Mushroom Risotto with Pan Seared Pickerel

Part indulgence, part comfort food, risotto is a favourite of many for its rich umami taste and approachable flavour profile. Adding pickerel ups the protein factor and the gentle taste is right at home in this beloved family dish.


  • 1.5 kg (3 lbs) pickerel fillets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups (1400 ml) mushroom broth
  • 6 tbsp (84 g) butter, divided
  • ¼ cup (45 g) shallot, chopped
  • 1 pc (5 g) garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp (3 g) fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup (200 g) Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
  • 1¾ to 2 cups (200 g) mixed mushrooms (cremini, shitake, oyster, king oyster, enoki)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp (4 g) parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) shredded parmesan, divided


  1. Cut pickerel into 4 portions, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat broth on low in medium saucepan and keep at a simmer.
  3. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and thyme and sauté until translucent; 2–3 minutes. Add in rice and stir to coat, letting the rice toast slightly for 1 minute. Add wine and stir into rice; cook until half the liquid evaporates.
  4. Add 1 ladle (about ½ cup) of hot broth, stirring and shaking pan to evaporate liquid. Continue to add 1 ladle of hot broth at a time, allowing the liquid to mostly evaporate/absorb between each addition and frequently stirring and shaking the pan. Continue for about 23–26 minutes or until rice is tender but not mushy. Set aside.
  5. In another frying pan, heat 2 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms, searing in batches until they’re golden. Remove from pan, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
  6. Heat another 2 tbsp of butter in pan. Sear pickerel on each side for about 3 minutes, creating a golden crust.
  7. Heat risotto, adding in another ladle of broth if needed. Mix in ½ cup parmesan cheese and mushrooms.
  8. Serve risotto topped with pickerel and garnish with remaining parmesan and chopped parsley.
Species Icons White Pickerel

Health Benefits of Pickerel

  • Bone & Teeth Health: Pickerel is naturally a good source of vitamin D and phosphorous, which have a factor in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth.
  • Brain & Antioxidant Defense: As an excellent source of selenium and a source of omega-3s, pickerel may support the normal physical development of the brain, eyes and nerves primarily in children under two and provide potent antioxidant protection against oxidative stress.
  • Energy & Growth: As an excellent source of thiamine and Vitamin B12, and a good source of riboflavin and niacin, pickerel may promote energy metabolism and aid normal growth and development while also supporting red blood cell formation.