From a culinary perspective, trout flesh is a little more bland tasting than the meat of most saltwater fish, making it perfect for the addition of subtle flavours via herbs, spices and piquant sauces. For the outdoorsman, trout make great camping fare. The advent of ’15-minute smokers’ allows anglers to prepare a hot meal in just quarter of an hour – as the name suggests! Trout just out of the smoker, mixed with nothing more than a couple of well-buttered slices of bread and washed down with your favourite tipple, has a taste all of its own. Marvellous!
It is not too bad simply steaked and coated in seasoned flour before being thrown into a pan or onto a hot griddle and fried. And for those with more time and inclination, there is a myriad of ways it can be prepared – baked, barbecued and even turned into sashimi.
Trout is an easy species to fillet but does have some fine rib bones that, while not likely to stick in your gullet, should be removed. For smoking, many people take the backbone out completely, while others will simply run a knife along one side of the backbone splitting the body into two.
For baking, it is nice to keep the head on, for better presentation. It is important to remove the gut and gills as soon as possible, along with the blood line that runs against the spine. A teaspoon is an ideal weapon to do this job thoroughly and there are filleting knives available specifically for trout that have a spoon attached to the end of the handle for just this purpose.
There is no need to skin trout before cooking. The skin adds to the flavour, especially when the trout’s cooked on a barbecue or fried in a pan. Like all fish, it pays to take care of your catch wherever possible by putting it on ice, where practical, or burying it in the cool sand or gravel of the riverbank until you head home.

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