OK, here’s the deal. This is one of Donny Mac’s favorite recipes for a few good reasons. First of all, it’s country. Just the name implies that you’re going to make something like bluegill taste like shrimp. It’s like saying that monkfish is Poor Man’s Lobster. I’ll buy that if you believe that a hot dog, prepared just the right way, can be called Poor Man’s Pork Tenderloin. Second, it’s easy to prepare. Finally, it tastes good. We ate a pile of them following the taping of our HuntFishCook Shellcracker show. I hate to admit it, but it really does taste like shrimp.

Poor Man’s Shrimp


  • bluegill shellcracker, etc fillets - cut into finger-width strips
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • vegetables steamer basket
  • cocktail sauce
  • saltine crackers


  • Heat an inch or two of water in a steamer basket in a medium to larger pot. Lay the fish strips in the basket without overcrowding. Season with Old Bay and Lawry's. Cover and steam for 3 - 4 minutes or until fish is firm. Remove basket from pot and allow to cool. Place "shrimp" on cracker and top with cocktail sauce.

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