Trout is an excellent source of protein and iron, a good source of niacin and riboflavin (B2), and a source of thiamine (B) and Vitamin C.
Aquaculture is centuries old and is widespread in Asia. Until the 1980’s, more than 70% of world supply came from China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
It's a relatively new industry to Canada. In Ontario fish culture goes back to about 1866 but it was only in 1962 that changes to the Game and Fish Act permitted commercial fish raising for stocking and later for human consumption.
Ontario's initial 16 fish farms have grown to more than 200 today.
Buying and storing
Farmed fish are of consistent quality and are available all year round.
You can buy them at retail outlets, farmers' markets or at the farm gate in several forms: whole dressed, fillets or smoked.
To prepare for storage, soak in salted water for 30 minutes to remove the natural slippery, protective coating.
Tightly wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. To store for up to 3 months, freeze tightly-wrapped fish at 0°F (-18°C).
Preparing and cooking
Cook with mild-flavoured oils (such as butter, hydrogenated shortening, peanut or corn oil) to prevent flavour from transferring to the mild flavour of the fish.
To ensure moist and tender fish, probe with a fork while cooking to see that flesh is opaque and flakes easily.
Here's a brief outline of the chief cooking methods:
Pan-Fry: Dip fish pieces in milk, roll in flour. Lightly grease heavy skillet, brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake: Sprinkle with salt and pepper, brush with melted butter or vegetable oil. Bake in well-greased pan for 15 to 20 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
Microwave: Season to taste fresh or thawed fish; cover with plastic wrap leaving one corner open for venting. Cook on high for 5 to 6 minutes per pound (or 4 to 5 minutes per fillet). Let stand 3 to 4 minutes before serving.
Barbecue: Place seasoned fillet on grill, skin side down. Cook on one side only for about 10 minutes at medium to high heat.
Poach: In flat pan, barely cover fish with hot Court Bouillon (see below). Cover and simmer, not boil, 4 to 6 minutes.
Court Bouillon: Combine 1 qt. (1 L) water, 3 tbsp (50 mL) lemon juice or 1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar and 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes before poaching fish.
Broil: Cover with basting oil or Dijon sauce (see below). Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source for about 10 minutes.
Dijon sauce: Mix 1 part Dijon mustard with 3 parts mayonnaise. Season with lemon pepper and fresh dill. Spread evenly over fillets for broiling, baking or barbecuing.