What Does Rainbow Trout Taste Like

What Does Rainbow Trout Taste Like?

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As salmon is facing overfishing around the world, it is time to find alternatives and learn about new fish. Not only does it decreases pressure on one fish, but it also creates a balanced diet. Although trout sounds to be a newer fish to you, it represents the oldest aquaculture industry in North America.

With its subtle flavor, you don’t need to add much to it. It is also more affordable and more available than most other common fish. If you are looking for a fish that doesn’t have a strong smell this should be your first choice.

However, some people find it hard to distinguish between salmon and trout and also between trout and rainbow trout. Once you know the difference, it makes it easier to select the cooking and preparing methods. 

What is Trout?

Trouts have a comparatively rounder-shaped head that is not as angled as salmons. But the tails of both types of fish are similarly shaped, which will need to be clarified. The tails are convex looking.

Trouts also have more spots on its body than salmons. It can weigh up to 66kg in its lifetime. It has a reddish shade in its meat that sets it apart from salmon. It is also not as fatty as salmons which is why you can cook it as a nonoily less rich recipe.

Trout Appearance

What is Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout is a type of trout fish member of the salmon family. It is of the same species as salmons. Even though it is called a rainbow, it doesn’t have multiple colors. 

Instead, it has silver skin that glazes under the seawater. The term rainbow is used for freshwater fish. Rainbow trout also has a pinkish-lavender hue on it. In fact, steelhead trouts have rainbow hues on them.

Most rainbow trouts are farm-raised, and they can grow up to 8 to 10 ounces in about 10-12 months. If you want to learn more about trout and its kinds, get this retro poster from amazon with all the information you need! 

Where to Find Rainbow Trout

Although different kinds of trout are found in other areas, you can find them mostly in fresh water. Rainbow trout are found in saltwater in their early life before they migrate to saltwater. 

Primarily they live in lakes, rivers, mountain streams, and any clear and shallow water body. Trouts also like to live in cold water so northern water bodies are where you should find them. Northern states in the US like Montana, New York, and Michigan are known for trout.

Globally rainbow trout are found in a number of countries like Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Canada, etc. However, they are considered native to North America

What Does Rainbow Trout Taste Like 

Unlike other species of the same kind, rainbow trout doesn’t have any strong smell or fishy flavor. The meat is mild and delicate. The special feature of its meat is its nut-like flavor. Which makes the fish stand out among others. The flesh is tender, juicy, and soft. But it can also be flaky. Especially if you cook it in some specific ways. 

That’s because fish has higher fat in it than salmon or other types like it. Although rainbow trouts are silver with a pinkish hint on the outside, the inside of rainbow trout is white, orange, or sometimes pink. It depends on how the fish has been raised or what it has eaten.

When the meat is cooked, the color fades and the flesh becomes tender.  The taste changes a bit when you eat farm-raised ones. Those have a stronger flavor, more fat, and are sweeter. But it still has a good taste for those who are looking for delicate oily fish with a mild flavor.


Trout feed can contain ingredients that help produce desired flesh colors. The filets are firm and have a fresh look. The skin of the rainbow trout is dark-spotted, and shiny but with a slippery layer like other fish.

One way to know that the fish has rotted or isn’t pleasant to eat is when it has dried and lost the shiny skin. 


One rainbow trout will have about 138 calories, 5.4g of total fat, and 20.9g of protein. As you can see from the amount, it will work as a huge protein boost, especially if you visit the gym often.

It also has multiple vitamins and minerals that help make a balanced diet. One entire fish will also have 35 mg sodium, 0.9g omega 3, and other vitamins like A, B, E, D, etc. 

How to Cook Rainbow Trout

This is one of those rare types of fish that doesn’t go well with strong and hot sauces. So, refrain from adding chili, tomato, and other spicy sauces. You can add mild seasoning and ingredients to enhance the taste.

Since the fish already has its own flavor and aroma to add to your dish, you can go with butter, parsley, olive oil, lemon zest, etc. You can also add mint and garlic to bring an eccentric taste and smell to the dish. Enhancing ingredients like these will let you focus more on the delicate flavor of trout and tone down the blandness. Let’s look at a few ways to cook rainbow trout:


It is an easy process to bake rainbow trout. Place the filets face up on the baking sheet. Then brush with butter.

Butter goes so well with the type of trout because of its subtle taste. It adds aroma to the oily fish. Then add salt or seasoning on top. Bake for about 10 minutes. And you will have flakey delicate filets. 


A tender fish makes the best-fried recipe. There will be crispy skin on the outside and soft flesh on the inside.

Create the batter with a ready-made mix or milk. Dip the fish in it and then fry it. Stop cooking when it's light brown in color. Serve with lemon zest and hot sauce. 


The good thing about rainbow trout is that it has its own oil and flavor you don’t need to add anything special or strong to enhance it.

You can just add mild ingredients like seasoning, butter, milk, salt, etc to enhance the flavor. In the case of saute, you need to heat up the pan first.

After that, you need to add butter to the pan to melt. You can also use olive oil but butter adds an aroma to it that is unparalleled. Then add the fillets in batches. Cook for about 3-5 minutes till it is lightly golden in color. Serve with vegetables and wine! 


Rainbow trout is one of those fish that can be enjoyed raw too when prepared well. But you need to be cautious while doing so. Sometimes fish is kept in the fridge for a long time or hasn't been cooked thoroughly which makes it harmful to it.

Just like any other fish, you need to watch when you eat it. Other than that, this nutty-flavored fish can bring a huge enhancement to your dishes without putting much effort.

It can also decrease your expense on food with its affordability worldwide. If you want to learn more about processing rainbow trout, watch this video- 

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Bella Howard

Bella Howard is a contributing writer and foodie with a particular love of Mexican, Chinese and Euro...

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