My lovely assistant, Taylor, is always giving me ideas in the kitchen. It’s so nice to have fresh ideas from a new perspective!
Taylor recently dined at one of Dallas’ newest restaurants, Sixty Vines, and raved about a dish that she tried there. Trout topped with a Green Goddess Broccoli Slaw. She said it was so simple, yet absolutely delicious (although she wished the trout had crispy skin). Since my Green Goddess Dressing is one of my all time favorites on the blog, I knew we could make a copy-cat rendition of the one that she enjoyed at Sixty Vines (but WITH crispy skin).
If you are one of those folks that is hesitant to eat fish skin, its okay… we’ve all been there. I generally do not enjoy eating the skin from a fish. Typically, most cooking methods do not focus on executing crispy skin and the end result is a lovely, flakey flesh of the fish and soggy skin– where I opt 100% to eat around the skin. Ew. However, with a few extra steps and proper technique you can make fish skin ultra crispy, resulting in the most wonderful added flavor and texture to your meal. If you think of fish skin like chicken skin, it will all make sense.
To get that oh-so crispy skin, pan-searing is the way to go. Searing a fillet of fish is different than cooking a steak, which you would sear on both sides equally. With fish, you have to focus on the skin side. In fact, you will keep it on the skin side for most of the cooking process, flipping it to the flesh side for just a small portion of the cook time.
Trout is a great type of fish to get that crispy skin we are talking about. Other great options, branzino, mackerel, sea bass, flounder and even salmon. It’s all about technique and this recipe will walk you through exactly how to get that crispy crisp!
Crispy Trout with Green Goddess Broccoli Slaw
For the Fish:
- 2 whole rainbow trout fillets, boned and butterflied *see notes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
For the Green Goddess Broccoli Slaw:
- 1 cup homemade mayo or sugar-free store bought
- 1 cup loosely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup chopped scallions white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 1-2 lemons
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk full fat I like to use Thai Kitchen Brand
- 12 oz brocoli slaw store bought
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 avocado, diced
For the fish:
- Place the fillets, skin side up on a sheet pan. Pat dry the skin with a paper towel. Place the fish in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to help dry the skin, or up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the broccoli slaw:
- In a food processor, combine the mayo, basil, scallions, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste and blend until smooth. Add the coconut milk and process until just blended. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the broccoli slaw and 3/4 cup Green Goddess dressing. (remaining green goddess can be stored and kept for 5 to 7 days in the fridge) Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss in the avocado. Set aside while you prepare the fish.
Cook the Fish:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season the skin side of the fillets with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, place the fish filets in the pan, skin side-down, and flatten them with the back of a spatula to keep the skin from curling up during the first few minutes of cooking. Cook, pressing occasionally with the spatula, until the fish is nearly opaque and cooked through, with only a small raw area on the very top, 3 to 4 minutes. While the skin side is cooking, season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Flip the fish and continue cooking until the fish is just cooked through and a light, golden brown crust has formed on the flesh, 1 to 2 minutes.
- To serve, place fish skin side up and sprinkle once more with kosher salt. Top with broccoli slaw. Enjoy!