Lancaster Perch Rolls

Cottages on Stanley Island near Summerstown, Ontario, Canada

Cottages on Renshaw Island near Summerstown, Ontario

Growing up along the St. Lawrence in Eastern Ontario, meant enjoying many of the recreational opportunities this magnificent river provided.  One of the best spots for fishing along the river is on the widening between Glen Walter and Valleyfield called Lake St. Francis.  Generations of hard working locals would escape on weekends and during summer vacation to cottages and boats along this stretch of the river.  They would get out on the river early, when it was calm, before the scorching summer sun and hope that the fish were biting.  The were usually after perch but often hooked pike, bass or the odd eel.  Now adays, the perch aren’t quite as abundant and pricey perch platters and perch rolls are only sold, when available, at a handful of local restaurants.  If you’re lucky enough to catch your own, you’ll want to enjoy the distinct succulent, almost sweet flavour of the fresh perch caught along this segment of the river, in a traditional perch roll.

Freshwater perch and a pike caught in Lake St. Francis.

The local way of serving fresh perch has been to filet it, dredge it in flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then pan fry in butter for a couple of minutes per side.  At this point you could either serve a perch platter or make a perch roll topped with perch roll sauce.  While recipes vary a bit, I think our family recipe is the closest to being perfect.

perch roll

Lancaster Perch Roll Sauce
Serves 4
The perfect sauce to serve with perch or pickerel.
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
11 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
11 min
111 calories
19 g
49 g
2 g
3 g
1 g
92 g
33 g
17 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111
Calories from Fat 17
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 49mg
Sodium 33mg
Total Carbohydrates 19g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 17g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Sauce Part 1
  1. 1 egg
  2. ½ tsp dry mustard
  3. ½ cup milk
  4. 1½ tbsp flour
  5. ¼ cup white sugar
Sauce Part 2
  1. ½ cup white vinegar
  2. 1 tbsp white sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, cook Part 1 ingredients until thick. Stir with a whisk.
  2. In a double boiler, bring water to a boil (lower pot); to upper pot stir Part 2 ingredients until sugar has dissolved. If you don't have a double boiler, an easy way to dissolve the sugar is to put it along with the vinegar, in a large mug then microwave it on high for 30 seconds.
  3. Combine both parts and simmer.
  1. Toast some hotdog or sausage buns. Add pan fried perch (you can substitute pickerel) and top generously with the sauce.
The World on a Platter

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9 Responses

  1. Dakota says:

    How long can this stay in the fridge.

    • Kevin Lamoureux says:

      Considering the ingredients, rule of thumb is two days. I typically use half when its fresh, then freeze the rest.

      • Dakota says:

        How long will it stay frozen for? And just so you know this is a awesome as sauce. I have a freezer full of perch now and I know we’re its going to. Thanks for sharing!

        • Kevin Lamoureux says:

          I’m pretty sure I’ve kept some in the freezer for over a year before. I really appreciate the feedback . It makes the pleasure of sharing these traditional recipes so rewarding.

  2. Christine says:

    Your recipe for the sauce is incredible. I went college in Cornwal and had many Lancaster perch rolls in that time (place called Marie’s I think) – just got some Port Dover yellow perch today and these rolls turned out just like remember!

    • Kevin Lamoureux says:

      Marie’s Kingsway, right on the river in Glen Walter, was THE place to go for perch rolls back in the day. It’s heartwarming to hear how this recipe evokes fond memories of your time in the Seaway Valley.

  3. Kelly says:

    Visiting Ontario and had to stop in to Loretta’s in Lancaster for a fish roll. They are not as full as they used to be and they charge $9 a roll but I lov d every bite of it. Only visit once a yr and get my fix. Moved from Cornwall 20 years ago and these things you can’t find anywhere else.

  4. Darlene Primeau-Jones says:

    I’d love to be able to buy some Lancaster Perch, anyone know someone who sells it in the Cornwall area? please…………………

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