Northern Snakehead fish have a firm, white, flaky meat. This makes fried northern snakehead one of the best ways to eat this invasive species! Here is our favorite recipe for fried snakehead fish. We love this snakehead recipe because it tastes great but is also extremely quick to make.
Fried Snakehead Ingredients
We’ll get right to it with all the ingredients you’ll need to fry your freshly caught snakehead.
- Vegetable Oil
- Filet from one freshly caught snakehead
- 1/2 cup of unbleached flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 lemon
Cleaning Your Snakehead
Like any fish, there are a lot of different methods for cleaning your snakehead. It seems like every snakehead angler we know likes to do it their own special way. Here’s how we typically clean our snakehead.
- Rinse off the fish to clean off any accumulated dirt sticking to their extensive amount of mucus.
- Get a sharp, strong fillet knife. THIS one is a good choice for when you are cleaning large snakehead. Having a good quality knife goes a long way in helping you get a clean fillet cut. It’s also safer as you’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife.
- Gut the fish by cutting open the underside of the fish. Clear out all of the guts and hose out the inside to get rid of anything left. At this point I usually like to find the stomach and cut it open so that I can see what the snakehead has been eating. The most common food source I find in snakehead are baby bluegills and other baitfish. Occasionally you will find a crawfish in there as well.
- Make the next cut at the back of the head on the snakehead. Cut straight down until you get to the backbone.
- Use the snakehead head as a handhold and then cut down the backbone of the fish towards the tail. Angling the knife downwards towards the backbone helps prevent you from missing any of the meat.
- When you are a few inches away from the tail stop cutting. Do not remove what you just cut from the fish. Leaving it attached by the tail makes the snakehead easier to grip when you cut back the other way.
- Flip what you just cut over and now cut the other way. Once again, keep the knife angled down (this time towards the scales) as you remove the fillet from the skin.
- This should leave you with a nice clean fillet when you get back to the other end.
- Repeat these steps on the other side of the fish to come out with two solid fillets that are ready to cook!
Steps to Cook Your Snakehead
- Pour your vegetable oil into a large frying pan. There should be enough so that you can fully fry the fish in the oil. Heat the oil on medium-high heat.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl.
- Combine the flour and spices into a separate bowl.
- Dip your snakehead fillets in the eggs and then into the flour/spice mixture.
- Drop them in the oil and fry for 5 minutes on each side until the fish is golden brown.
- Let them cool on top of a paper towel.
When we fry snakehead or other fish we use a handheld screen to protect us from any stray hot oil droplets. I definitely recommend getting one because it makes the whole frying process a much cleaner and safer experience. THIS one is similar to the one that we use. The pan that we actually do the frying in is a large cast iron skillet. Similar to THIS one. You want to make sure you get one that is deep enough for effective frying.
Where We Caught This Snakehead
This particular snakehead featured in this post was caught in Accokeek Creek in Stafford, Virginia. We caught it from a kayak using a topwater buzzbait similar to THIS one. Accokeek creek is an outstanding snakehead fishing area and the semi-recently installed kayak launch at Crow’s Nest makes it much more accessible now. Snakehead fishing at Accokeek is what Aquia Creek was 5 years ago before it became such a popular snakehead fishing area. If you would like to catch your own snakehead, checkout our post on the best lures to use HERE and the best live bait HERE. Another great snakehead recipe is blackened snakehead. You can read about that recipe HERE.