Whole grilled trout, marinated Thai style; cooks in 10 minutes. A simple ginger, chilli and coriander marinade works wonders on the fish in just about thirty minutes.
Trout is good for us
Fresh trout is hugely underrated; bought and eaten far too infrequently. It is an oily fish, as healthy in our diet as salmon, but far less expensive.
Trout, both brown and rainbow trout, the two subspecies common in Europe and the UK, is freshwater fish with the rainbow variety more common on sale and considered tastier.
The only other kind of trout, sea trout (delicious oven steamed), migrates to the sea to play and returns to the rivers and lakes to settle down and spawn.
Trout fun facts:
trout can live up to 20 years
freshwater pearl mussels are symbiotic with trout, living in their gills when young and tiny
trout and salmon can interbreed
the largest trout ever caught weighed 18.8 kg
climate change endangers trout as they depend on cold clear water
tickling trout means fishing them by hand from undercut river banks
trout have teeth
they can change colour in fight or flight. They also display some body language trying to scare competing breeders
trout eat baby birds and mice that accidentally fall into the water
Source: Trout Facts
How to cook trout?
It’s healthy, it’s cheap and sustainable, now how to best prepare it? I think cooking it whole, with a nice flavoursome marinade, blasting it under the grill or on a barbecue so as not to overcook it is the best method. In a nutshell – just like the recipe below!
Trout usually comes gutted and cleaned so all that needs doing is trimming the fins, just so they don’t burn. Making a couple of incisions with a sharp knife on each side of the fish will help the marinade permeate into the flesh.
What’s the best marinade for whole grilled trout?
Simply rubbing the fish with salt and a little olive oil will do wonders to boost the flavour. But as it is a meaty enough fish to take on gutsy seasoning, my favourite is Thai-style marinade mixed with the Asian staples: chilli, garlic and ginger with a little sweet mirin wine and oyster sauce, and plenty of fresh coriander.
If you need to substitute mirin, use sherry or vermouth.
Instead of coriander, chop up a bunch of Thai basil if you can get it.
How long to cook trout?
All fish and trout and salmon especially can be totally ruined if it’s overcooked. When cooked properly, the flesh should still be ever so slightly translucent and flaky; never stringy and dry.
If you grill or bake fish and are uncertain if it’s done after the required time, leave it in the turned off grill or oven for a couple of minutes – it’ll continue cooking.
Grilling is quick and intense, so make sure your grill is well preheated. If the fish had been brought to room temperature from the fridge, five minutes on each side will be just right.
Barbecue is trickier as you never know how hot it really is. The best policy is to start the charcoal going long before cooking commences. The best cooking conditions are usually when everything’s been cooked and eaten!
To barbecue trout use a grilling basket, it will let the fish cook evenly by flattening it a little, stop the skin from sticking to the rack and burning, and make flipping over easy.
Assuming the coals are hot and even, four to five minutes on each side should be enough.
More grilled fish recipes:
Bream is as nice cooked whole as it is in fillets. Grilled balsamic sea bream, one per person or a large one to share can certainly be recommended.
Like trout, mackerel is cheap, healthy and undervalued. Grill it with a spice crust.
Don’t forget salmon: simple grilled fillets are the easiest to prepare and gorgeous served with a dill sauce or spiced mayo.