With tighter size limits on speckled trout and redfish it is becoming increasingly hard for a southeastern Carolina angler to fill a cooler for a nice fish fry. Thank goodness we still have the dependable black drum.
Black drum are an underappreciated species of Carolina saltwater fish which feed on the bottom and are mainly caught near shore on shellfish baits like cut shrimp, cut crab, and clam meat. They are not very glamorous like their cousins the speckled trout and the red drum, but they are a hardy, hard-fighting fish that is very good to eat in sizes between about 1 and 4 pounds.
For tons of fishing and seafood cooking tips see my new book Surf and Saltwater Fishing in the Carolinas.
Carolina anglers can catch a lot of black drum in the winter as they stage very strong bites around structure, especially at night. Here are some great recipes for black drum:
Sunset Beach Drum Cakes
- 1 lb black drum fillets
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kikkoman soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon butter
Place black drum fillets in a stove top pan with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, then flake fish. Place flaked fish in a bowl with bread crumbs, egg, relish, and sauces-mix well. Shape fish mixture into patties.
Jeffrey’s Easy Drum for Daughters
- 6 black drum fillets
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- black pepper, Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt to taste
- olive oil
Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Combine flour, cornmeal, and spices in a shallow dish and mix. Dip fillets in milk and then dredge through flour mixture coating fish thoroughly and evenly. Fry fillets in hot olive oil for 4 minutes, turn and fry 3 minutes or until fish is done. Drain on paper towels and serve with Organic Macaroni & Cheese. Serves 3.
Baked Carolina Black Drum
- 2 pounds black drum fillets
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- dash pepper
Place black drum in a lightly buttered shallow baking dish. In a cup combine remaining ingredients. Pour over black drum fillets and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes. The baked drum should flake easily with a fork when done. Serves 4 to 6.
Black Drum Parmesan
This one is also great with red drum or catfish.
- 6 black drum fillets, 8 to 10 ounces each
- 2 cups half and half cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 3/4 cup cracker meal
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 pound butter, unsalted
- 2 lemons cut in wedges, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except the flour, half and half cream, eggs, oil and butter. Dust the fillets in the flour, then dip in cream and egg mixture. Coat with all of the other dry ingredients combined. Sauté fish in olive oil and butter on medium high heat until fillets are golden and fish starts to flake. Garnish redfish with lemon and parsley. Serves 3.
For more articles about fishing and seafood see my blog A Dash of Salty and my website Surf and Salt.