What is the best way to cook fresh trout? It’s to poach it in water so the skin turns blue. Hence the name of this dish: blue trout.
It is the slime layer on the trout skin that turns blue when the fish is cooked in an acidic environment. Hence it is very important that you don’t wash the trout if you want to achieve an ocean-blue and glossy skin. Also, make sure to not boil the fish but just let it steep gently so that the meat will be moist and tender.
I recommend: Buy a fresh trout from a fishmonger and don’t buy it pre-packaged or frozen from the supermarket. This dish is all about preserving the original flavor of the trout. Serve the trout with a side of veggies for a complete meal.
Blue Trout (‘Forelle Blau’)
For the poaching liquid:
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white wine vinegar
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 leek, roughly chopped
- 1/4 celeriac (celery root), roughly chopped
- a handful of parsley
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 cloves
- 3 juniper berries
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1.5 tablespoons salt
For the fish:
- 1-2 small whole rainbow trouts, as fresh as possible and unwashed (it’s best if the fish is killed just before cooking)
For the vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into slivers
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into slivers
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
Prepare the poaching liquid:
- Combine all the ingredients for the poaching liquid in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Let the poaching liquid simmer for at least 10 minutes over low heat to infuse the poaching liquid with the flavor from the aromatics and spices.
Poach the trout:
- Turn off the heat on your stove so that your poaching liquid stops simmering. Add the trout into the hot poaching liquid and cover with a lid. Let the trout steep in the hot poaching liquid until cooked through. You don’t need any additional heat. The poaching liquid is hot enough to cook the trout through. This takes usually takes between 15-20 minutes. The trout is done once the flesh easily slides off the bone and skin.
Sweat the vegetables:
- While the trout poaches, heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and kohlrabi sticks and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Then add about 1/4 cup of the trout poaching liquid and cover the pan with a lid. Let the vegetables steam for another 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the parsley and taste for seasoning. I usually don’t add any or only little additional salt as the poaching liquid of the trout is already salty.
Serve the trout:
- Arrange the vegetables on the bottom of a serving dish and place the poached trout on top. Spoon a generous amount of the poaching liquid over the trout and serve immediately.