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Chicken-Fried Trout with Green Tartar Sauce and Asian Slaw

Chicken-Fried Trout with Green Tartar Sauce and Asian Slaw

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

Chef Rick Moonen's delicious recipe for "chicken-fried" trout features a crispy, buttermilk batter studded with scallions, dill, lemon zest and chile paste. He recommends serving the trout with an herb tartar sauce, sliced tomatoes and a zingy Asian coleslaw. It makes wonderful sandwiches, too.

Rainbow trout farmed in the U.S. is on the Seafood Watch "Best Choice" list because it's farmed in an ecologically responsible way.


Ingredients
  • (Serves 4)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile paste (sambal oelek)
  •  
  • 4 trout fillets (7 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • Corn or peanut oil for frying
  • Green tartar sauce (recipe below)
  • Asian slaw (recipe below)


Directions
Combine the buttermilk, onion, scallions, dill, garlic, zest, and chile paste in a baking dish. Whisk or stir well.

Lay the fillets in the marinade, making sure you've got them completely coated. Cover with plastic and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 8 hours.

When you're ready for dinner, remove the fish from the marinade and season it with salt and pepper. Coat the fillets well with flour.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy skillet (this is a good time to pull out your cast-iron pan) until very hot but not smoking. Fry the fish in batches for about 1 1/2 minutes on the first side, then turn and fry for another 45 seconds. The crust should be golden.

Drain on paper towels, and serve with the tartar sauce (recipe below) and Asian slaw (recipe below).

Green Tartar Sauce
  • (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 chopped cornichons
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Green Tartar Sauce Directions
This sauce is best made ahead. Letting it sit in the refrigerator for about 24 hours gives the flavors time to develop.

Drop the cornichons, capers, and shallot into a food processor. Process for a few seconds just to combine. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, herbs, lemon juice, and white pepper and process for about 8 seconds to blend well. Scrape down the sides. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream.

Scrape the tartar sauce out into an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.


Asian Slaw
  • (Serves 4)
  • 1 pound cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 cup grated carrots (use the large holes of a box grater or the shredding disk of a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup Asian Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Coarse salt
Asian Slaw Directions
The flavors here are bright and clean, a nice contrast to fried fish. So even if you have a mayonnaisey coleslaw in your repertoire, try this one.

Toss the cabbage and carrots with the vinaigrette and mint. Season with salt, toss, and taste. Adjust the salt if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before serving.


Asian Vinaigrette
  • (Serves 4)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped hot pepper
Asian Vinaigrette Directions
This tangy dressing works well with all sorts of salads. It doesn't emulsify the way a French-style vinaigrette will; just give it a shake before you use it.

Combine all the ingredients in a jar and give them a good shake. Use as needed in a salad, and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. This lasts forever.

Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc nam) can be found in most Asian markets and in many specialty food stores and grocery stores. Look for the Golden Boy brand. Thai chile peppers are what I prefer, but any hot pepper will work. Whatever you use, though, don't seed it.


Recipe from Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook's Essential Companion, by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Rick Moonen
RECIPE BY:
Rick Moonen
Rick Moonen's rm seafood, Las Vegas, NV

CONSERVATION NOTE
Best Choice Rainbow Trout

U.S. Farmed Rainbow Trout

All the trout in U.S. markets is farm-raised, mostly in Idaho. Rainbow trout farmed in the U.S. is a "Best Choice" because it's farmed in an ecologically responsible way.
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