As you're no doubt aware, we've been overindulging for far too long and loving the comfort food, so I figured it was high time for a change of venue. Last night's main event was broiled steelhead trout, covered in an Asian flavored glaze. It was my first experience with a fish that at first glance looks an awful lot like salmon. That's where the similarity ends though in my book.
Steelhead trout are naturally indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, though some can be found farther south in California too. Reaching up to 55 pounds in weight though the average size is smaller, they are a rather unique species in that they develop differently depending on their environment. Some spend their whole lives in fresh water while others migrate for hundreds of miles from the ocean to spawn in fresh water. The interesting thing is that unlike salmon they can spawn more than one time, and may make that migration many times in their average lifespan of 11 years. Imagine swimming upstream from the Pacific Ocean all the way in to Idaho to drop some eggs. Kinda' gives a whole new meaning to "labor" doesn't it?
Anyway, enough of the educatin' - now for the cookin' and the eatin'. I was kind of swimming in the dark on this one, never having cooked Steelhead before, so I wasn't sure whether to treat it like trout or treat it like salmon. I went by the KISS rule and made a glaze that's from the Legal Seafood's Cookbook the big guy brought back for me from a trip to Boston in 2006. (Yes, he spoils me like that on a regular basis!). Download Asian Glazed Steelhead
I'm really ticked with myself for not doubling the glaze recipe to store some leftovers in the fridge, cause it would be incredible on broiled chicken wings too - actually it would be good on almost anything! It's sweet from brown sugar and hoisin sauce, and spicy from garlic and ginger, and oh there's a touch of heat with some chile flakes too of course! The garlic and ginger got crunchy under the broiler, and the glaze caramelized and coated the Steelhead beautifully, as you can see. Served on a bed of mixed greens and herbs, it was absolutely a feast for the eyes. The flavor was amazing and while this fish may look like salmon, it doesn't have any of the oily fatty texture that salmon has. It was tender, moist, succulent and totally boneless! I'd pick it over salmon anytime and you're talking to a salmon lover! Can't wait to try it smoked, or in a taco, or in pasta. Mmm - Actually, I can't wait to send the big guy out fishing for it...in Oregon!