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Mar 24, 2009 08:56 AM

Rainbow trout

Does it have a similar taste to salmon ? I don't as a rule like non-salt water fish because I find them sweet and bland but since it looks so much like salmon... All opinions welcome!

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  1. It matters what theye've been eating and what kind of water they have been living in (wild ones). cold clear water and lots of live things to eat they are better tasting. Big lake trout are mushy and usually taste like the cross between moss and mud. Farm raised trout like you get in restaruants are fair.

    1 Reply
    1. It's perhaps milder than most salmon. Some or most of the farm-raised rainbow trout are fed a diet of liver pellets, which imparts a flavor different from wild rainbows, which one must catch oneself. Wild have firmer flesh, also; they worked for a living.
      Pan fry slowly in butter, skin on, both sides and a bit on the back. The skin, which will remove easily, is edible on small ones, but can approach scaly on larger ones. With care, the skeleton can be removed in a single piece, save for a few small bones behind the gills. Tasty with any meal of the day.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        Can't you scale them? I do it with saltwater speckled trout, using a filet knife, going against the grain. That crispy skin is really good. I fry my specks in corn meal cut with a little flour, soaked in milk and egg wash first, it's outstanding, I don't know if works with rainbows, never had one. That frying in butter sounds really good, I'll give it a try.

        1. re: James Cristinian

          If the trout's small enough the scales are quite fine to eat, similar to arctic char.

          1. re: Blueicus

            Understood, but can't you just scale the larger ones?

          2. re: James Cristinian

            The scales come off even the largest Trout with very little effort. A straight dull knife is all it takes.

            The first shot below of a 5-1/2 lb Steelhead shows how readily the scales come off.

            The second is the same fish dressed out.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              Speckled trout, aka weakfish and a number of other names, are totally unrelated to salmonids (i.e., trout and salmon).

              1. re: FlyFish

                I know that, I was just using the scaling technique as an example. I could of used a freshwater fish like a laregmouth bass, yes I'll eat a largemouth( gasp, to all you catch and releasers), but since I catch far more specks, thats what I used.

              2. re: James Cristinian

                That preparation would totally work with a rainbow trout, wild or farmed. :-) I like to fry'em in bacon grease or grapeseed oil, something with a nice high smoke point.

            2. I find rainbow trout quite different from salmon. Steel head trout are very similar to salmon.

              1. Wild Rainbow are very similar to wild freshwater Salmon, only with less of that "Salmon tang" and the slightest bit sweeter. I find the best eating size to be about 3 to 4 lbs. Great Lakes Rainbow are decidedly different in taste and colour from river fish. We prepare them the same as we do Salmon.

                1. Rainbow trout were for years thought to be part of the genus Salmo, which includes the brown trout, cutthroat, and Atlantic salmon. They have since been placed in the genus Oncorhyncus, which includes the five species of Pacific salmon (chinook, coho, chum, pink, sockeye - - these are known in Alaska, respectively, as king, silver, dog, humpie, and red). So, it's more correct to think of rainbow trout as a salmon that's become adapted to spending most of its time in freshwater. Steelhead are rainbow trout that have run downstream, gone out to sea for a few years, and returned - which is, of course, exactly what the other salmon species do. (And if anyone really cares, brook trout and lake trout are not trout or salmon but are species of char, genus Salvelinus.)

                  All of that said, the differences in flavor between species is primarily a result of the amount of fat in the flesh, which is in part genetic (some species are inherently fattier), in part local (some rivers have fattier fish than others), and in part a product of what the fish has been eating. The intensity of the pink coloration in the flesh tends to be a result of feeding on small crustaceans, and these are much more plentiful in the ocean. In general, fish that are returning from their time at sea are going to be fattier and more red in color, and more flavorful than fish that have spent their lives, or at least some time, in freshwater.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FlyFish

                    What he said.

                    Many lakes around here (NorCal) have populations of trout and of landlocked salmon. When caught in the same lake at the same time of year, they taste more alike than different because they are genetically similar, have similar food supplies, are exposed to similar environmental conditions, and have to exert similar amounts of energy to find food and avoid predators.

                    If you like wild salmon, you'll probably enjoy wild rainbow trout. Whether you'll like the farmed stuff in the fish case at the grocery store is more of an open question, though.