Fried Whole Crappie with Parmesan Peanut Crust

Save some meat by frying small crappie whole and serving 'fish & chips' style

By: Scott Leysath, “The Sporting Chef”

Fried Whole Crappie with Parmesan Peanut Crust

(Photo courtesy of “The Sporting Chef”)


What else to do with small crappie other than frying and serving “fish & chips” style? Exactly. Pair with your favorite beer and have yourself a very merry fish fry. If you don’t have peanuts, use almonds or another nut in the house (just not your spouse).


  • 7-10 crappie, cleaned and dressed with heads removed
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Spicy tartar sauce
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (or better yet… Wickle’s Hoagie Relish)
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce



  1. In a shallow bowl mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, ground peanuts, salt, and pepper. Coat each fish with flour, then dip in buttermilk, then coat evenly with crumb mixture.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 – 2 inches of oil over medium high heat. Add fish and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.