the sides, brown spots are barely visible, which form 8-10 stripes. Since this fish is a predator, this species’ distinctive feature is its rather large canine-like teeth on the upper and lower jaws.
Also, by the teeth you can distinguish the female from the male. Females have smaller teeth than males.
There are not so many fish species in nature; there are about five: common, light-feather, sandy, sea pike perch, and bersh (Volga pike perch). The difference between these species from each other is insignificant and is expressed in the size and color of the scales.
Pike perch habitat
You can meet pike perch in the rivers and lakes of Eastern Europe and Asia, in the Baltic, Black, and Azov seas’ basins. Sometimes, in search of clean water, fish can migrate.
Pike perch meat composition
- Water – 79.2 g
- Carbohydrates – 0 g
- Dietary fiber – 0 g
- Fat – 1.1 g
- Proteins – 18.4 g
- Alcohol ~
- Cholesterol – 60 mg
- Ash – 1.3
Pike perch benefits
Pike perch meat well strengthens the cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems. Thanks to it, the formation of red blood cells occurs, cholesterol levels are reduced, blood clots are destroyed, and blockage of blood vessels is prevented, and the risk of strokes and heart attacks is reduced.
This fish is good for my children, thanks to which their mental and physical development gets benefits. It also contributes to the formation of the reproductive system. Children’s doctors advise giving pike perch meat in small quantities, even to infants.
Harm and contraindications
The advantage of zander is that it is good for almost everyone. There is only one contraindication – individual intolerance, that is, an allergy to this type of fish. In other cases, you should not give up such valuable food. But it is important to understand that pike perch can only bring harm to the body in some situations.
Smoked pike perch is a fish that has not undergone proper heat treatment. That is, it is essentially raw. Pathogenic bacteria can remain in it.
Dried and pickled fish is another danger to the human body since it can contain the smallest larvae of dangerous parasites that can cause serious diseases.
Another danger is stale fish. If the fish already has a rotten smell, albeit a weak one, this indicates that the decomposition process has begun, which means that dangerous toxins are present in the meat.
As you can see, pike perch is a healthy and safe fish. Harm is possible only if it is improperly cooked.
How to choose and store
It is not so difficult to choose a pike perch in the market or in a store and not get on a poor-quality or spoiled product. There are several rules that will help in this matter.
How to choose and store pike perch
Fresh fish selection rules:
- lack of unpleasant odor;
- the skin and scales are dense, without visible damage;
- there is no sticky plaque or mucus on the surface;
- gills of a red or pinkish tint;
- the head of the fish is not dull (it becomes dull when decomposition begins);
- there are no greenish or yellowish spots on the body.
- Fresh pike perch looks almost like a live one. To preserve its properties, retail chains sell it on ice cushions; it can keep fresh for 36 to 48 hours in this state. Immediately after purchase, it is worth peeling the fish or freezing it if you do not plan to use it. You can store fresh fish in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours, during which time you need to clean and cook it. Otherwise, it will deteriorate.
Zander is prized for its white and tender lean meat, which is almost boneless. The fish is characterized by a sweetish, but slightly bland taste.
Sea pike perch is slightly rougher than common, and Volga pike perch is bonier.
Fish meat is nutritious and, at the same time, low in calories. It is perfectly digested and absorbed by the body.
Due to its unique taste, these dishes often refer to as delicacies.
Zander is a versatile fish that is almost impossible to spoil with poor cooking. Dishes from this fish are able to decorate both everyday and festive tables.
Pike perch chefs cook in a variety of ways. It is good when boiled, fried (in a skillet, grill, and on a wire rack), baked (in batter, with vegetables, with cheese), stewed (in egg or tomato sauce), salted, dried, dried. Pike perch baked in foil is delicious and juicy. Fish boiled in brine with mushrooms has an original taste. Smoked pike perch will not leave anyone indifferent.
This Fish is perfect for preparing cutlets, zrazy, rolls, puddings, pies, soups, fish soup, snacks, salads. The famous Astrakhan fish soup is cooked from the heads of pike perch, carp and catfish.
Cabbage rolls and pike perch shashlik are especially good. Fish is perfect for aspic, as it contains gelling agents.
Thanks to its dense and durable skin, pike perch is an ideal object for stuffing. But it’s better to stuff fresh fish, because after freezing the skin loses its strength. Stuffed pike perch is good both as a hot second course and as a cold snack. You can also make aspic from it.
The fish goes well with herbs, wine and mushroom sauce, white wine, beer, and kvass. Fans of spicy dishes will love the fish with Asian sauce. Those who do not like spicy foods will like fish drenched in mild creamy sauce.
Pike perch goes well with garnish of mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, asparagus beans, onions and cheese.
Fish roe is also popular in culunery. It belongs to white caviar. It is good salted and fried, for cutlets, pancakes, pancakes. Salted caviar goes well with butter and green onions.
Pike perch in sour cream in the oven
- Pike perch – 1 kg
- Sour cream – 120 g
- Bulb onions – 2 pcs.
- Salt to taste
- Nutmeg – 1 tsp
- Cheese – 70 g
- Vegetable oil – 2 tablespoons
Step by step recipe
- So, we need the fish itself, sour cream, onions, and cheese. You can take the spices to your taste; I added nutmeg today.
- If your pike perch is small, you can cook it whole.
- We clean the fish, gut, cut off the head and tail, cut off the fins. We cut the pike perch across into pieces of 5-6 cm, then cut out the backbone and ribs. Grate the nutmeg (about half) on a grater.
- Put the pieces of the fish in a convenient container, add salt and add nutmeg.
- Let the fish marinate for a few minutes, and in the meantime, save the onion in vegetable oil.
- Put the onion on a baking sheet or the bottom of the form.
- Put the pike perch fillets skin side up.
- Grease generously with sour cream on top.
- We put a baking sheet or baking dish with this fish in sour cream in an oven preheated to 190 ° C. I recommend not to put it on the upper level. Otherwise, the sour cream may burn. After 20-25 minutes, see if the sour cream is baked.
- It may take more or less time to bake, depending on the nature of your oven. Sprinkle our dish with grated cheese and put it in the oven for another 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Here we have such a wonderful dish.
Enjoy your meal!