How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking? | High Sierra Topix  

How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby tightline » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:12 pm

This past couple of summers, kind of just on a whim because I like certain kinds of fish soup, we poached some trout---don't overcook, and be careful on this because it's handy to hold onto the tail to flake the meat off with a fork (there is kind of a technique to this but it's easy) into a bowl or pan. Be aware that smaller trout poach in a hurry too. Heat up some Lipton onion soup-however much you prefer, you can actually cook it down to where it's relatively thick almost like a sauce if you want, or not if you want...........mix in the trout. I'll tell you what, it's damn good. Easy...and you can't pack lighter than the Lipton soup. It's gotten me to wondering if there is some kind of dehydrated chowder type mix out there but I have not looked around that much. With soup though I am sure there a lot of other options. Anyway, I cooked this up for a bunch of guys in their 20's who brought too many trout back to camp, their limits but man I was like what are you doing you'll never eat all those...anyway, I did that recipe----those fish got scarfed.



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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby cvr » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:30 pm

I leave for a trip tomorrow, so I have been daydreaming about this very topic at work all day...

I have tried many, more elaborate methods of cooking backcountry trout, but I always come back to the same simple method, partly because of the ease of preperation, partly due to the low weight of the ingredients, but mostly because I like it best.

I use a MSR Superfly stove since it has a somewhat large burner so I can get a good, dispersed heat along with a MSR Duralight 7.25" non-stick frypan with lid. I rarely have anything stick and the lid aids in quick cooking and steaming if desired. Unfortunatley, I had to buy the whole cookset in order to get the lid with the rest of the set going largely unused as I use titanium for most of my cooking.

The plan is pretty simple, heat a little olive oil and throw the fillets or, if small, whole cleaned trout in. I usually cut off the heads and tails due to my pan size. About midway through the cooking process, I drizzle about half a lemon juice packet (Coffee Bean) on the fillets or in the body cavity and add thyme, garlic powder, (and sometimes rosemary) along with a little salt and some fresh cracked pepper from my GSI pepper grinder. This is one of my luxury items I have grown to be unable to go on a trip without, along with my Snow Peak double wall titanium cup, but that's another story. I have used fresh garlic in the past and have found it burns easily and often overpowers all the others spices, so I stick with powder. It can be easily used to spice other meals as well. Anyway, let the trout cook until done and then add the remainder of the lemon juice just before serving.

It is dowright delicious and the natural trout taste shines through. :yummy: If your group has two or more stoves and frypans/pots, I have found that sauteeing up some almond slivers in butter (preferably) or oil and then adding some already rehydrated Mountain House green beans along with some salt makes a pretty good side dish. Fresh, pan-sauteed, herb trout with green beans almondine at 11,000 feet - Life is good. It's not neccessary, but on trips with the wife, I bring along a little Chardonnay and \:D/
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby GearChukker » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:59 pm

Where fires are allowed... double wrap tinfoil in the coals with a little olive oil, a slice or two of lemon, a dash of garlic powder, and a dash of lemon pepper. I try not to go too heavy with any seasoning as wild trout is awesome all on it's own. If no fires then they go into a small non-stick pan with similar seasonings, but they get cut up to fit, definitely no head and tail.

Once done, they get eaten directly, in tortillas as trout tacos, or in pasta with a pesto sauce...
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby balzaccom » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:25 am

I don't like carrying a lot of weight, and measure my pack by ounces. So a skillet is out of the question--even an 8 oz one!

So we use a couple of different methods. (BTW, I usually practice C&R--probably only keep fish once or twice a season). That said, the way I originally learned to cook fish is still the simplest and easiest. I take a couple of alder branches ( you know what alders are--they are the bushes in the stream that always take a couple of your flies and keep them!) and slice off the leaves and put a point on them. These then become skewers. I feed these through the mouth of the trout, then through the backbone near the tail, and grill the fish like hot-dogs over a fire. Works perfectly. Doesn't require oil or a heavy pan. And you can burn the alder stick later, to elimate any cooking smell.

But that won't work above the campfire restrictions, sadly enough. We sometimes fry up the fish in our lightweight pot over a pocket-rocket...but that is a pretty inefficient way to cook them. Above 10K feet, we usually don't eat fish.

On the other hand, my wife is a professional chef, so she has also used a package of sliced almonds and some instant chicken soup to make a sauce for the trout...pour that over noodles and you have trout almondine. Very yummy, especially with a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc from Alsace...

And you can forget your pounds and ounces if you a packing wine! That's a recipe for a short pack trip, or maybe one with a mule? grin.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby nevadasmith » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:57 pm

Lately I have been doing the 100% raw routine in the back woods. unless I am in the camp fire
zones, I'll cook a little over the open fire by placing foil wrapped trout in the fire. I'll add some
butter, rosemary, salt, & pepper usually. when I find wild onions along the stream banks I will place them in the foil with the fish.
in the high elevations where I prefer to be, I place small chunks of raw trout into an aluminum bowl, & I pour some premixed(at home) olive oil/wasabi/salt/sesami seeds
onto the trout & mix in some pickled ginger. & I'm good to go.
& I usually have some ack mak crackers that go really good with my sierrashimi.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby rlown » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:37 pm

nevadasmith wrote:Lately I have been doing the 100% raw routine in the back woods. ...

in the high elevations where I prefer to be, I place small chunks of raw trout into an aluminum bowl, & I pour some premixed(at home) olive oil/wasabi/salt/sesami seeds
onto the trout & mix in some pickled ginger. & I'm good to go.
& I usually have some ack mak crackers that go really good with my sierrashimi.


Wow.. you must want to be the next poster child for "Monsters Inside Me." More power to you if you like it raw. I'd at least do a ceviche to partially "cook" it with some lemon or orange.

I generally cut the fish in half if too big for the pan.. Some lakes, we cut off the tail, cook the heads for the cheeks, but lately..

Saute' the onion/garlic first.. set aside.. Add more olive oil, cook, the fish, turning 3 times. If it's cold, my foil covers the pan, to keep the heat in; foil removed in the picture. On the last turn, I cut an orange in half and squeeze it over all the fish.. That with the oil makes a great last minute drizzle. Fish is removed when i can peel the bones easily from the filet.

fish.JPG
.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby evan » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:38 pm

@ rlown - couldnt possibly agree anymore re: trout cheecks - they're so tasty!

@ SSSdave - I keep the trout cooking simplistic - extravirgin oil in the pan & a light/desent
amount of lemonpepper inside (helping to mask that "innerds" taste. Other than that, nothing
else, I like the natural flavors of the different trout - and, IMHO, there is a difference in
flavors between the different trout species. Next year I wouldn't mind trying a different manner
of preparing trout; something simplistic, full of flavor, and relatively lightweight.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:42 pm

evan wrote:I keep the trout cooking simplistic - extravirgin oil in the pan & a light/desent
amount of lemonpepper inside (helping to mask that "innerds" taste.


What "innerds" taste? If a trout is cleaned properly, the innerds are gone.. anything you add at that point is to accentuate the positive flavor.. I'm guessing most have never tried the eggs?

Totally agree with olive oil. Not sure if the smoke point matters if you can control your stove.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby evan » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:39 pm

You have sparked my curiosity - how do you cook/eat the trout eggs? Probably no
different than roe in the sushi rolls, Im guessing!

Its just an old cooking habit to put lemon pepper on the inside. Maybe in fact there may
not be any "innerds" taste but, I have never eaten trout that didn't have lemon pepper
generously coating the insides. Maybe I should try it without the lemon pepper some time -
to get the full natural flavor. I agree, adding things like lemon pepper, salt, etc is done
to enhance or "draw out" more flavor. Smoke from the oil has very seldom been a problem.
Like you said, you have got to know your stove and how to use it.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby 87TT » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:56 pm

Like this. :D


Image

Image

Close to the source.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:38 am

Perhaps this has already been asked but hopefully not. Since cooking in my pot above the tree line is a horrible mess of a job that leaves my titanium pot completely burnt I was considering the idea of putting the fish into a pot shaped foil and putting water into my pot and bringing it to a boil and allow the fish to sit in the foil and be cooked by the boiling water. Has anyone tried this? I figure if it works it will also keep the seasonings and oil with the fish.
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Re: How do you prepare and cook your trout while backpacking?

Postby oldranger » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:29 am

Rogue...

The best trout I have eaten in the backcountry has been cooked by markskor. Once we cut an nice trout I caught into 3 big chuncks, mark seasoned and wrapped it in foil and cooked it in one of our backpacking pans over one of our msr stoves. I'm pretty sure he put a little olive oil on each of the hunks. Then he served the fish, perfectly deboned, to Kathy and I. We had some seasoned precooked rice and Kathy and Mark drank Coronas and I had a Black Butte Porter. It just doesn't get any better. Good food, good friends, good drink! And no pan to clean!

I really think that marks cooking and serving fish is one of the highlights of my 50+ years of backpacking. :) =D> :thumbsup: :drinkers:

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