LAWRENCE MURPHY: Enter, the first sea trout of the season – and it’s wild

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At the beginning of last month we saw the first wild sea trout come into the kitchen.

They are very different to the farmed trout you see in many supermarkets.

Wild sea trout and spicy vegetable salad

Wild sea trout and spicy vegetable salad

The fish, which are the same species as brown trout, swim out to sea giving them a much richer diet.

They grow bigger than brown trout and their skins turn to a bright silver colour before they return to the rivers to spawn.

The migration from the sea to the rivers starts in May.

Most arrive in our summer months, which is when they are caught, and we get the pleasure of cooking them.

The sea trout is similar to wild salmon in colour, flavour and texture and the two can be an alternative to each other in many recipes.

You will need to shop at a good fishmongers to get sea trout but it’s worth the effort to venture outside the supermarket for this exceptional fish. Your fishmonger will also clean, descale and fillet your fish for you, which will save you the time and the mess!

The thought of sea trout cured in lime, a little sugar and salt makes my mouth start to water.

However, if you prefer it cooked try this recipe for a spicy vegetable salad to go with lightly grilled fillets.

Sea trout and spicy vegetable salad

Ingredients (serves four)

700g sea trout fillets

150g carrots

200g mooli

150g runner beans

2 bird’s eye chillies

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 lime

Teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Small knob ginger

2 cloves garlic

Small bunch coriander chopped

Method

1. Shred the runners thinly and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then run under cold water until cold.

2. Do the same thing with the carrots cutting them into match sticks.

3. Cut the mooli into matchsticks and put all the vegetables in a bowl adding sliced spring onion.

4. Heat the oil and add the finely chopped garlic chilli and ginger.

5. Cook for one minute and remove from the heat.

6. Add the soy and fish sauce and the lime juice.

7. Mix in the teaspoon of sugar and pour into the bowl of vegatables and stir in the coriander.

8. Lightly oil the fillets of fish and place under a hot grill for five minutes. If you like your trout cooked a bit more leave under the grill a little longer.

9. Put the salad on to four plates and top with the fish.

- Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth (fatolives.co.uk). Call 01243 377914.

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