Canadian Lunch Main Course Recipes

Lancaster Perch Rolls

The perfect sauce to serve with perch or pickerel on a bun. | Share

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.  

Cottages on Renshaw Island near Summerstown, Ontario, Canada

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.  They were usually after perch but often hooked pickerel, pike, bass or the odd eel.  Nowadays, 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.

Serving Suggestions

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 Rolls

Kevin Lamoureux
The perfect sauce to serve with perch or pickerel on a bun.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 6
Calories 306 kcal



  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ½ cup milk
  • tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar

Perch Roll

  • 1 lb freshwater perch or pickerel
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 6 hot dog buns


Prepare the sauce

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the egg, mustard, milk and flour. Cook on medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Add the white sugar and vinegar to a large mug and microwave for about 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. A double boiler may also be used to warm and dissolve the sugar.
  • Stir the vinegar and sugar mixture into to the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Prepare the fish and buns

  • Filet the fresh fish, wash and pat dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Dredge the fish in flour.
  • Add the butter to a frying pan and fry the fish for about 2 minutes per side.
  • Toast the buns, add the fish to the buns and top generously with the sauce.


Serve with french fries and coleslaw.
Per serving
Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 13g | Iron: 2mg
Keyword fish, perch, pickerel, rolls, sauce

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18 replies on “Lancaster Perch Rolls”

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

I saw yellow lake perch at the grocery store today and bought all the packages they had out so I could freeze some. They were pricier than some of the other fresh fish but I hadn’t had Lancaster perch rolls for years and bought them just because. I made the sauce in the microwave (with 1.5 tsp of mustard), made the perch rolls then called my former roommate, with whom I shared numerous outings in the Seaway Valley, to reminisce while I was eating them. 🙂

Such a great recipe. thanks so much. Above person used Yellow lake perch, is this the same fish or close? if so i will be on the lookout. Too bad that it has all been fished out in Cornwall. I was just back there last week to visit and go to a funeral. wish we had the time to get some.

Thank you for your comment Gail. Firstly, you can use any fresh water perch or even pickerel for this recipe. However, you have touched on a topic that interests so many people throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin. I attended the St. Lawrence River Symposium yesterday where research was presented about yellow perch populations in the Upper St. Lawrence. The study will be made public shortly at My main take away was that yellow perch populations are on the rise in Lake St. Lawrence and the Thousand Islands area, while catches are still lower than decades ago in Lake St. Francis. Additional pressures in this section include a commercial fishery and a population explosion of double-crested cormorants, who are particulary fond of yellow perch.

I grew up in Alexandria, and have been in Calgary for 33 years now. Used to always stop at Loretta’s when I was home visiting. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I can now have a taste of home to enjoy with my children!

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