Michigan Whitefish Chowder


Michigan is surrounded by the largest freshwater resource in the world, more commonly known as the Great Lakes. The months of November and December are the best time to catch the most delicious whitefish that the Great Lakes are known for.  Fisherman set out on the waters of the Great Lakes early in the morning to catch the freshest fish to bring back to the markets for us to enjoy. Campers and RVers of all ages come to Michigan specifically to enjoy the sport of catching their own freshwater whitefish and enjoying the fruits of their labor. If you are one of those daring enough to bare the cold and catch your own game, or just love the savory taste of the freshest fish around, here is a great recipe for Whitefish Chowder; one of the best whitefish dishes in the area.

Michigan Whitefish chowder serves 4


  • 2 whitefish fillets, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled cut into chunks
  • 2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 baby carrots (or 2 regular sized carrots) cut into small slices
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cooking White Wine
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2.5 cups Fish Stock (see my recipe for Homemade Fish Stock, this had amazing flavor)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne peper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 2 tbs fresh Cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large stock pot melt the butter and add the onion and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent but do not brown them.
  2.  Next add the olive oil and then the chopped potatoes and parsnips, cook for 3 minutes, and then add the seasonings and stir. Add the cooking white wine and cook for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced a little.
  3.  Next put the whitefish in the pot, stir once to gently incorporate with the other ingredients and then add the fish stock and water. Bring to a simmer, then ladle out about a cup of the hot liquid part and put in a bowl, slowly whisk in the half and half, and then add this mixture back into the pot. Add the bay leaf (remove before serving) stir a few times, and then put a lid on the pot and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times while cooking.
  4. When you are ready to serve, scoop soup into a bowl, and sprinkle a little fresh cilantro on top.


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