Steelhead Trout Baked with Honey or Maple Glaze

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Heather says:

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be trying to increase the amount and variety of fish we eat.

This week I decided to try out steelhead trout. Looking at the picture, you may think to yourself, Heather has gone off her rocker (again) that looks just like salmon. There’s a reason for that, steelhead is an anadromous trout.

What in the heck is an anadromous trout? That means it migrates from salt to freshwater to spawn. Unlike salmon, it doesn’t die after spawning and can hightail it back to sea¹. And you thought you wouldn’t learn anything today.

With the two kinds of fish, salmon and steelhead trout being so similar any recipe for salmon can be used for this fish. I decided to go with a sweet, but garlicky glaze.


Steelhead Trout with Honey Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBSP honey or maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar (feel free to experiment with other types like cider)
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP Soy sauce

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the ingredients.

Place the fish in the center of a rectangle of foil. Pour the glaze over the fish and fold the packet around the fish.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. (This essentially allows the fish to marinate). If you’re in a big hurry, start the oven before you make the glaze and just pop it in.

Bake for 10 minutes + 10 minutes for each inch of thickness. So, a one-inch thick fillet would bake for twenty minutes for a one-and-a-half-inch fillet would be 25 minutes. Got it?

The recipe makes enough glaze for a little over two pounds of fish. It is easily halved or doubled.

This recipe could be done on the grill, but remember to not cook the fish over direct heat, unless you enjoy rubbery, dried-out fish. On the grill, it can be done in a foil packet as described or you may skip it. If you choose to grill, place it skin side up, first. Once the fish has cooked, it falls apart, the skin sort of holds it together, making the transfer a little bit easier.

¹Fun with mixed metaphors. Hush, the coffee hasn’t worked its magic, yet.

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25 thoughts on “Steelhead Trout Baked with Honey or Maple Glaze”

  1. Wow that looks amazing!!!! I aplaud you for trying to put more fish in your family meals. I am goign to try this recipe soon. Found you on Mouth Watering Mondays…. Love Your Blog!!!!

  2. This was delicious, thanks for the great recipe! I didn't have brown sugar, so I doubled the proportion of maple syrup. I decided the foil packets were too fussy, so I just poured the marinade into the baking dish around a 1/2 lb. fillet and baked at 400 for about 15 min. It was almost over done, but all the delicious juices of the marinade saved it from drying out too much. Definitely a keeper!

  3. We did this with apple cider vinegar and a bit more garlic – it's fabulous! We used a full recipe of the glaze, but only half the fish, so we reserved about half the glaze, warmed it up, thickened it and poured it over the fish. It was delightful!

  4. Made this tonight using maple syrup and WOW – it was really, REALLY good!  Thank you so much for posting… I had to use regular mustard instead of dijon and it was still good, so kudos.  You hit a home run with this.

  5. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!  That about sums it up. I think trout is better than salmon now that I tried it 🙂

  6. This really was wonderful.  I used my drippings to cook asparagus just as it came out of the oven – incredible!

  7. I tried this in the baking pan oh my was it yummy made ith with sauteed fresh green beans and garlic oh my I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

  8. Great recipe! I did the maple syrup version and put one instead of two tablespoons of brown sugar (still came out perfectly sweet).
    I also did the restaurant pan roast/sear method (see below) and then put it in the oven to finish and it was fantastic! My two year old ate an adult sized portion.
    Restaurant pan roast/sear method:
    For those who want to do this method you get a cast iron pan (preferably one dedicated to fish)
    1: put enough high heat oil on the bottom to come up about an 1/8 of an inch on the pan (if you put more it will burn the fish and splatter too much). I use safflower and sometimes add a touch of sesame oil. Whatever you use make sure it is a high heat oil or the smoke will overwhelm you.
    2: Heat the oil until is starts to shimmer
    3: Put the fish in MEAT SIDE down and sear until you get the color and sear you like
    4: Very carefully flip the fish so the skin can also get crisped (some people precut marks through the skin I have never found it necessary 0thers remove the skin before cooking I like the crispy skin). Be aware flipping fish in hot oil is one of the most common ways professional chefs are burned.
    5: Transfer to oven at 400 and follow the rest of the directions above bake until internal temperature is between 130 to 135°F and it is slightly translucent and flaky. For those who don’t use a thermometer If you see a milky fluid (protein) seeping from the sides, it is probably done. Don’t overcook!
    Enjoy and thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • Also for those afraid of the dijon mustard, use it! I am not a fan of dijon mustard myself but decided to give it a shot, the maple syrup and brown sugar take the bite out of it, you don’t notice it at all except for that it gives a more strong mustard background flavor to the meat that I think is critical to why the fish is so good.

  9. oh and I also skipped the foil method since I didn’t want the steam to weaken the crust I had developed. It came out perfectly moist. I didn’t have rice vinegar and used the apple cider vinegar as well. Much like my comment above about the mustard, trust me you don’t taste the fish thinking of vinegar at all.

  10. I made this last night and it was delicious. Instead of dijon I subbed chilli powder. I learned in a substitution book once that anytime dijon is called for, the flavor of chilli powder works. I just usually halve the chilli powder, like in this case I used only 1 TBS of chilli powder although I think it would’ve tasted great with 2 TBS. This is because my husband can’t stand mustard and claims he tastes it in anything.

    It was excellent with the chilli powder. I used honey someone gave me from a beehive in their backyard. YUM!

  11. Ohhh hello yumminess! SO easy. So perfect. Thank you for sharing! This will be added to the regular repertoire. I did the foil but will probably do it in a baking dish next time.

  12. LOVE this recipe! It was super easy and sooo yummy! I used honey instead of maple syrup. I’d try the maple syrup way too. Even my six year olds loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I tried Steelhead about a month ago and accompanied it with your recipe, Sooo good!! Loved it. Tonight I halved the recipe and am using it on a salmon filet 🙂 thanks

  14. Big fan of steelhead, we usually grill it, but wanted to try an oven method. Halved the recipe, reduced the brown sugar to a teaspoon, used the maple syrup, doubled the Dijon and subbed horseradish for garlic. Followed the foil packet and oven directions, it was flaky and delicious. Served it on a salad with blackberries, blue cheese and spicy/sweet hazelnuts, tossed with a dressing of pomegranate and vanilla balsamic, tangerine evoo and more Dijon. My friends thought it was amazing too. Thanks for a great indoor method!

  15. I made the honey version of this. I actually had brown sugar but just doubled the honey instead. I did the foil packets as advised. It is easy and delicious. The skin ends up being a bit flabby so I didn’t eat that but the fish flesh is perfectly cooked and easily pulls off the skin.

    Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. Could probably even use less sweetener (although the per person amount is not much).

    • Also, I only melted about a tablespoon of butter, less than in recipe, in the microwave then stirred the other stuff in.

  16. This recipe is alot like my recipe for Salmon, and it is delicious… Help me out with what else to serve along with this dish ????

    • I probably wouldn’t do plain white rice, but wild rice (a blend of white and wild would be good, too), we love green beans, sauteed to crisp-tender, steamed broccoli, new potatoes, turnip, parsnips, or rutabaga – the slightly bitter / earthy undertones would contrast with the sweet. Sweet potatoes might be a little too much.
      Wilted or creamed spinach.
      A large salad with a lot of crunchy vegetables.

      Does that help?


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