Pan-Fried Trout

Source: Micki Seibel, March 2013

Source: Micki Seibel, March 2013

This recipe is a variation on my Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia that I posted a few days ago. In this recipe, I use a whole trout (head removed). Because the trout is thin and more delicate than the tilapia, it requires a slightly different treatment in the pan: fry longer on the skin side to crisp the skin. The result is an incredibly crisp texture, and you can eat the skin, which is very flavorful.

Otherwise, the addition of the lime and parsley in this recipe also works well in the Tilapia one.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: Serves 2


  • 2 filet of trout, skins on but heads removed
  • 1 tbsp peanut or nut oil (e.g. walnut oil or macadamia nut oil)
  • 1/4 cup masa meal
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa, paprika, and cayenne.
  2. Generously salt and pepper your fish, place in the masa mixture, and toss to completely coat all sides of your fish.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the peanut oil.
  4. Add two trout, skin side down, to your pan. Make sure they do not overlap.  Fry the filets for 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully turn and fry for 1 more minute more to brown the other side.
  6. Remove the trout from the pan and place on a plate lined with brown paper. Let the filet rest a minute to soak up any excess oil.
  7. To serve, place on a plate, top with freshly chopped parsley and a wedge of lime.

How to Not Screw It Up

  1. To serve more than two people, you will have to either use multiple pans at the same time or fry your trout in batches as no more than two filets comfortably fit in a large saute pan at a time. It’s important that you don’t crowd the trout or allow the filets to overlap each other. Otherwise, they don’t have contact with the pan and won’t fry.
  2. Make sure your pan gets hot before you add the oil. Make sure your oil gets hot before you add your fish. If the oil is not hot, the fish will soak in oil instead of frying in it. You will lose out on the crispy texture of both the coating and the skin.