Pan-fried Rainbow Trout with Lemon & Capers

Pan-fried Rainbow Trout

Just a quick pop in to say hello and share a plate of fish that I made this morning on the Eyeopener – to celebrate the fact that fishing season is open in Alberta, and pink and green things are finally budding and blooming on the trees in the back yard. Spring may arrive yet.

I love talking about how easy it is to cook fish – so many people think of it as a complex culinary challenge, when really it’s about fast as food gets. Particularly when you start with thin filets of whitefish, which take approximately two minutes per side to cook in a hot pan. You need do nothing to them but season with salt and pepper, or drag them through a shallow dish of flour seasoned with same (or with seasoning salt, if you shake that way) before cooking them in a hot pan. Butter or ghee (clarified butter) is best for flavour, I think – but the really fun part, the part that makes you feel like you’re cooking, comes at the end when you add a splash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon to the pan, perhaps with a spoonful of capers, or a roughly chopped juicy tomato, perhaps with a few chopped olives. The idea is to loosen all the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, which you could even do with an extra dab of butter. And by doing it you make a quick pan sauce, which takes approximately a minute and provides a disproportionate amount of satisfaction, especially as you drape it over your perfectly cooked filets.

Fresh fish is real fast food – this method will work with any kind of whitefish filets. If you like, quickly cook some fresh asparagus in the pan until tender-crisp before you cook the fish. Only one pan to wash!

Pan-fried Rainbow Trout with Lemon & Capers


May 9, 2017


as many trout filets as you want to cook (with or without skin)

flour (any kind, really)

salt and pepper (or seasoning salt)

butter or ghee (clarified butter), or vegetable oil

half a lemon and/or a splash of white wine

a spoonful of capers


1Pat your fish filets dry with paper towel. Put some flour into a shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper (or seasoning salt). Set a sturdy pan over medium-high heat and add a blob of butter or ghee (or drizzle of oil). Dredge the fish filets in the seasoned flour to coat well on both sides and cook in the hot pan for about 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through - the edge of the fish should flake with a fork, but the middle should still be moist.

2Transfer filets to a plate. When they’re all cooked, add another dab of butter to the pan, add a splash of wine and/or a squeeze of lemon, and a spoonful of capers (without the brine). Swirl around the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom, until it reduces by about half. Pour over the fish and serve immediately. Serves as many as you like.


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7 comments on “Pan-fried Rainbow Trout with Lemon & Capers

  1. Cathy Norrie
    May 9, 2017 at 10:22 am

    As usual, Julie… perfection!! You inspire me. Tonight… pan fried trout ala Julie!!

  2. Kelsey
    May 14, 2017 at 2:07 am

    This sounds so perfect! I went fishing for Rainbow Trout today but caught nothing. This is the dinner I wish I had!

    • Julie
      May 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Yeah, that sounds like most of my fishing trips 🙂

  3. Viktor
    May 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Supersimple and perfect, pure summiness, thank you!

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