How to Cook Pike

Updated on March 12, 2016
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

A Freshly Caught, Two and a Half Pound Pike
A Freshly Caught, Two and a Half Pound Pike

Why is Pike not more Popular?

In certain countries in the world, the UK very much among them, pike is not considered to be a fish worth cooking and eating. Although centuries ago pike was widely eaten in the UK, there seems to be a perception in modern times that the fish either has too many bones to be cleaned and eaten or that it is in some way actually inedible. This is a shame as pike can actually be a very enjoyable fish to eat, provided it is cooked in an appropriate fashion. This page looks at just one of the many ways it is possible to cook a small pike.

Sliced Lemon and Onion Serves as a Bed for the Pike
Sliced Lemon and Onion Serves as a Bed for the Pike
Pike Set Atop the Lemon and Onion
Pike Set Atop the Lemon and Onion

Preparing to Roast the Pike

In this instance, I am going to roast the pike in the oven, on a bed of lemon and onion. I will also coat it with a sauce based on the French meuniere sauce, consisting of the normal butter, parsley and lemon juice, with a little bit of garlic added for some extra flavour.

First of all, the pike should be cleaned by making an insertion from the anal fin, right up to the head, and removing and discarding the pike's innards. The fish should then be thoroughly rinsed under cold running water and four diagonal cuts made through the skin on what will be its uppermost flank in the baking tray, to allow the sauce to penetrate.

A large, peeled white onion and a lemon should then be sliced and laid alternately as shown on a large baking tray to form a bed for the pike. The pike can then carefully be laid on top.

At this stage, the oven should be put on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas mark 5, while you prepare the ingredients for the sauce and cook it.

Lemon and Parsley Butter Sauce Poured over Pike
Lemon and Parsley Butter Sauce Poured over Pike

Preparing the Sauce for the Pike

The sauce which will be poured over the pike prior to putting it in to the oven is a very simple creation. Firstly, two ounces of butter should be melted and lightly browned in a saucepan. The juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley and one grated garlic clove should then be added and heated through. The sauce should then be poured evenly over the pike.

A large sheet of aluminium foil should then be used to cover the baking tray and the tray put in to the oven for around twenty-five to thirty minutes for a pike this size. To determine if the pike is ready, the foil should very carefully be peeled back (being aware of escaping steam) and a skewer inserted in to the thickest part of the body. If very little resistance is met, the fish is cooked.

Pike Removed from Oven
Pike Removed from Oven

Fish and Seafood Recipes from Scotland

21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series)
21 Bespoke Scottish Fish and Seafood Recipes (21 Bespoke Recipes Series)

Fish and seafood of a great many types are a huge part of the Scottish food culture. This innovative e-book - published September 2015 - looks at many different types of fish and seafood and explores different ways of cooking them to tasty perfection. Recipes include Salmon and Quails Eggs Salad, Quick and Easy Mini Rollmops, Whiting Fish and Tomato Crumble and 18 more! Why not download your copy today?

 

Serving Suggestion for Roast Pike

Fillet of Roast Pike with Meuniere Sauce, Served with Boiled New Potatoes and Salad
Fillet of Roast Pike with Meuniere Sauce, Served with Boiled New Potatoes and Salad

Have you eaten or would you eat pike?

See results
3.4 stars from 56 ratings of this Pike Recipe!

Questions & Answers

    What do you think? Will you be cooking pike any time soon?

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      • profile image

        lewisma9 

        8 months ago

        Here in the US, what you call "coarse fish" we call "panfish". These include crappies, sunfish, perch and a few others that "fit in a pan" - these account for most of the fish caught in the US, by far. Pike doesn't fit that category, so it is considered a gamefish, along with bass, trout, muskie, walleye etc.

        Thank you so much for this recipe! I will certainly try it. It sounds like it would be good for "panfish" and others as well!

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        12 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Thank you very much for letting me know you enjoyed the idea, Kathy. I appreciate it and am very glad you also enjoy baked pike! No, I'm not a mind reader but I'm glad to connect with someone who also appreciates good eating fish. I hope you get the chance to fish for and enjoy pike again in future :)

      • profile image

        Kathy McQuillen 

        12 months ago

        I love baked pike and this is the ONLY roasting or baking recipe out there, mine is in my head but you nailed it! Are you a mind reader!? Just kidding, I a pleasantly surprised and wish I could still fish.

        No bone-appetit!

        From Michigan,

        Kathy Mac

      • profile image

        Clark Kent 

        13 months ago

        I might try it, it is one of the few fish I have never eaten tried all the salt water variety.

      • profile image

        karen 

        2 years ago

        In the United States pike is popular and served in many restrauntes.

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, Cathal. Yes, that is always advisable.

      • profile image

        Cathal 

        5 years ago

        Hi - Thank you for this recipe, it looks really great!

        Just wondering if you need to remove the scales before roasting?

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, innerspin. Yes, pike has a pretty poor reputation. It would never be my dinner of choice but it really can be delicious if cooked sensibly and properly. I'm hoping to barbecue one this summer so will add to the page if I do.

        Yep - many people have the same opinion as your husband. Maybe you can use this idea secretly and surprise him... ;) If so, let me know how it turned out...! :)

        Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      • innerspin profile image

        Kim Kennedy 

        5 years ago from uk

        This does sound a good recipe. We usually put pike back in the water, as with all coarse fish. If one was killed by accident, like your chappie, good to know how to make use of it.

        My husband heard a recipe for pike - nail it to a plank, smoke it over a low fire, then remove the pike and eat the plank! I think your cooking suggestion beats that hands down.

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, GG

        Thanks for your visit and the comment.

        What I would do with leftover pike like this is break it in to large flakes and simply toss it gently in a Mediterranean style salad. Mix such as some rocket or roughly chopped lettuce leaves with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, pitted black olives and sliced red onion. Mix the pike through it and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with fresh crusty bread. This is delicious and also works well with mackerel or herring.

      • profile image

        GG 

        7 years ago

        We baked a 26 inch pike the other night and still have half of him in the fridge im wondering if you know a good way to use the leftovers?

        We also have a 34 inch pike in the freezer im gonna use one of your recipes to bake him!

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        You're welcome, Tony. If you get to try it, be sure to let me know what you think! :)

      • tonymead60 profile image

        Tony Mead 

        7 years ago from Yorkshire

        thanks for the help Gordon

      • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

        Gordon Hamilton 

        7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

        Hi, Tony

        I'm not aware of pike having seasons. I only do sea fishing, however, so am not really up on coarse fishing regulations.

        I got this particular pike from a friend who caught it by accident when trout fishing. It had swallowed the hook, so he had to kill it. He called me and asked if I could use it.

        Your best bet for getting them is from fishermen in your area. If you don't know any, pop in to a local tackle shop and ask if they can help you out, maybe with contact details for a local fishing club.

        I would suggest only, however, that for your first taste in particular, you cook and eat only fairly small pike, no more than about five pounds in weight. Some of the bigger ones can be a bit tough.

        Hope you enjoy it. It's delicious, I promise!

        Gordon

      • tonymead60 profile image

        Tony Mead 

        7 years ago from Yorkshire

        Hi Gordon

        I must say that I never come across pike for sale anywhere. Your pictures of the dish look appetising, I'll maybe see if I can get some. Does it have seasons like other course fish?

        Tony

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