The Fish Dish
For the latest “dish” about Great Lakes fish, you’ll want to listen to “The Fish Dish.” The podcast, co-hosted by longtime coworkers and friends Sharon Moen and Marie Zhuikov, introduces you to the people behind Wisconsin’s fishing and aquaculture industries. Each episode includes a “Fish-o-licious” section where Moen and Zhuikov cook a new fish recipe. Tying it all together is ska music by Twin Ports band, Woodblind.
Growing Atlantic Salmon in Wisconsin – 1/31/24
The Fish Dish travels to Superior Fresh, an aquaponics business located on 800 acres of rolling woodland and prairie in Hixton, Wisconsin. They’ve been raising Atlantic salmon and growing salad greens in their indoor facilities since 2017. The business reports it’s the largest of its kind in the world and produces 1.5 million pounds of salmon per year plus organic-certified salad greens.
We meet Kyle Woolever, who shows us the fish part of the business, and then Sam Heward, who shows us the plants.
For the fish-o-licious section, we prepare a super-easy, super-delicious recipe: crispy salmon with roasted squash and kale chips.
Michael Valley, Mississippi River Fisherman and Catfish Fillets with Lime – 11/16/23
In this episode, The Fish Dish travels to the Mississippi River to meet Michael Valley, a fourth-generation fisherman out of Prairie du Chien. Mike operates Valley Fish and Cheese, a quirky store that sells a plethora of different river fish and also turtles, alligator meat, as well as Wisconsin cheese.
Sharon describes how the river fishery differs from the Great Lakes fishery and delves into the colorful history of clamming in Prairie du Chien, once called the Freshwater Pearl Capitol of the U.S.
For the Fish-o-Licious part of our show, we cook catfish. Learn the secret to making it taste delicious! Mike also offers his secrets for a good catfish fry and we discuss how even the skin of the catfish is edible and a good source of protein.
Shore Lunch – 8/14/23
In this episode, The Fish Dish takes the kitchen to the beach – Wisconsin Point Beach, to be exact, along the shore of Lake Superior. With summer full upon us, we thought it would be fun to bring you along on a classic dining experience: the shore lunch. Joining us were Emma Hauser, an aquaculture outreach and education specialist with Sea Grant and the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility; Russ, intrepid taste-tester and Fish Dish volunteer; and Jojo Hunt and Crow Idnani — two summer scholars who are working with Sharon and Emma to learn strategies for engaging a variety of audiences in local food-fish production.
There’s no typical Fish-o-Licious part of our show this time because the whole episode is about cooking fish. But never fear, you can find the two sauce recipes that we mention during the podcast on this page.
Karalyn’s Fish Dish Students – 5/24/23
In this episode, Sharon and Marie visit with a class of food science and technology majors from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The students cooked several recipes found on the Eat Wisconsin Fish website. They helped perfect the dishes, plus the campus photographer snapped a few photos. Marie and Sharon talk “fish” with the students and award a “best of show” prize for the dish that looked the tastiest and the “Eat Wisconsin Fishiest.” For the Fish-o-Licious part of the show, Sharon and Marie cook the winning dish, which is called Fisherman’s Brunch.
Happy Burbotine’s Day! – 2/10/23
In this episode Sharon and Marie interview Titus Seilheimer, Sea Grant’s fisheries outreach specialist. Then they travel to Cornucopia, Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior to speak with staff from Halvorson Fisheries. What’s the topic? Burbot!
If you’re not familiar with what a burbot fish is, you will be by the time the podcast is over. Plus, a very special day is coming up soon. Most people call it Valentine’s Day, but at the Fish Dish we call it something else due to an important event in the burbot life cycle.
Taste of Wisconsin Waters – 12/16/22
The Fish Dish traveled to Madison for an invitation-only event held in October of 2022 that celebrated Wisconsin’s water, from drinking water to businesses that depend on water for their livelihood. These include commercial fishing and aquaculture.
“A Taste of Wisconsin Waters” was a first-ever event organized by none other than Sharon. Plus, for the “Fish-o-Licious” part of our show, we discuss fish roe – specifically, cisco roe – and how it can be used in recipes as a caviar substitute. Sharon and Marie prepare saffron-garlic aioli crostini appetizers.
Isle Royale Charter Fishing – 10/5/22
In this episode, Sharon and Marie take “The Fish Dish” to the water for a charter fishing experience on Lake Superior. One foggy morning, they visited Isle Royale National Park where they signed up for a fishing charter provided by the Rock Harbor Lodge on this wilderness island.
The “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show is a little different this time. We hear from the charter captains about their favorite way to prepare fish, and then Marie and Sharon discuss the delicious dinner they had from the lake trout they caught. Yes, here’s a spoiler, they did catch fish on their charter, but they weren’t so sure there for a while. Listen to discover the secret ceremony they performed to catch fish and what kinds of lake trout they caught.
Cooking The Bounty Of The Big Lake With Karalyn – 8/17/22
The Fish Dish hits the road again when Marie and Sharon travel to the North House Folk School for a day-long Lake Superior fish-cooking class. You’ll meet University of Wisconsin-River Falls instructor Karalyn Littlefield who taught the class six new fish dishes, and you’ll be privy to Karalyn’s secret tip for cooking fish properly.
The “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show brings you into the class for two of the recipes: a smoked fish spread and a salt-encrusted cisco (herring). One of these dishes employs use of a hammer. Find out why! You’ll also hear from two of Sharon and Marie’s classmates about their learning experiences.
Now, let’s get cooking!
Hayward Fishing Hall of Fame – 7/12/22
The Fish Dish hits the road when Marie and Sharon take a trip to the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin, where they tour the facilities and gardens and meet Emmett Brown, its executive director. The Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve the historical artifacts, heritage and history of freshwater sport fishing, but there’s much more to it, including sasquatch replicas and a giant muskellunge.
In the “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show, Sharon and Marie cook a rainbow trout recipe called, “Dad’s Mushroom Masterpiece.” They are joined by a mysterious special guest for the taste test.
Red Cliff Fish Company and Lake Whitefish on the Run – 4/29/2022
In this episode, we meet Daniel Grooms, business manager for the Red Cliff Fish Company in Red Cliff, Wisconsin. Red Cliff is at the top of Wisconsin’s Bayfield Peninsula and is the home of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The company processes and sells fish caught from Lake Superior by tribal fishers. In fact, it’s entirely owned and operated by the Band. In the second, “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show, Sharon and Marie cook a frozen whitefish fillet in the microwave. Plus, they cover topics like fish dessert, author Stephen King’s attempt at microwaving salmon, and share the secret to evenly cooking a fillet of various thicknesses.
Lake Superior Sushi – 2/17/2022
Sharon and Marie interview Ryan Lepak, a research limnologist at the Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth who studies mercury. He’s also an avid fisherman.
In the second, “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show, Ryan helps us make sushi for the first time with Lake Superior fish. We even try to have a competition for the best sushi, with the emphasis on TRY. Who will win this friendly sushi competition?
Lutefisk Wars! – 12/29/2021
Sharon and Marie discover there are different camps that can get a little feisty when it comes to cooking this traditional holiday fish. Wisconsinites of Swedish and Norwegian descent feel strongly about their favorite preparation methods for lutefisk. We were invited into the home of Mary Childs in Port Wing, Wisconsin, to talk about cooking options, along with Mary’s friend Marge Ogren. We also discuss other holiday fish dishes.
In the second, “Fish-o-Licious” part of the show, we actually eat a lutefisk lunch with Mary and Marge.
Nate Calkins and Mango Salsa Tilapia – 12/6/21
Eat Wisconsin Fish Outreach Specialist Sharon Moen spent part of her summer visiting aquaponics and aquaculture facilities in Wisconsin. One of them was Lake Orchard Farm in Sheboygan, run by Nate Calkins. He shares his beginnings in the business, fascinating statistics about his operation, plus his dreams for the future. In the “Fish-o-licious” part of the show, we cook colorful Pan-Seared Tilapia with Mango Salsa. Also, Sharon and Marie share their experiences trying to raise fish and attending fish boils (in more ways than one).
Craig Hoopman and Greek-Style Lake Whitefish – 11/4/2021
Eat Wisconsin Fish Outreach Specialist Sharon Moen spent part of her summer visiting commercial fishers and fisheries managers in the Bayfield, Wisconsin, area. One of them was Craig Hoopman of Craig Hoopman Fisheries. He shares his beginnings in the business, current challenges, plus his dreams for the future. In the “Fish-o-licious” second part of the show, we cook Greek-Style Lake Whitefish at Craig’s recommendation. Also, Sharon and Marie share their backgrounds in fishing and introduce listeners to what Eat Wisconsin Fish is all about. Tying it all together is ska music by Twin Ports band, Woodblind.
Marie Zhuikov | Host
Senior Science Communicator
What I do at Sea Grant
Marie writes about Great Lakes water issues, Sea Grant activities and research. She also works on podcasts, oversees the Wisconsin Sea Grant blog, and takes photos. She works in collaboration with program scientists, outreach specialists and institute staff to build water science literacy. Prior to joining Wisconsin Sea Grant in 2012, Marie worked for Minnesota Sea Grant for 15 years.
Sharon Moen | Host
Eat Wisconsin Fish Outreach Specialist
What I do at Sea Grant
Sharon Moen provides information, trainings and opportunities so that people can make science-based decisions when producing, procuring, marketing or eating fish, especially in Wisconsin. She works with commercial fishers, food-fish producers and fish consumers so that Wisconsin can better support sustainable fisheries industries and improve human health. Prior to joining Wisconsin Sea Grant to focus on the Eat Wisconsin Fish initiative, Moen worked for Minnesota Sea Grant for over 20 years.