Zander fillet – minimum fat content, maximum taste
Whether steamed, grilled or fried, zander is easy to prepare and its flavourful meat can be combined with lots of different sides.
The zander fish belongs to the perch family and is mostly found in European and North American rivers and lakes. They can also be found in the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. It has a long body measuring on average between 40 and 60cm and weighing approximately 1.5kg. Wild zander is usually caught in May and June or from September to December. The freshwater fish is increasingly bred in aquaculture environments. It is therefore available both whole and as a fillet, all year round – fresh and frozen.
90 kcal per 100 g
|0g carbohydrates, 0.7g fat, 19g protein per 100g|
|refrigerate between 0-2°C or freeze at -18°C|
|1 day (fridge), 5 months (freezer)|
It is not only the flavour that makes zander a popular fish, but also its extremely low fat content – almost 1 gram per 100 grams of fish. It does however contain a lot of protein that satiates and plays a decisive role in the formation of muscles. The fish also contains a large amount of vitamin B1 and vitamin B2, both of which are responsible for a functioning nerve system and a normal metabolism.
The white meat of zander is quite firm with very few bones which are easily removed using the so-called V-cut method. The bones of a zander fillet are usually located along the middle of the piece of fish between the two red lines that pass through the fillet. The size of the string of bones can be felt with your fingers. From the top of the fish, cut from right to left downwards to the centre. Be careful not to cut the fillet the whole way through if possible – the bones are located only in the upper, wider part of the fillet.
There are many different ways to cook a zander fillet but the washed, dab-dried, and seasoned fish is particularly tasty when fried in vegetable oil. For best results, use a piece of fish with the skin still on, as it will remain juicy despite being cooked at a high temperature. Fry it with the skin side facing down on a medium heat for 5 minutes, then finish off on the other side for 3 minutes. Zander is also great grilled or, for a healthier option, steamed.
Thanks to its subtle taste, there are many excellent side dishes that suit zander quite well. In spring the white fish can be combined with white or green asparagus, potatoes and Hollandaise sauce. Equally tasty, is zander with a light white wine sauce and tagliatelle, or alongside a salad with avocado, feta and tomato, or even in Asian dishes with a sweet and sour curry flavour.
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