The name trout encompasses many types of fish, including both freshwater and saltwater.
For this article, we will include every fish considered a trout, including char.
Is it Safe to Eat Trout Skin?
Not only is trout skin safe to eat, but it is also a tasty snack with many health benefits.
Some trout, especially saltwater trout, may have unwanted parasites attached to their skin, such as louse.
However, these are relatively harmless to humans. Some people may be affected when bitten by the louse, but this is more a case of swimming in louse-infected waters rather than preparing a fish with lice.
Nonetheless, if proper care is taken when preparing the trout, there will be no harm.
Another benefit of eating trout skin instead of other fish skin is that trout are low in mercury.
Some fish, like mackerel, are high in mercury, which is contained in all of their tissue and muscles.
Eating low mercury fish skin like trout lowers the risk of ingesting toxins.
Nutritional Benefits of Trout Skin
While most people are concerned about eating fish because of harmful toxins or other health-related fears, an often overlooked benefit of eating fish skin is the abundance of nutrition.
Trout skin is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and multiple vitamins.
Preparing Trout Skin
One great benefit of eating trout skin is that they take very little preparation.
Trout have very smooth scales, which you can leave on or off. The scales are safe to eat, but should you wish to remove them, you can easily do so with a bit of water and gentle rubbing.
The best way to eat the skin from any trout is crispy. While there are numerous ways to cook trout, you should pan-fry or grill for a crispy skin.
Both methods will leave you with delicious crispy skin.
- Pan-Fried Trout Skin: This is by far my favorite method of preparing trout skin. I typically enjoy the skin on the fish, but you can remove it and cook it separately if you prefer. Cook the skin in the pan with a little salt and butter until it is golden and crispy.
- Grilled Trout Skin: Grilled trout skin is just as good as pan-fried but a little more difficult to make. While with pan-fried trout skin, you can do the skin alone, with grilled, this would be a lot more challenging. The best way to grill trout skin is to cook the whole trout over the grill and enjoy the skin as part of the fish or separate it after the fish has been fully cooked.
- Smoked Trout Skin: There are so many ways to enjoy smoked trout due to the numerous kinds of wood for smoking. While you can smoke the skin by itself, I recommend smoking the whole trout and then enjoying the skin. The skin will have a little stronger smoke flavor than the flesh.
- Baked Trout Skin: Baked trout skin is not my favorite, but this does not mean it isn’t edible. The reason I don’t like baked trout skin is that the trout I am usually baking are larger trout with a less pleasant taste.
However, the great thing about baking trout is that you can use all manner of rubs and marinades. The trout’s skin will readily absorb these flavors, making for a great taste, although I find the texture still lacking.
Not only is trout skin edible, but it can also be a tasty snack. Trout skin takes very little preparation due to the small scales, which are also edible or easy to remove.
The best method to get the most from your trout skin is pan-fried. You can pan-fry the whole trout or filet and enjoy the skin as part of the whole, or you can remove the skin and pan-fry it on its own.
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.