Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods

Horseradish-Encrusted Whitefish Recipe

horseradish encrusted whitefish plated


I once asked the chef at a very exquisite fine-dining restaurant if he would share with me his recipe for Horseradish-Encrusted Whitefish. It was an awesome dish, but a recipe that I had assumed would be quite difficult to replicate. Surprisingly, it was not!

(This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. You can read our Affiliate Disclosure here.)

The only “catch” is that – like any great chef – he did not share the exact amounts of the ingredients. But after numerous attempts, I found that with only a tiny bit of experimentation, it was fairly easy to reproduce the horseradish topping and create an incredibly great-tasting meal with a minimum of effort. The crust works well on a variety of white-fleshed fish, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find one that best suits your taste!

Note: Fresh horseradish is not always easy to find, so I usually use the prepared version. I also use prepared mayo (like Hellmann’s), since it saves me a lot of time in preparation.


  • Filet of Lake Superior whitefish (although I have made the dish with walleye, cod, red snapper and halibut, too)
  • Grated fresh horseradish (the prepared version works quite well, too)
  • Garlic (Fresh garlic, finely chopped is best; garlic powder will also work
  • Homemade mayonnaise (Prepared mayo works just as well)
  • Plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • White wine (I often use dry vermouth)
  • Salt & Pepper (I like to use white pepper with fish, as it’s milder)

Horseradish Encrusted Whitefish Instructions

Mix the horseradish and mayonnaise to a paste (I use an approximate 50-50 ratio). Add the spices and a bit of white wine. Chill to thicken. Spread the mix on top (rib cage side down) of fillet that is resting on a thin layer of breadcrumbs. Then, add a generous portion of breadcrumbs on top of the horseradish mixture. Note: In this instance, I used red snapper instead of whitefish.

spread mayo mixture

Start the fish in a preheated, very hot and lightly oiled pan (heavy duty aluminum works best, or a cast-iron skillet). Cook only about a minute or so on the cook-top with skin side down. (And, as always, I remove the skin from all my fillets prior to cooking)

Transfer pan to a hot (425 degrees) oven (no need to turn the fish over) for about eight to ten minutes, depending on fillet thickness, to finish. The breadcrumbs will have formed a nice and lightly browned crust. Be very careful not to overcook!

browned fish

A bit of fresh lemon juice may be squeezed over the top of the finished fish, but it is not necessary, as the horseradish adds the flavor. You can experiment to get the right amount of horseradish to suit your taste buds, but that’s all there is to making a great meal in a fairly short amount of time. Enjoy!


Share this Article

Related Articles

Search On the Lake
Just Added
R. Karl Recommends
R. Karl with huge northern pike

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