Catch of the day

June 29, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Issaquah chefs turn local trout into gourmet creations

Christopher Brown, executive chef at sip. at the wine bar and restaurant, sprinkles the final touches onto his grilled trout with brown-buttered leeks. By Greg Farrar

Christopher Brown, executive chef at sip. at the wine bar and restaurant, sprinkles the final touches onto his grilled trout with brown-buttered leeks. By Greg Farrar

Sunshine, swimming at local lakeside beaches and dropping your line in the water for a leisurely afternoon of fishing is part of what summer is all about.

Whether you’re a fishing pro, a novice or beginner, the fish can start piling up faster than you can eat them. While plentiful and tasty, more often than not, trout can leave home cooks confounded for ways to prepare it.

So, we’ve asked for help from our local palate perfectionists — chefs from some of Issaquah’s most well-known restaurants.

Each restaurant’s chef was asked to submit his favorite or a creative way to prepare trout, so your culinary know-how can move from butter, salt and pepper into gourmet-inspired creations that will be anything but boring.

Bon appétit!

sip. at the wine bar and restaurant

Whole grilled trout with brown-buttered leeks (serves two)

Chef: Christopher Brown


  • 2 scaled whole fresh trout
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ounce fresh oregano
  • 1 ounce fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 ounce minced garlic


Season the whole fish inside and out with sea salt. Stuff with the fresh herbs and coat with olive oil. Place on a well-seasoned, hot grill. While the first side of the trout is cooking, place the unsalted butter and brown it in a sauté pan over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the butter. Place the leeks and garlic in the pan and sweat the leeks as they cook. Season with salt and pepper. While cooking the leeks, flip trout and continue cooking. Once trout is finished, place it on a plate and pour the brown-buttered leeks over the entire fish and serve.

Coho Cafe

Macadamia crusted trout with papaya mango salsa and orange cinnamon couscous (serves two)

Chef: Bruce Nacion


Papaya mango salsa

  • 1 pound papaya (ripe), peeled and diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 pound mango (ripe), peeled and diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño (seeded), minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1/4 ounce cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ounce lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

Trout fillets

  • 1/2 pound panko
  • 1/2 pound coarsely minced macadamia nuts
  • 1 ounce lemon zest, minced
  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 5-ounce trout fillets (skin on)

Combine panko, nuts and lemon zest on a sheet pan. Season the skinless side of the fillets with kosher salt and pepper, and then dredge the same skinless side in flour. Dip the seasoned side in buttermilk and press into panko mixture. Only bread the skinless side. Lay on waxed parchment and refrigerate.

Cilantro oil

  • 1 ounce chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 ounce lemon juice

Add all to blender and purée until cilantro is minced. Refrigerate.

Cinnamon orange couscous

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, minced
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous

Add all ingredients except couscous to pot and bring to simmer. Add couscous to liquid and cook for 8 minutes.

Beurre blanc sauce

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 ounce minced shallots
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup heavy whip
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter

Reduce wine, shallots and peppercorns to almost dry in heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add cream and reduce to a thick sauce consistency. Slowly add butter while rapidly whipping to emulsify. Hold sauce at 125 degrees, so as not to break.


Pan fry with oil trout fillets until golden. Place 5 ounces of couscous off center plate. Lay fillet atop couscous. Top fillet with 3 ounces papaya mango salsa. Drizzle beurre blanc sauce and cilantro oil on one side of couscous.

Fins Bistro

Fins crab-stuffed trout (serves two)

Chef: Zul Megji


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces crab meat (This recipe was made with Dungeness, but the selection is up to you.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces fresh trout, boned
  • Hollandaise sauce (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until soft. Remove from heat and stir in all ingredients except trout.

Using a spoon, fill each trout with stuffing so that both sides of the trout come together. Brush with olive oil or butter and season with salt and pepper. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve topped with Hollandaise sauce, if desired.

The Flat Iron Grill

Trout Tacos (serves two)

Chef: Cody Reaves

Salsa criolla

  • 4 diced roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 ounce diced red onion
  • 1 ounce diced poblano peppers
  • 1 ounce red wine vinegar
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients, stir together and then set aside. Makes about 6 ounces.


  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 1 bunch chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 ounces chopped oregano
  • 2 ounces chopped basil
  • 1 ounce champagne vinegar
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor. As it is blending, drizzle 1cup Can-Olive oil. Makes about 2 ounces.

Taco extras

  • 6 ounces refried black beans
  • 12 grilled white corn tortillas
  • Half of a grilled lemon
  • 2 ounces crème fraiche


  • 1 whole, fresh trout, scored three times across each side
  • Cornstarch
  • Oil

Dust trout in cornstarch. Place oil in a pan. Place trout in hot oil and cook for 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Arrange all ingredients on platter to be shared.

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