Rainbow trout is one of Ken's favorites. If it's on a restaurant menu, I can pretty much count on his ordering it. You can make it at home so simply and without breaking the budget. When paired with lettuces and herbs, you have a beautiful, healthy meal.
Rainbow trout are abundant where we live, but since we don't fish, it's really nice that our local grocery store always has a good supply! The fishmonger butterflied it for me, leaving the tail because I think it looks nice to serve. There are a few bones, but they are really soft and fairly easy to remove if you'd like before cooking. Be sure to open it up and season it well with salt and pepper.
It's imperative to also season the skin side before cooking and it only requires medium high heat to get the skin golden and crispy. Cook it almost fully on the first side, then turn it carefully, one time only, to repeat on the opposite side. You can check the doneness on the inside by gently raising the top side with your spatula to peek inside. You're looking for a bit of flakiness with some juiciness.
The salad is my favorite butter lettuce (also known as Boston Bibb), thinly sliced celery, cilantro, and mint leaves, dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette that also takes loads of flavor from fish sauce and coconut aminos. It really is a perfect, fresh accompaniment for the trout.
Do you like fish with salad? You might also like my recipe for Cumin Glazed Salmon Salad!
Rainbow Trout with Lettuce, Celery, and Herbs
- ½ jalapeño with seeds, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- Kosher salt
- 1 small shallot thinly sliced into rings
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce, if you want
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 14 –16-ounce whole butterflied rainbow trout
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 2 celery stalks preferably with leaves, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 cup cilantro
- ½ cup mint leaves
- Mix jalapeño, lime zest, and orange zest with a pinch of salt and mash it together using a mortar and pestle, or just pressing it against the side of the bowl with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in shallot, orange juice, lime juice, fish sauce, and coconut aminos(or soy sauce). Season dressing with salt and pepper.
- Season trout with salt and pepper both inside and out. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 1 trout, skin side down, until golden brown and crisp, and till the flesh is nearly cooked through. Carefully turn the fish and repeat on the opposite side. Transfer trout to a platter. Wipe out skillet; repeat with remaining trout and 1 Tbsp. oil.
- Toss lettuce, celery, cilantro, mint, and 3 Tbsp. dressing in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Top trout with salad and spoon remaining dressing over.