Baked whole sea trout.

Anadromous is my new favourite word. It describes fish that have both salt and freshwater life stages. I’m going to start using it for people who have holiday homes by the sea.

The reason that the sea trout are so much bigger than their freshwater cousins is simply that there’s much more food available to them at sea than there is in the rivers. (On reflection, that human analogy may get me into trouble….) The fish that I bought and cooked yesterday could easily have served 6 people.

In my view wild sea trout, and in fact all wild fish have a much better taste and texture than the farmed varieties because they seem to have less fat (sometimes you can see the fat on farmed fish, and you can certainly taste it, even if you’re not aware of it.) They also have naturally higher levels of Omega 3s, although it is possible to manipulate the Omega 3 levels in farmed fish by adjusting their diet.

What to do, roughly speaking:

Steve Hatt cleaned the sea trout for me, so it took me just a couple of minutes to prepare it. It weighed about 2 kilos so I cooked it for an hour. A smaller fish will take less time.

Preheat your oven to 240C/475F/Gas9.

Line a large roasting dish with cooking foil. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the foil, and sprinkle a generous teaspoon of sea salt over the oil.

Put the whole fish onto the foil.

Place a sliced lemon, a bunch of lemon thyme and a bunch of dill inside the fish. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with another teaspoon of sea salt.

sea trout with lemon, lemon thyme and dill

Seal the foil loosely around the fish so that there is air inside the foil parcel.

Place this in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 200C/400F/Gas7 for a further 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

Cyprus new potatoes are here and go very well with this, as does English asparagus – also in season.


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