Pan-fried rainbows - to scale or not to scale?

A
aster
Caught my first bunch of rainbows yesterday and was going to pan fry them tonight. They're cleaned but not scaled, as I got contradictory advice on whether scaling was necessary/desirable for rainbow trout.

What are folks' thoughts on scaling those guys? FWIW they're around 9-10".
And any other panfrying advice?
 
M
mgdguy
I give em a scrape under cold water for a minute. Don't get too anal about it though. The scales that will stay on through that won't bother ya while they cook. IMO anyway.
 
C
capblack
ive never seen anyone scale a rainbow, just fry them, then peel the skin back, and enjoy. Brian
 
A
aster
capblack said:
ive never seen anyone scale a rainbow, just fry them, then peel the skin back, and enjoy. Brian

My thought was that we'd eat the skin, or am I off base on that?
 
C
capblack
I never eat the skin, maybe others do? Brian
 
B
beaverfan
Always skin your Trout, tastes so much better!
 
S
Santiam338
I don't eat the skin either...

When you gut your fish,slit through the gills and pull gills,guts and all...Pop the head back and pull..The skin peels right off...Dip your skinned trout in a egg batter,roll in flour and fry...I guarantee you will not miss the skin..
 
B
buddah426
Santiam338 said:
I don't eat the skin either...

When you gut your fish,slit through the gills and pull gills,guts and all...Pop the head back and pull..The skin peels right off...Dip your skinned trout in a egg batter,roll in flour and fry...I guarantee you will not miss the skin..

leave the head on the smaller ones, they're easier to flip by the head. and i use corn meal in place of flour. personal preference in taste.
 
Z
ZeeBorn
So I guess I'm the odd man out because I leave the head and skin on, don't scale and I eat the skin! To prepare my trout I will take a sharp knife and make slices 90 degrees to the length of the fish and about 1/4" deep (more or less depending on the size of the fish). I do these slices about every 1/8-1/4" from gills to tail and on both sides. Then I will sprinkle on lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other spices depending on how fancy I want to get. I also make sure that all of this is getting into every slice that I made. I heat up a pan with olive oil (2-5 table spoons depending on pan and fish size) and when the oil is good and hot in goes the fish. One of the keys to this is to only flip one time! This will take some practice to be able to tell when its time to flip but I'm sure you all have experience in the matter.
So, as the fish cooks the skin will become crispy and very tasty thanks to the slits. When it's done remove the fish from the pan but keep the heat on. Pour some lemon juice into the pan about the same amount as the oil. Stir this around scraping the pan as you go. The acid in the juice will dissolve the stuff that has stuck to the pan. When that has boiled down some you will then have a delicious glaze to drizzle over the fish. Pour yourself a glass of a good wheat beer and enjoy! If you do this, the skin will be one of your favorite parts!
I also do this with salmon and steelhead fillets but in that case I do scale them.
Cheers!
Nate
 
Last edited:
M
metalfisher76
Yup, trout skin was one of my favs growin up. Crunchy, it`s good stuff!
 
B
bernduffy
I find that frying them with the skin (which I don't eat) keeps the meat more tender. God they're good!

BTW: I've had some that were in the freezer for six months and were surprisingly tasty and tender....
 
G
Griz
When I was growing up we always ate the skin on the fish, but the fish we caught were not the stockers I catch now. I had a friend skin some trout for me and they were great ! If they have the skin on them I just peel it off. I really think this is just a personal choice and have found that people who are not big fish eaters will prefer a skinned trout over one with the skin on it. Just dip em and roll em in Pride of the West and your good to go.
 
A
aster
Thanks for all the replies guys.

For what it's worth - I kept the skin on and fried them with clarified butter, s&p, herbs, a little lemon. Turned out perfect and the skin was crispy and delicious. Even my girlfriend (who is skeptical of obvious animal carcasses on her plate) happily ate it all...
 
J
JeannaJigs
Gag! I can't handle the taste or the fishy smell of the skin. The first time I had skinless trout, it did not stink in the pan cooking, and did not have that fishy taste...it was the most glorious day of my fish eating career, and I haven't looked back since.
 
T
Thuggin4Life
Somehow I missed this. I always scale them. But recently i learnded to skin them and boy did it make a difference. When smoking fish I leave the skin on but same thing I scale them.
 
N
nwkiller
i love to eat the skins, mostley on salmon though....but the best part of the trout is its cheaks.....just peel back the gill plate and find it...mmmmmmmm:dance:
 
J
JeannaJigs
nwkiller said:
i love to eat the skins, mostley on salmon though....but the best part of the trout is its cheaks.....just peel back the gill plate and find it...mmmmmmmm:dance:

Seriously?!? The cheeks?!
 
A
aster
JeannaJigs said:
Gag! I can't handle the taste or the fishy smell of the skin. The first time I had skinless trout, it did not stink in the pan cooking, and did not have that fishy taste...it was the most glorious day of my fish eating career, and I haven't looked back since.

Sounds like it's just a matter of preference - I noticed surprisingly little fishy taste/smell. I did fry them very hot and very quick, which might've had something to do with it.
 
T
Throbbit _Shane
nwkiller said:
i love to eat the skins, mostley on salmon though....but the best part of the trout is its cheaks.....just peel back the gill plate and find it...mmmmmmmm:dance:

hmmm. i might need to start leaving the heads on, so i can try some cheek meat. :D
 
S
SmallStreams
aster said:
Even my girlfriend (who is skeptical of obvious animal carcasses on her plate) happily ate it all...

Ha-ha-ha! Sounds like my wife, who especially won't let me leave the heads on... I've always cooked with skin on and that gives you a choice to eat or not. Never scaled a trout in my life. Usually when I fry, half the skin ends up sticking in the pan (probably am doing something wrong, but the fish tastes good anyways).

Rather than frying, though, I've had the most consistent success with baking. Generous sprinkling of basil and a butter pat does quite nicely.
 

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