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How to Cook Rainbow Trout Three Different Ways

Gordon has been sea fishing and cooking since childhood. He loves coming up with tasty ways of cooking his fresh catch when he gets home.

Whole rainbow trout steamed in white wine

Whole rainbow trout steamed in white wine

Rainbow Trout Recipes

While rainbow trout are only native to North America, they have been extensively introduced to lakes and reservoirs around the world, making them an extremely popular eating fish in a great many countries. They are also popular with anglers, particularly those who want to catch their fish and eat it. There are many ways to cook and enjoy rainbow trout, and this article explores a number of different cooking and serving suggestions for your sampling and, hopefully, your pleasure.

Recipes in This Article

  1. Whole rainbow trout steamed in white wine
  2. Pan-fried rainbow trout fillet with bruschetta
  3. Oven-baked rainbow trout fillet with dill-buttered potatoes and horseradish sauce
Whole rainbow trout steamed in white wine and served on a salad bed

Whole rainbow trout steamed in white wine and served on a salad bed

1. Whole Rainbow Trout Steamed in White Wine

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 50 min

Yields: 2 servings


  • 2 whole rainbow trout, each about 2 pounds
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 small sprigs of fresh dill
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 generous handfuls of fresh salad leaves of choice
  • Fresh crusty bread to serve


  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 375°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5. If you have caught the fish yourself, you should gut them and wash them thoroughly in cold water. Otherwise, you can have your fishmonger take care of this part if you wish.
  2. Take a large sheet of foil and lay it in a moderately deep baking tray. Be sure to use a sheet large enough that the rainbow trout can be wrapped into a sealed but loose tent. You do not want the fish tightly wrapped. Lay the trout in the centre and stuff the belly cavities with the herbs. Pour the wine over and season. You may think that this is not much wine to use—and it won't look it—but it is vital that you remember you are steaming and not poaching the trout.
  3. Carefully wrap the foil, ensuring it is sealed and place it into the oven for 30 minutes (each trout takes 15 minutes per pound).
  4. Prepare your salad while the fish is cooking. You can suit your own tastes here with a green salad leaf, some sliced red onion and pitted black olives, just a few ideas to consider.
  5. Remove the trout from the oven and stick a metal skewer carefully into the thickest part of the flesh. Minimal resistance means that the trout are cooked. They can then either be laid on the salad in a serving dish, as shown above, and taken to the table that way, or laid whole on the plate, filleted and served. Another option for serving is to pull the trout into bite-sized pieces and lay it atop the salad. Serve immediately with the crusty bread.
Pan-fried rainbow trout fillet is served with bruschetta.

Pan-fried rainbow trout fillet is served with bruschetta.

2. Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout Fillet With Bruschetta

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 10 min

Ready in: 20 min

Yields: 1 serving


  • ½ pound rainbow trout fillet
  • Flour for dusting the skin side of fish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ounce (¼ stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 slices (1 inch thick) from a French-style bread loaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flat-leaf parsley to garnish


  1. Add the butter and lemon juice to a large, non-stick frying pan and place over low heat. Scatter some flour on a large dinner plate and season with salt and pepper. Pat the rainbow trout fillet in the flour on the skin side only. Gently shake off the excess flour.
  2. Increase the heat under the pan to medium and add the rainbow trout fillet, skin-side down.
  3. When you can see that the rainbow trout fillet has cooked most of the way through, turn off the heat under the pan. Turn the fillet and allow it to complete the cooking process in the residual heat only while you prepare your bruschetta.
  4. Toast the bread slices under an overhead grill/broiler on both sides until golden. Peel the garlic clove and lightly crush it under the blade of a large knife, just enough to release the fragrant juices. Rub the garlic clove over the top of the hot toast, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Plate the rainbow trout fillet with the bruschetta alongside. Roughly chop the flat-leafed parsley and scatter over the top to garnish.
Baked fillet of rainbow trout with dill buttered potatoes and horseradish sauce

Baked fillet of rainbow trout with dill buttered potatoes and horseradish sauce

3. Baked Rainbow Trout Fillet With Dill Potatoes and Horseradish Sauce

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 45 min

Yields: 1 serving


  • 1 large, floury/starchy potato
  • ½ pound rainbow trout fillet (skin on)
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces (½ stick) butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large slices tomato
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons canned sweetcorn
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped dill leaves


  1. If you keep your eggs in the refrigerator, remove the egg about 2 hours in advance to allow it to reach room temperature.
  2. Peel the potato and chop it into 1-inch pieces. Add to a pot of lightly salted cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until just softened.
  3. Put your oven on to preheat when the potatoes are put on to cook to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Lay your rainbow trout fillet in the centre of a large sheet of foil on a baking tray. Use half the butter and break it up over the trout as shown. Season with salt and white pepper. Wrap the foil loosely but securely and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the egg to a pot with enough cold water to comfortably cover it. Put over high heat until the water boils, then reduce the heat to achieve a simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. Take your pot to the sink and run cold water in it until the egg is cool enough to handle. Crack the shell and peel it under running cold water. Place the egg into a basin of cold water to cool it quickly. This prevents the unattractive blue/grey tinge from forming around the edges of the yolk.
  5. Drain the potatoes and return them to the empty pot with the remaining butter and most of the chopped dill. Swirl gently to ensure an even coating.
  6. Remove the rainbow trout fillet from the oven, carefully unwrap and plate it. Add the potatoes, the sweetcorn, the tomato and cucumber slices and the egg, which should be quartered.
  7. Spoon the horseradish sauce onto the plate and use the remaining dill as a final garnish.

© 2011 Gordon Hamilton