Sea trout is also known as weakfish and spotted or speckled seatrout. Found primarily in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, sea trout is a small, white-fleshed fish that has thick, mild-flavored fillets similar in texture to red snapper or pollock. In the South, sea trout is traditionally served battered or breaded and deep-fried. For less fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, choose a preparation method such as broiling, poaching or steaming. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, sea trout may contain high levels of mercury and should be eaten only occasionally by certain people.
Preheat the broiler. Position the oven rack so that it is about 4 inches from the heating element.
Brush a broiler pan or baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Place the sea trout fillets on the pan. Brush each fillet with oil and season them with salt, pepper and other seasonings, if desired.
Broil the fish approximately eight to 10 minutes for sea trout fillets that are approximately 1 inch thick.
Saute minced garlic in olive or vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add about 1 cup of liquid, choosing from broth, water, wine, soy sauce or a combination.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Add your choice of seasonings.
Place the sea trout fillets into the liquid, put the pot's lid in place and turn the heat down to medium. Poach the fish for about eight minutes.
Fill a large saucepan with approximately 1 inch of water. Put a steamer basket or insert into the pan.
Bring the water to a boil. Put the sea trout fillets on the steamer insert and cover the pan.
Allow the fish to steam, planning on eight minutes for fillets that are 1 inch thick.
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- Florida Museum of Natural History: Spotted Seatrout
- How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food; Mark Bittman
- Florida Sportsman: Fried Seatrout Recipe
- Natural Resource Defense Council: Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion Nebulosus)
- SunSentinel: Steaming Fish Fillets Fast, Easy, But Don't Overcook
- Use a thin-bladed knife to check the doneness of sea trout fillets, advises cookbook author Mark Bittman. The fish is done when the blade slides easily into the thickest part of the fillet. In addition, the inside of the fillet should appear white with only a small amount of translucence.
- Freshly caught sea trout may be infested with small worms, often called spaghetti worms, which are the larvae of a species of tapeworm. Texas Parks and Wildlife assures that these worms cannot survive in humans and won't cause illness, though you may want to remove the worms before cooking and eating the fish.
- Young children and women who are nursing, pregnant or planning to become pregnant should limit themselves to six or fewer servings of fish such as sea trout per month to keep their mercury intake low. Other moderate-mercury fish include bass, snapper, mahi mahi, halibut and cod.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
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