How to bake or steam rainbow trout

Updated February 21, 2017

Baking or steaming rainbow trout is a healthy way to cook the fish. Very little fat is added -- none, in the case of steaming -- and you can add any seasonings you like. These two methods are convenient if you are cooking larger, whole fish that may not fit into your pan for frying. Steaming fish is also quick and convenient and preserves its delicate flavours. Simple accompaniments, such as rice, vegetables and a twist of lemon or lime, are all you need.

Bake rainbow trout

Make sure that the rainbow trout is thoroughly cleaned. Rinse it and pat it dry. Prepare the other ingredients you are using with the trout. You can add onions and thinly sliced peppers to add subtle sweetness. Lemon is a traditional choice, either stuffed inside, or with wedges or slices on top. Season the fish with salt and pepper.

Lightly grease the baking pan and place the fish inside. Add the other ingredients you are using. If you are using fillets rather than a whole fish, you can bread the fish with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt and pepper. The breading will bake to a crisp golden brown in the oven.

Bake the trout at 230 degrees C (450F) until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. How long this will take depends on the thickness of the fish. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes per 2.5 cm (1 inch) of thickness. Look at the texture of the fish as well. If it is very moist and still translucent, it is undercooked. If it is starting to look dry, it is overcooked.

Steam rainbow trout

Bring about 5 cm (2 inches) of water to a boil in a saucepan. Choose one that your steamer will fit into without touching the water.

Fillet the rainbow trout and gently roll each fillet into a spiral. Place them in the steamer and cover with a tight-fitting lid so none of the steam escapes. You can use either a traditional bamboo steamer or a metal one. Either way, the holes in the bottom allow the steam from the simmering water to gently cook the fish.

Steam the rainbow trout for about seven to 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. It will be moist and delicate after steaming, but should be opaque, not translucent.


You can also steam fish by placing water in a saucepan, putting vegetables in the water and placing the fish on top so it is not touching the water. Cover with a lid and cook. You can also do the same thing in the oven, with the fish and vegetables wrapped in heavy duty aluminium foil.

Things You'll Need

  • Roasting pan or baking tray
  • Steamer
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About the Author

Karen Sheviak has more than 10 years of experience as a writer, researcher and copy editor for "Canadian Living" magazine. She has worked as a freelance editor for other magazines including "Toronto Life." Sheviak has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the University of Toronto and a diploma in journalism from Centennial College in Toronto.