I have had the pleasure of eating a few whole grilled fish in my time but the first whole fish I grilled was Trout, and that was in Switzerland where there are lots of trout swimming around in the abundant cold lakes and streams. I can certainly say, there are fewer things better than easy-to-prepare, flavoursome fish recipes, like this grilled trout recipe.
I had had a day out fishing with relatives at one of the mountain lakes. We arrived at dawn’s first light, set up our fishing gear and nestled into position quietly. The lake was a pale silver sheet in the glimmering light – tranquil and clear – and eerily quiet. Every now and then, a fish would flip to the surface, creating concentric rings in the water and making a plopping sound. It was beautiful, and tranquil…and cold..Brrr!!! After several hours of freezing my butt (and several other parts of my anatomy) off, we decided to call it a day with some trout in tow, and I was already looking forward to the best part of the day – grilling the fish. That was several years ago.
Fast-forward to today, where I’ve just picked up fresh trout from my local metzgerei (meat/fish monger) and trout has a lot of things going for it. It is one of the most delicious fish you can eat, relatively cheap, and from a nutritional point of view, packed with Omega 3 fatty acids which are known for lowering the risk of heart disease. Fish is the best source for Omega 3 and trout has one of the highest omega-3 content of all fish (second only to mackerel) – that’s gotta make your heart sing!
Grilling trout or any fish is super easy. Trout has a delicate skin so when grilling, you want to make sure that skin is not sticking to the grill. Follow the guide below and you will achieve a perfectly grilled trout (or any fish for that matter) every time:
- After the trout has been gutted and de-gilled, de-scale the fish. This will not only remove the scales, but also the slime which gets rid of much of the “fishy” smell. Use the edge of your knife gently going against the direction in which the scales lie.
- Allow the fish to approach room temperature before placing on the grill. Placing ice-cold fish on the grill will result in charred skin and raw meat where the fish meets the bone.
- Oil the fish and the grill. This is what prevents the skin from sticking to the grill
- Turn the fish only once while grilling.
For a flavoursome dish, marinate the fish overnight, as this will allow the flavours to really develop. You can also always substitute the trout for mackerel. The recipe works just as well.
I have served my trout with some African pepper sauce on the side, which just takes an already awesome dish to a new level.
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