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Why You Should Try Trout

Trout, a lesser-known relative of the very popular salmon, is often overlooked in favor of more mainstream fish varieties. But with its own unique flavor and nutritional benefits, it is quite an undiscovered gem of the seafood culinary world. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of trout and explore why you should consider adding this fish to your diet.

What Types of Trout Can You Buy Fresh in the Market?

Let’s get to know two of the common varieties of trout farmed and caught around UK waters, the Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout.


Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) boasts a distinctive appearance with dark, olive-green to brownish skin adorned with black spots. In contrast, Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has a more vibrant and eye-catching appearance, with a silvery body adorned with a distinctive pink stripe running along its lateral line.

Size and Weight

Brown Trout typically reach lengths of 40-80 cm and can weigh up to 15kg, depending on their habitat and diet. Rainbow Trout, on the other hand, tend to be slightly smaller, ranging from 50-70 cm in length and weighing up to 14kg.

Habitat and Diet

Brown Trout favor cool, clear streams and rivers, often dwelling near underwater structures. They are also known as sea trout because some live out at sea instead of staying in freshwater rivers where they spawn. They are opportunistic predators, preying on insects, small fish, and aquatic invertebrates. 

What Does Trout Taste Like? Brown Trout vs. Rainbow Trout

Trout is an oily fish and has a stronger flavor compared to white fish varieties. It is closer to salmon in taste but not quite the same. Between the brown and rainbow trout there are subtle differences as well.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout’s flavor is notably earthier, owing to its diet of aquatic insects and crustaceans. This imparts a hint of nuttiness to its flesh, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a more pronounced, savory taste. Some describe this as having a “fishier” taste compared to the Rainbow Trout. The cooked flesh is light-colored, tender, and flaky.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout, on the other hand, offers a milder taste with a slightly sweet undertone. Their adaptable diet, including smaller fish, contributes to a cleaner, sweeter, and more delicate flavor profile. When cooked the Rainbow Trout has light-colored, soft flakes with a subtle taste.  

Whole Gutted Trout

Are Brown and Rainbow Trout Good for You?

Both Brown and Rainbow Trout provide a nutrient-packed punch that makes them an excellent addition to a balanced diet.

Trout is a rich source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle maintenance and growth. Moreover, it is high in omega-3 fatty acids, known for their heart-healthy benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids also support brain health and cognitive function. In addition, they provide vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, as well as the minerals iodine, potassium, iron, phosphorous and selenium.

Rainbow Trout, due to its milder flavor and slightly lower fat content, can be a preferred choice for individuals watching their calorie intake. However, Brown Trout’s earthy flavor comes with a marginally higher fat content, which enhances its overall mouthfeel and richness.

Trout vs. Salmon: Which One is Better?

Now for that controversial question. Atlantic Salmon, farmed or caught wild in Scottish waters or imported from mainland Europe is a much-loved fish in the UK and is something very familiar to our palate. How does trout compare, in looks, taste, and nutrition?


Both Trout and Salmon exhibit silvery skin with dark spots, but the differentiation lies in their size and coloration. Salmon can grow much bigger (up to 1.5m and 40 kg!). Trout, as mentioned earlier, comes in various shades depending on the species, while Salmon’s skin typically features a more uniform silver hue.


Salmon boasts a more robust and pronounced flavor, characterized by its rich, oily flesh. Its taste is often described as buttery, with a distinctive salmony sweetness. In contrast, Trout’s flavor is more subtle and mild, with variations depending on the type.

Nutritional Profile

While both fish are nutrient powerhouses, Salmon tends to have a higher fat content, especially the coveted omega-3 fatty acids, making it an excellent choice for heart health. Trout, although slightly lower in fat, still provides a substantial omega-3 boost and is a more calorie-conscious option.


Per 85g cooked






Total Fat

6.3 g, 8% DV

6.9 g, 9% DV

Saturated Fat

1.4 g, 7% DV

1.1 g, 5% DV


20.2 g, 40% DV

21.6 g, 43% DV

Vitamin D

16.2 g, 81% DV

12 g, 60% DV


837 mg, 52% DV

1,967 mg, 123% DV

What are the Best Recipes and Preparation for Trout?

Brown Trout

Brown Trout’s earthy flavor pairs wonderfully with rich and savory ingredients. It shines in dishes that incorporate earthy herbs like thyme and rosemary, and ingredients like potatoes and pulses. You can brighten it up with lemon, fennel, and dill, or even try Japanese seasonings like wasabi, and sesame.

Popular preparations include pan-seared Brown Trout with a lemon herb butter sauce, or it can be smoked to create a delectable appetizer.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout’s milder taste makes it an ideal canvas for various flavors. It pairs beautifully with citrus, dill, and lighter herbs. It also goes well with salty meats like bacon, chorizo, or even salty seafood like cockles and clams. 

One can explore recipes like grilled Rainbow Trout with a zesty lemon and dill marinade or baked Rainbow Trout with a simple garlic butter sauce.

How Do You Prepare a Whole Trout?

A whole trout can be a perfectly sized, beautiful dish to serve to a group. Just remember to descale and gut the fish (or have your fishmonger do it) before preparation.

Cooking a whole fish with skin on and bones in helps it retain more flavor and moisture. As it is an oily fish, it will hold up well to baking, roasting and grilling with seasonings of your choice. You can slash the thickest side of the fish to ensure it cooks evenly.

You can order whole, gutted trout here.

How Do You Prepare Trout Fillets?

Trout fillets are much easier to prepare. Deboned and descaled, these are ready for pan-frying, poaching, steaming or cooking en papillote. You can crisp up the skin when pan-frying which will add a nice texture to the tender and flaky meat. You can order trout fillets here.


Fresh Trout Fillets

Where Can You Buy Fresh Trout?

Ready to add fresh trout to your menu for the week? Fish Plaice delivers nationwide. Place your orders here for whole, gutted trout, and trout fillets

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