Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods


Fish Dip Recipe with Walleye Cheeks

fish dip with walleye cheeks appetizer

Here’s an example of a very quick and simple-to-make fish dip that will elicit a lot of oohs and ahhs! The main ingredient – walleye “cheeks” – is one that is normally tossed out after the fillets are removed from the fish. If you are unsure as to what the cheeks are, view my step-by-step instructions on filleting a walleye. These morsels are considered to be the “fillet mignon” of the walleye and are also sometimes referred to as “freshwater scallops.”

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  • Cheeks from about 10-12 walleyes (average walleye size of 15″)
  • 4-6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 T. sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), chopped or mashed
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 T. pine nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 t. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • dash of Worcestershire
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • cumin, chili powder, seasoned salt, pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Simmer the cheeks in a small amount of water for 3-4 minutes, until tender; drain. Do not overcook!

To the softened cream cheese, add the sun-dried tomatoes, Tabasco, liquid smoke, garlic, and spices. Coarsely chop the cheek pieces and add to the cheese mixture. Add the cilantro, chill for an hour or so, and serve with your favorite brand of snack cracker or tortilla chip. Garnish with red bell pepper, cilantro and green onion.

If you want a spicier dip, add a tiny amount of hot pepper flakes or cayenne. You will find that this dip will go as well with Sparkling Wine as with your favorite beer. Enjoy!

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R. Karl

Angler, Author & Epicure

Fishing since the age of eight.  Seriously writing since the age of 16. Chef and foodie from the age of 22 years… and counting. So much to learn and so little time. I have enjoyed every minute of it all.  Whether on the water (where I like it best), in the kitchen, or at the keyboard, churning out content, I feel like I have found my place.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that some of what I love to do will rub off on you. I hope to see you On the Lake!

R. Karl