Lemony Smoked Trout Salad on Endive

by Sarah on December 21, 2010

RIP Captain Beefheart.

I’m not going to comment further on Don Van Vliet’s death, but coincidentally, I smoked some trout last week.  This is really a stretch tying these two incidents together, isn’t it?  Even for me.  But every time I say “trout”, I see that weird album cover.  I can’t help it.

I made this smoked trout salad and served it on endive spears.  It was pretty swell.  That’s radicchio on top.

So, I didn’t have much luck in sourcing pre-made smoked trout, so I went ahead and made it myself.  Never mind that I’d never smoked a trout, much less filleted one.  I’ve filleted exactly 3 fishes before, probably 2 of those at school.  You gotta learn sometime, I suppose.  You should rinse it off, inside and out, and pat it dry so it’s not too slippery.

I chopped off it’s head and tossed it.  If you want to make fish stock you can do that.  Start at the tail end and make a slice to the bone.  Turn the knife away from you, and try to feel where the spine is.

Lay your hand on top of the fish to keep it steady and to help guide your knife through.  You can feel where the spine is, just keep going straight till you get to the other side.

Then flip it over and do it again.

The first time it might look a little bit mangled, but they start looking better by the 2nd or 3rd one.

Put all the fishes on a tray and season them fairly liberally with salt and a few teaspoons of sugar.

Light a fire in your smoker or grill using hardwood charcoal or some wood.  You can soak and use wood chips too.  Let the coals cool to 160*.  Put the fish in, close the vents and close the lid.  Let go for about an hour.  Remove and refrigerate overnight.

For the salad, break apart the trout fillets, taking care to pull out all of the little pin bones you can find.  There are about a million of them.  Lightly fold in the salad ingredients, taking care not to smush it together too much.

Spoon into endive spears and top with julienned radicchio or parsley.

You could probably just use a good quality oil-packed tuna for this also, or smoked salmon.  But the adventure of smoking the trout is pretty cool.


Lemony Smoked Trout Salad on Endive Spears

Serves 30-40 as hors d’oeurves

4 whole trout, filleted

4 leaves radicchio, julienned

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup minced parsley

1 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

The juice of 1 lemon

salt, pepper

5-6 endive, separated into spears


Smoke trout for one hour in a grill or smoker at 160*.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Break into small flakes, pulling out pin bones as you go.

Add the rest of the salad ingredients, reserving half of the radicchio.  Fold in lightly so you don’t smash the smoked trout.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Place a Tbsp or so of the trout into the squared end of the endive.  Garnish with the remaining radicchio.

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