How to Eat a Whole Cooked Trout

Fried trout with almonds
A whole cooked trout ready for a meal. (Image: czekma13/iStock/Getty Images)

Whole cooked trout can be intimidating -- and slightly horrifying -- if you have never been faced with one before. Don’t panic. Eating whole trout is not difficult, and there are good reasons to enjoy it. One 3-oz. serving of cooked whole trout contains B vitamins, iron and 22 g of protein. Trout also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol, which in turn can help to prevent heart disease and keep your blood pressure low.

Step 1

Remove the head by cutting it from the body just behind the gills, and set it aside. Put it on your bread plate if no other plate has been provided.

Step 2

Slice open the skin along the belly, across the tail and along the back. Pull up gently on the edge of the skin nearest you and at the center, like you're opening a laptop. It should come free easily. Slip the knife blade between the skin and the meat all along the length of the fish to loosen it if it sticks. Once the skin is loosened all the way around, cut it from the fish and put it with the head.

Step 3

Pick forkfuls of meat from the fillet and eat them. Stop when you get to the bones.

Step 4

Slide the blade of your knife underneath the bones to loosen them on all sides.

Step 5

Press your fork against the meat of the trout and lift the bones off of it with your knife blade and your thumb. They should come all in one piece. Set the bones aside with the head and skin.

Step 6

Pick forkfuls of meat off of the bottom skin until there is no more left or you have had enough.

Tip

Ask the chef to remove the head if you are squeamish about your dinner looking back at you while you eat it.

Warning

Do not flip your trout over to eat the bottom side if you are eating trout in China because it is considered bad luck.

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