If you're lucky enough to have caught or have been given a fresh rainbow trout this is a must-try recipe, although it is equally delicious with salmon.
Curing trout with a mix of salt and sugar draws out moisture from the flesh, intensifying the trout's flavour and colour, and firming up its texture. This is essentially trout gravlax, which is traditionally flavoured with dill; however, I've used lime and basil which gives a wonderful flavour.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Curing time: 24-36 hours
• fresh trout 1 whole side or fillet (skin on), pin-boned
• 2 tbsp salt
• 2 tbsp sugar
• ½ cup basil leaves, sliced
• Finely grated zest of 2 limes
1. Cut trout fillet in half widthways. Lay the square/rectangular half on a dish or plate, skin side down. Mix salt, sugar, basil and lime zest together and sprinkle over the flesh of the trout.
Place the other (tail-end) piece of trout on top, so that the two pieces sandwich the curing mixture and the skin is facing out. Wrap securely with cling film, place another plate on top and weigh down with something heavy, eg, a cast-iron pan or mortar and pestle. Place in the fridge for 24-36 hours.
2. Remove cling film and pour off the liquid that has seeped out of the trout during the curing process. Wipe trout fillets clean with a paper towel to get rid of the wilted basil and any excess salt and sugar. The trout will be a deeper colour and the flesh much firmer (a result of extracting moisture).
3. Remove skin from trout using a sharp knife. The trout is now ready to be used. Slice very thinly to serve with crackers and cream cheese or creme fraiche, or make a trout tartare. Cured trout will keep in the fridge for up to a week.