The Simplest Way To Cook Trout (or Salmon)

“They fried the fish with the bacon and they were astonished: for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before. They did not know that the sooner a fresh-water fish is on the fire after he is caught, the better he is; and they reflected little upon what a sauce open-air sleeping, open-air exercise, bathing, and a large ingredient of hunger make too.”

Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer

At this time of year the fishermen (and women) on our stretch of river here often give me fish, and very thoughtfully they usually gut it first.

What to do with it?

If I’m in a hurry I will simply bake it in foil with a little butter and parsley and maybe the odd slice of lemon. Then I will serve it with Jersey Royal potatoes and a fresh salad. If I have time I’ll add a green (parsley or spinach, or both) sauce.


“Never wash fish. Some recipes tell you to rinse fish but the French would put you in an asylum. They say that all the micro-organisms on the skin of the fish have so much flavour, so if you wash them you’re washing away a whole bunch of taste.”

Alec Lobrano, French restaurant critic, quoted in The Gannet’s Gastronomic Miscellany, Killian Fox

Recipe for a quick way to cook trout

One trout will do for one person.

This is how to do it.

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC (use the top right of the Aga).
  2. Put the trout on a large double layer of foil.
  3. Stuff with a knob of butter, some chopped parsley or even better some sorrel, and a wedge of lemon.
  4. Sprinkle some smoked salt and Indonesian long black pepper over.
  5. Wrap loosely in the foil, folding over at the join twice.
  6. Put onto a baking tray.
  7. Roast for about twenty minutes.
This post is dedicated to Simon Cooper – 25 years in the fishing business!

Music to cook to

Schubert’s The Trout.

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