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Pan-Fried Whole Trout

In The One I Left Behind, Reggie and Vera’s return to Monique’s Wish is heralded by a kitchen disaster involving pan-fried trout.  This recipe is the one that I imagine Lorraine would have used.  It’s based on the way my grandmother used to fry trout when I was a kid.  Like Reggie, I was always a little put off by the heads still being attached, but it is supposed to improve the flavor of the fish.   Be sure to use caution when heating the oil – we don’t want any kitchen fires!


4 whole trout, cleaned, with tails and heads left on 
1/2 cup flour 
1/2 cup cornmeal 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Olive oil 


Clean the trout, but leave the heads and tails on.  Rinse fish under cold water.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. 

In shallow dish, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Raise heat to high. Dredge fish in flour mixture and fry in hot oil for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until meat flakes with a fork.  

Serve garnished with lemon wedges.


Pair this month's book club recipe of simple pan-fried whole trout with Sutter Home's Sauvignon Blanc.