Lake trout get a bad rap.
Many people don’t consider these cold-water dwellers to be desirable table fare due to the high amount of natural fat these fish carry.
Personally, I find lakers ideal candidates for smoking because the smoke adheres to the fat and creates an incredible flavor.
But if that’s not your jam, don’t fret. You are just a few ingredients away from some delicious fish.
This recipe is simple, relatively fast, and easily adjusted to fit your tastes.
Deep Fried Lake Trout Bites Recipe
- Peanut oil
- Two lake trout fillets
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsps. Seasoning salt
Step 1: Pat fillets dry and cut evenly into cubes.
Step 2: In a deep fryer or high-wall pan on a stove top, heat peanut oil until it reaches 350° F. Add enough oil to cover the fillets.
Step 3: Mix flour and seasoning salt together in a medium bowl.
Step 4: Working in batches, add fish cubes to the bowl and toss gently ensuring each piece receives an even amount of coating.
Step 5: Shake off excess coating and add cubes to the hot oil.
Step 6: Once cubes are golden brown, remove from the oil and place on a wire rack over a paper towel to drain.
Step 7: Repeat steps 4-6 until all the fish has been cooked
Substitutions and tips
Soaking the fillets in ice water for a few hours prior to cooking can help remove some of the fish’s natural fat and alleviate the potential for an overly-fishy flavor.
If peanut allergies are a concern, sunflower oil or vegetable oil can be used for frying.
This recipe produces a light, crispy batter. If you are looking for a coating with a bit more body, you can add an egg wash or milk dredge. If you go this route, coat the cubes in flour, then dredge in the egg/milk mixture, then coat in flour one more time.
Make sure to have separate bowls of flour for the first and last coating.
Keep a fry thermometer handy throughout the frying process. You will lose some heat when you first drop the bites into the oil. Don’t be afraid to give the heat a slight boost to help the oil temp recover faster.
Remember, frying is a balancing act. You want to cook quickly enough to avoid the coating becoming saturated in oil, but you also want to ensure the fish is completely cooked. Adjust the heat as needed throughout the cooking process.
While the beauty of this recipe is the simplicity, there is plenty of room to play around with the flavors. Paprika or lemon pepper can easily take the place of the seasoning salt in the flour mixture. Looking to spice things up? Add some cayenne or white pepper to the mix.
When draining, place a wire rack over a paper towel and place the bites on the rack. This will help wick away the leftover oil rather than giving the bites a chance to sit in their own grease.
For added freshness, feel free to squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top of the bites before service.
These bites can be dipped in tartar sauce (preferably homemade) or malt vinegar. They can also be enjoyed as-is.
To add some color, top with chopped fresh parsley. (Something I should have done before taking this picture.)