Zander or pike perch dishes have been enjoyed by Russians for many centuries. For good reason: it is one of the most widespread fish in Russia with its habitat stretching from the Baltic basin to the Black and Caspian seas. Being a freshwater fish, zander may not have the fancy reputation of sturgeon — the all-time king of Russian feasts — but still was loved by the nobility and common people alike.

Pike perch has a tender delicate taste and is almost boneless — good news for those who have a phobia of choking on fish bones. It is also low in calories, making it a great choice for fitness dieters.

A good sauce is key to cooking zander. The right dressing can turn a regular fish dish into something special. 

Alexey Pavlov, chef at Moscow’s Erwin Restaurant & Bar cooks pike perch fillet in Miso sauce with caramelized onions and tomato salsa. Despite its ritzy restaurant-like appearance, this fusion dish is cooked in a traditional homestyle way — in the frying pan. So why not try for yourself? 


Marinated fish: 

  • Zander fillet (170g)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Miso sauce:

  • 10 g floral honey
  • 10 g miso paste
  • 10g mirin (Japanese rice wine)

Tomato salsa:

  • 100g tomatoes
  • 10g mixed greens (parsley, cilantro)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Caramelized onions:

  • 100g onions
  • 30g sugar
  • 5g vegetable oil
  • 8g pitless black olives