Snakehead Fry Recipe

If you've ever eaten fried snakehead fish, you'll agree it's delicious. The firm, white, flaky meat is perfect to enjoy for a fish fry. We love to catch them and we love to eat them, so today we are going to share our favorite snakehead fry recipe.

It is a very easy recipe and your family and friends will love it!

Snakehead Fry Ingredients

Let's dive in straight! Here are all the necessary ingredients you need in your pot to prepare a delicious snakehead fry fish meal:

  • 1 fresh caught snakehead fish fillet
  • Enough cooking vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon of ground onion
  • 1/3 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt is needed to add taste
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs

How To Clean and Cut Your Snakehead Fish

Fresh Snakehead fish

Filleting a snakehead fish is the same as filleting any other fish. You will use a sharp filet knife and make an incision just behind the gill. Once you hit the backbone, turn the blade of your knife toward the tail and use the blade to follow the backbone all the way to the tail.

Skinning the Snakehead Fish

You should take care to remove not only the skin, but the layer of fat that is between the skin and the flesh. This will help remove any contaminants that the snakehead was exposed to in its environment, such as PCBs.

Simply slide your knife under the skin and then, while holding the skin, move your knife back and forth, while pulling the skin.

The knife will slide effortlessly along the skin, separating it from the fillet.

Here's a great video showing how to fillet and skin a snakehead fish.

Steps To Cook Your Fry Snakehead Fish

  1. Start by heating the vegetable oil or canola oil in a large heavy bottom pan. you should have enough oil in the pan so that you can put the filets in and they will be suspended in the oil, not touching the bottom of the pan.
  2. Let the oil heat in the pan over medium heat to a temperature of 375-400 degrees.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat your 2 eggs and stir. 
  4. Using a different bowl, mix the all purpose flour with the other spices.
  5. Now dip your snakehead fillets into the eggs and drip off the excess.
  6. Next dredge the snakehead fillets into the flour and spices mixture.
  7. Gently drop the snakehead fillets into the hot oil to fry for 5 minutes. Only add a few fillets at a time and do not crowd the pan.
  8. Watch the fillets closely and after your snakehead turns golden brown, remove them from the pan.
  9. Place your snakehead on a clean paper towel and allow them to drain for a few minutes.
  10. Your snakehead is ready. Enjoy with tartar sauce!
Pan fried snakehead fillets

What Temperature Is Ideal for Frying Snakehead

The most important thing about frying any fish is getting the temperature of the oil right.

The oil should be heated to 375 degrees fahrenheit, and you fry the fish only a few pieces at a time, so that there is plenty of room in the pan.

This way, the temperature will remain between 350 and 375 degrees. If you crown the pan and the oil drops below 350 degrees, the fill will begin to absorb the oil and you will end up with a greasy, soggy mess.

Pan-fried snakehead fillet

Snakehead Cooking Tools

You don't really need any special tools for a snakehead fry, just a heavy bottomed pan, a splatter screen to keep the hot oil from making a mess in your kitchen and a good pair of tongs for dropping the filets into the pan, flipping the filets, and then removing them to paper towels to drain.

Where To Catch Your Snakehead

There are two popularly known snakehead species: bullseye and the northern snakehead species. The northern snakehead species can be found in fishable populations in Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Arkansas.

The bullseye snakehead species are more commonly found in South Florida canals and drainage ditches. 

Both species spawn frequently and the population grows rapidly. Snakeheads are very territoriaol and will guard their eggs very closely. The fry will hatch in 2 - 4 days and then both the male and female snakehead will guard the fry against all invaders.

The snakehead fry look like little orange fry balls, because they are still attached to their orange embryonic sac, which they will feed on until they are big enough to feed on their own.

You can easily identify snakehead fish by looking at the body's shape, toothed jaws, dorsal fins, and anal fins. Bullseye snakeheads usually have red eyes, with their young ones having pale grey to gold-tinted colour. Old snakeheads typically have dark brown eyes. 

You can catch snakehead on a variety of lures and live bait, although many people choose to harvest snakeheads by bowfishing.

Wrapping Up

Many people ask; can you eat snakehead fish, and the answer is yes!

Yes, the snakehead fish is large, aggressive and ugly, but they are a whole lot of fun to catch and they make an incredible meal when they are cleaned and prepared correctly.

Our favorite way to enjoy them is to have family and friends over for a good old fashioned snakehead fry.

Photo of author

Clarence(Fish) Fishburne

Fish grew up in the south fishing for catfish, bream, bass and anything else he could get to bite his bait or lure. After college he moved to Maryland and now fishes the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and other waters in the surrounding area. He frequently travels to other parts of the country in search of his favorite gamefish, the elusive catfish.

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