When choosing trout look for a bright and sparkling skin with a silvery or golden sheen. Flesh should be firm, elastic to the touch with a fresh sweet smell. The eyes should be bright and not sunken. Look for clean, red gills.
You can always ask your fishmonger to prepare a whole trout for you. Or look out for ready prepared trout fillets and steaks, the perfect healthy convenience food and so delicious.
To portion a large gutted trout, first remove the head by cutting behind the gills and frontal fin.
To fillet, make an incision near the shoulder and make a clean cut along the backbone.
Continue to cut the flesh away from the ribcage. Work towards the tail, keeping close to the bones
Lift away the first fillet and repeat the process on the other side to obtain the second fillet.
Trim the belly fat off each fillet using a sharp knife.
Feel for pin bones and remove them individually with fish tweezers. Alternatively cut either side of the little row of bones in a V-shape and remove.
The fillets are now ready to use in a number of ways. For cutting into pieces for pan frying, nailing to a plank to roast by the fire or salting for hot or cold smoked trout.
Remove the fins with a sharp knife or pair of scissors.
Remove the head
To divide the fish into steaks, cut straight down through the spine.
The steaks are ready to be put onto the barbeque or cooked in the oven.