Food, Main Courses

Crispy Trout with Spring Orzo – Recipe!

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Trout, a fresh water fish, with a mild taste and flaky interior, is quite abundant during spring and summer. Trout is relatively inexpensive and you can buy either a whole trout, and slice it in half, or purchase individual fillets – which cook nicely right on the stove top.

Crispy Trout is another one of my favorite things.  I remember going camping in Yosemite as a kid with my family, and my Uncle J catching fresh fish from the river, and frying them over an open flame in the middle of our campsite – that was some fresh fish.  Those flavors and food memories have stayed with me for many years, that’s probably why I love this fish so much.

Sprinkling trout with a dusting of semolina, cornmeal or flour is a necessity for an superb exterior.  It only takes just a smidge to create a crispy crust that will blow your mind, and taste buds….so to speak.  A little squeeze of lemon to finish the fish is all you need for a fresh ending.

Spring Orzo is a simple preparation of pasta, with fresh peas, lemon and parmesan.  It only take 8-minutes for an extraordinary side dish and boy does it make the trout taste even better.  Also, I like to pile a little mixed greens under the trout before plating, because let’s face it – you can never have enough fresh greens.


2-4 trout fillets, skin on

2 tablespoons semolina, or cornmeal

1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

3 cups mixed greens


1 cup dried orzo pasta

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 small white onion, diced

2 tablespoon butter, divided

1 lemon + more for garnish

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

salt & pepper

vegetable oil

(Serves 2-4)

To Prepare:

1. Pat dry trout and place on a plate.  In a small bowl, combine semolina, thyme, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, stir.  Sprinkle trout with semolina mixture on both sides.

2. In a saucepan, boil orzo for 6 minutes.  Add peas and continue boiling for 3 minutes, drain through strainer.

3.  In the same saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and diced onion.  Saute onion for 3 minutes, and add orzo and peas, stir.  Zest lemon and slice in half, add zest and juice to orzo mixture, along with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add parmesan and stir to combine.  Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, stir. Turn heat off and cover with lid, until fish is ready.

4.  Drizzle 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan and place over medium heat.  After 3 minutes, add the trout, flesh side down.  Cook trout for 3 minutes, or until lightly crispy, flip over.  Turn heat to low and cook trout another 3-4 minutes, or until crispy skin.  To plate – take a handful of mixed greens and place on plate, layer with a piece of crispy trout and spoon a dollop of orzo on the side.  Serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze over fish and orzo. Enjoy!

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