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Three ways to cook Taupo trout

Taupo for known for its bountiful wild, fat brown and rainbow trout, and catching it yourself is the only way to taste it. Either in the lakes or on the rivers, you’re bound to see plenty of fish, let alone catch one or two keepers. But what do you do when you have caught the perfect fish for dinner? Below are three tried, tested and tasty trout recipes from locals to help you cook your catch:

Peppered Roast Trout, serves 3-4

Ken Drummond, Professional Fishing Guide, Central Plateau

A delicious and easy recipe for a melt-in-the-mouth, flavoursome fish:

Ingredients
2x tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1x tablespoon whole Szechuan peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon whole Jamaica pepper (allspice)
1/2 tablespoon coarse cooking salt
1x whole trout, gilled and gutted – 2-4 lb
1x tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup of a crisp Marlborough sauvignon blanc

Step 1 - Lightly toast whole spices in a dry frying pan, then grind or pound coarsely and blend with salt.

Step 2 - Blend 1 tablespoon of the spice mix with 1 tablespoon of sweet New Zealand butter and lemon juice. Rub the mix on the skin and in the cavity of a whole trout.

Step 3 - Place the trout on a sheet of aluminium foil in a baking dish. Roast open at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes, then add enough white wine to moisten the fish. Wrap the foil over it to seal in the moisture, and cook gently for a further 20-30 minutes for a 3lb fish. Allow approx 15 minutes per pound.

Serve – Able to feed 3-4 hungry people, place whole fish with foil on a large sharing plate. Open foil, smell the aromatics and tuck in.

Ken suggests accompanying trout with a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc or pinot gris.

Coconut and Lime ceviche with Rainbow Trout, serves 4

Jude Messenger, Head Chef and Owner of The Bistro, Taupo

Often used at the The Bistro, this recipe is a great way to us the leftover belly trim from your catch. It’s quick to prepare and makes a great starter:

Ingredients
400g rainbow trout (belly flesh sliced into thin strips)
1x orange (juice and zest)
2x lemons (juice and zest)
2x limes (juice and zest)
200ml coconut milk (with the cream from the top of the can mixed in)
25-30g palm sugar (smashed to a paste in a mortar and pestle)
1tsp fish sauce
1tbsp peanuts (toasted golden and chopped)
1/4 red banana chilli (seeds removed, flesh sliced)
1x red radish (sliced thin and cut into small sticks)
Hand full coriander (picked and sliced, save some to garnish)

Step 1 - Place the sliced trout into a marinating bowl and add the zest from ½ of the orange, one of the lemons and both the limes, followed by 150ml of the juice.

Step 2 - While the acid from the citrus is gently cooking the fish prepare the remainder of the ingredients and add them to the trout.

Step 3 - Cover the ceviche and set it aside in the fridge until needed, when you are ready to serve garnish with some of the coriander leaf and radish sticks.

Serve - This ceviche recipe is so light and delicious you will want to whip some up every time you have friends over, it can be eaten right away when made with trout or any other sashimi quality fish but gets even better when it is left to marinate for a couple of hours.

Smoked Trout Dip

Vanya Insull, VJ Cooks – Family Food, Taupo

Once you’ve reeled in a keeper, take it to any local butcher for smoking. Of course, you can simply eat your beautiful smoked trout as is, although for something a little different or to make use of leftovers try Vanya’s easy and tasty dip.

Ingredients
300g smoked trout
200g cream cheese
125g sour cream
1x lemon zest and juice
1x spring onion, sliced
Black pepper

Step 1 – Flake your fish in a mixer (with the whisk attachment) or by hand in a large bowl until finely shredded.

Step 2 – In the bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, spring onion, lemon zest and juice. Mix well until combined, scrape the edges and mix again.

Step 3 – Add plenty of freshly cracked pepper to taste, mix once more and then it’s ready to serve. Perfect with crackers or on fresh, soft bread.

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