Pan-Fried Trout


A road trip in spring is not complete without spending a few days casting flies for trout, foraging for fiddleheads and drinking lots of camp coffee or tea. I don’t know what is best here, the trout, the fiddleheads or the labrador tea. The fiddleheads are sprouts from Lady Fern, Athyruim filix-femina, and gathered along a stream that crossed a forest road leading to a south Okanagan lake where I had just enough time to catch two rainbow trout before learning the waders I wore leaked like sieves. Rainbow trout are best in early spring or when taken from higher elevation “oligotrophic” lakes. These fish were superb, clean tasting and as fresh as could be. An easy meal to prepare. Remove the heads and innards and wipe dry to remove any slime. Roll the fish in a mixture of egg cut with a bit of water then place into a plastic bag containing a hand-full of flour. If no eggs around just dust with the flour. My preference is India, stone-ground “chapati” flour to which added is a liberal amount of black pepper and salt to suit. Fire these guys onto a well-seasoned, hot, cast iron frying pan containing enough oil to sear the skin. Temperatures need to be high for the skin to crisp and brown. Corn oil with a nice chunk of butter makes a perfect cooking medium. In another pan follow a similar plan, oil plus a bit of butter, bring to temperature, add onions. After the onions begin to brown add the fiddleheads and season to taste. Vary seasonings for some truly amazing results. Ground cumin, bit of turmeric and curry powder are perfect. This meal was sided with instant potatoes done by boiling a small pot of water on a canister stove. While the potatoes were rehydrating the same stove brewed-up a refreshing, “herb-like” tea made from labrador tea leaves.

Rainbow Trout with Fiddleheads

This tailgate meal:

  1. 1.Rainbow Trout

  2. 2.Fiddlehead ferns with onion

  3. 3.Potato

  4. 4.Labrador Tea

Poulin Environmental

Vancouver, British Columbia

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