Tips for Buying, Storing, and Preparing Rainbow Trout
Most farmed rainbow trout sold in Ontario is sold as boneless fillets, so you should be buying approximately 1/4 pound per person. Look for vibrant, pinkish fish that smell like clean water or maybe a touch briny – but it shouldn’t smell fishy. Flesh should be firm and slightly springy and have shiny scales.
If you’re buying frozen rainbow trout, check that the package is well wrapped to avoid freezer burn. Frozen fillets should not looked dried out or show any discolouration.
Put trout and other seafood at the bottom of your shopping list, and try to head straight home after grocery shopping. Fish should be the last item added to your cart before check-out. Make sure it’s placed in a separate bag. Once you’re home, refrigerate or freeze your trout until you’re ready to cook it.
Fresh, uncooked fillets can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or 4-6 months before cooking (make sure you check any package labels for a “best before” date. Keep fish well wrapped and store on the bottom shelf – you don’t want any juices dripping on other foods.
Cooked fish can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days. Cool leftovers in the fridge, not on the stove or counter. If you have a large amount, divide it into smaller portions before refrigerating for faster cooling.
Use one cutting board for raw fish, and another for vegetables, fruit, or other foods. Do not use the same cutting board for cooked fish (or any other plate or surface).
If you’re cooking frozen rainbow trout, it’s best to defrost the fish in the refrigerator overnight or in a cold water bath (about 30 minutes per pound). It is possible to go straight from freezer to oven but you will need to add cooking time.
Baking time is about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, slightly longer if the rainbow trout is wrapped in foil or cooked in sauce. Fish is ready when flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
Rainbow trout is very versatile and can be baked, broiled, pan-fried, deep-fried, grilled, brined, or smoked.