At last, everything you need to know about cooking trout. Warning: these trout recipes may cause excess salivation.
Spring is a cherished time of year by many. Nature seems to reward us for our patience over the winter by delivering all sorts of wild edibles. And nothing goes better with foraged foods than stream trout.
There’s not much that can hold a candle to a dinner of freshly caught trout. And we have saved you the hassle of scouring the internet to find delicious recipes worthy of such a prized fish.
First things first, you’ll need to catch a trout. You can just use a spinning reel if that’s all you have, but once you try fly fishing and tie your own flies, you’ll be addicted. Though you can also use farm-raised fish for these trout recipes, part of the magic behind them is the story of sneaking up on these elusive predators lurking in deep pools.
Cleaning – Remove the entrails by slicing the belly from the anus up to the throat. Use an old toothbrush to clean the the blood from the vein along the backbone. Use cold running water to clean the fish thoroughly.
Scaling – If it’s a really large trout, it may help to scale the fish. There’s no need to do so for smaller trout.
Preparation – At this point, you can leave the fish as it is or remove the gills, head, or fins according to the recipe preparation. If you feel adventurous, you can even try butterflyingthe fish.
Cooking – Don’t worry about the bones. Fish that is properly prepared will easily fall off the bones. Avoid over-handling the fish (flip only once) as the skin is delicate and the flesh may flake apart.
No matter how these 10 trout recipes below are organized, each one seems better than the last. We advise you to keep a napkin or bib nearby as you read, because they may cause drooling. Enjoy!
1. Whole Grilled Trout
One of the easiest trout recipes, and most visually impacting, is to grill a whole trout. Fish like trout are rich in good fats, and really absorb the flavor imparted from grilling.
Two 3/4 lb whole trouts, scaled, gutted and cleaned
2. Trout with Fiddleheads, Morels, and Wild Onions
This recipe is perfect to put all your freshly gathered wild edibles to good use in a forager’s feast. This cooking method also produces very crispy skin if you leave it on. And let’s be serious, why wouldn’t you?
1/2 pound fiddleheads
1 1/2 to 2 pounds trout fillets (or 1 small trout per person)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 pound fresh morels, sliced into rings
1/2 pound ramps or other wild onions, or scallions
It’s almost impossible to beat a well-smoked piece of trout or salmon. While you can smoke stream trout, this method of butterflying is best reserved for the larger individuals. Maybe save it for a nice-sized lake trout between 5 and 15 pounds.
1 whole lake trout, butterflied or kited
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped spruce (or fir) tips, or fresh rosemary
Grated zest of an orange or 2 lemons or limes (optional if using rosemary)
Traditionally this recipe is for salmon, but larger trout species will also work just fine. Smoking works very well with trout since they are very fatty fish and the smoke adheres to fat. Warning: they’re called candy for a reason. They won’t last long!
5 pounds skin-on salmon/trout collars, bellies or fillets cut into 2-inch thick strips