Traditional German „Blue Trout“ (Poached Trout)

Forelle blau“ – which translates as „blue trout“ – is a popular dish served in many traditional German restaurants. The German name is derived from the blue color that is developed during the poaching process. In my birth region, the Sauerland, I remember that many countryside restaurants used to have (and probably still do have) their own small trout farms and they would offer you stiff-fresh fish cooked blue to perfection. Still today, I will always order the „blue trout“ when I find it on a menu anywhere and I know many amongst my German family and friends would do the same. Parsley potatoes and melted butter to be drizzled over the filleted fish are the typical sides.

Usually, rainbow trout is used for „blue trout“. It is important that the fish is very fresh and that the skin is not scaled or injured, or otherwise, it will not produce the blue color. As you can see in the pictures, I ended up not being that lucky with my fish, but it is still delicious – even if not blue.


Ingredients (serves 2):

For the trout:

  • 1 bunch of soup vegetables, julienned (e.g. a few carrots, celery or celeriac, leek or shallot, optionally some parsley root)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh dill
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh broad-leaf parsley
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • ca. 10 black pepper corns
  • 2 cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 250 ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 very fresh rainbow trouts, unscaled and gutted (ca. 350-400 grams per fish)
  • For serving (optionally): chopped fresh dill, a few slices of lemon

For the parsley potatoes:

  • 5-6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (room temperature)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

For serving:

  • 100 grams of butter, melted over low temperature


Preparing the trout:

  1. Pour ca. 3 litters of water into a fish poacher or large broad-base roaster, ideally with a perforated insert.
  2. Add the vegetables, the herbs, spices and the lemon zest.
  3. Bring to the boil and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes, then add the vinegar and salt and continue simmering for another 10 minutes.
  4. Briefly rinse the trouts under cold water and place them in the hot stock, which should then be just under boiling temperature. Let cook in the hot stock for 10 minutes (do not boil).
  5. Remove the trouts from the stock (best done with 2 skimming ladles in my view) and place on a large serving platter. Decorate with some of the vegetables from the broth and some chopped fresh dill.

For the parsley potatoes:

  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Add the salt and bring to the boil.
  2. Let simmer for around 25-35 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Strain and put the potatoes back into the pot. Put on the still-hot (temperature can be turned off) stove and shake a few times to allow any excess water to evaporate.
  4. Add the butter and sprinkle with nutmeg. Add the parsley and fold in well.

For serving:

  1. Remove the fins and skin at the table. Carefully lift the meat off the bones and place on your plate. Turn the fish around and repeat. Before discarding the fish head, do not forget about removing the trout cheeks with the tip of your knife – they are a particular treat! 🙂
  2. Drizzle the trout with melted butter and a few drops of lemon juice to taste and enjoy with some parsley potatoes!

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