Loose Strings and Fried Trout

It seems September came and went without much ado from me.  I’m pretty sure it’s because last September, I was like a zombie, sans the green pallor and blood-soaked clothing.  I didn’t really want to celebrate the one-year anniversary of storm flooding.  However, the lasting impact has me struggling on a daily basis.

For new readers, a recap:  Hurricane Ike made landfall on the coast of Texas on September 13th, 2008.  LilSis and I drove from north Louisiana through hurricane winds and rain all that day to get down the bayou to see the damage to our properties.  We drove as far as Houma, LA, and then had to hitch a ride on a boat to go the last 20 miles.  Can you imagine?  And when we arrived “down the bayou”, we had to wade through water to get to Camp Dularge.  But four miles farther down the road at my home, the flood water was too deep to walk through.

The loose strings have to do with my home being barely livable one year later.  Needless to say, we’ve not done any entertaining in our home since the flood waters of Ike added to the damage from the 2005 flood of Rita.

Hurricane evacuation, which is mandatory here, turns your life upside down.  Pre-Hurricane Season 2005, I was a very organized person, but being displaced twice for 6-8 weeks at a time in a 3-year period has rendered me a messy, discombobulated pile of boxes, books, odds and ends.

The strings will just remain loose until I am forced to deal with them–forced by the demolition of the place we’ve called home for the past 13 years.

But you know what?   October brings speckled trout from the Gulf into the lakes, my cooktop still works, and it’s hard to beat good fried trout.

White beansWe already cooked the white beans, so let’s fry the fish now!

Start with fresh trout fillets. The 12-inch fish make tender, mild tasting fillets, although the 20-inch trout are really fun to catch.

Trout in mustardFirst, marinate the fillets in mustard.  Yep, just plain hot-dog mustard!  The seasoning you see is a Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

Iron potIn your favorite frying pot, heat oil on medium until very, very hot.  I think the temperature for an electric deep fryer is 350.

Fish coatingYou can use a boxed coating like above, or you can make your own using corn flour or corn meal and flour.

coatingWe like a fine coating like this, and you can buy either seasoned or plain.

Coat fishDredge the mustard-moistened fish through the Fish Fri until lightly coated.

Trout fryingPlace gently in hot oil and raise heat to high (but not burning!).

TIP A little Houma Indian woman taught me her secret to perfect fish every time, and I’m feeling generous, so I’ll share it with you:  Put a lid on the pot. You will hear the fish sizzling while steam escapes between lid and pot.  When the sizzling and steam stop, the fish are done.  Remove promptly.

Fried troutTIP If you are out of paper towels, another older woman in my life taught me to line the pan with newspapers, which are very absorbent.  And we all know they serve fish and chips in England in newspaper cones for this reason.

Trout, beans, riceDoesn’t that look good?  In typical bayou fashion, the fried fish are eaten with white beans and rice.

Loose Strings and Fried Trout

  • fresh trout fillets
  • yellow mustard
  • cajun seasoning
  • Fish Fri or cornmeal with salt
  • oil
  1. Marinate the fillets in mustard.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat until 350 degrees.
  3. Dredge the mustard-moistened fish through the Fish Fri or salted cornmeal until lightly coated.
  4. Place gently in hot oil and raise heat to high (but not burning!).
  5. Put a lid on the pot. You will hear the fish sizzling while steam escapes between lid and pot. When the sizzling and steam stop, the fish are done.
  6. Remove promptly and drain on layered paper towels or newspaper.

There you have it!  Your very own recipe for bayou fried speckled trout.  Just remember where you read it and tell your friends!

Of course, as always, there are many other ways to fry fish, but the bayou people are a simple people — no egg wash, milk bath, or anything like that!

Bon appetit!



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  1. Just a word from one who is not in love with mustard…
    Coating the fish in it doesn’t render them “mustard flavored”! It just gives them a very slight tang and a great flavor! These fish were cooked for my “late 20’s” birthday dinner on Sunday, and they were delicious!

      1. I love you too! You get to work on a longevity serum so that you can live to be double your age and we can be half-and-half again! 🙂

  2. Besides clean newspaper, a clean brown paper grocery bag can be used to drain the fish on – in case you don’t have a newspaper in this usually-all-bad news days!!

  3. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Fried fish and white beans! That old lady also knows that putting the lid on reduces the grease spatter.

  4. High on muscle relaxant but this mustard on the fish thing is puzzling.
    I know it works but…. Andy’s works too straight up.

    Wolfing down DCCDC’s. Happy Birthday.

    I need a nap.

  5. My dad used to put mustard only on saltwater species. Freshwater fish were “naked”. I use Zatarains, La. Fish Fry or Chef KD’s (Kevin Diez) products. KD’s product is fairly new and is mostly a local product right now. I’ve learned from watching KD’s fishing show (it has a cooking segment) how to keep the “batter” on the fish. The fish stay crisp too. His tip is to put your filets in ICE WATER, give them a squeeze, put them in the fish fry product and into the hot oil (350). When they are browned and float, they’re done. Oh yeah, never coat them ahead of time either.
    I do this method now with all the products I mentioned.

    1. I forgot something…Happy Belated Birthday, Dotter. We haven’t heard from you in so long, I was beginning to think you’d fallen into Bayou DuLarge and didn’t resurface.

  6. Yum, Looking forward to learning more about how you do that trout thing my fishing guru friend, but looking forward more to seeing some new sticks and steel take shape.

  7. I’ve used the yellow mustard forever and love it. My favorite thing to do after frying is to cut thick slices of onion and lay the fried fish on lop of them with absorbent paper beneath. Then you can eat the onion rings with the fried fish. The onion is warmed but crisp and isn’t greasy at ALL while the fish stays crispy. Yummy good.

  8. I just returned from a big dinner with a customer – there was NO WAY i could actually get hungry after that dinner. Then I read your post – I am close to drooling! The simple pleasures in life really do tie together the “loose ends”

    Thanks for the post, BW


  9. BW, that looks so good. There is only one other person I know of that cooks filets like that and boy, I wish she and her husband (my husbands cousin), still lived nearby!

    I sometimes use the mustard marinade on pork chops or pork tenderloin also.

  10. This is the conversation at our house last night as I was reading this post on my smartphone:
    Me: Wow, mustard to coat fish with, who knew.
    Mr Coach: That sounds really good, why don’t we have that tomorrow night.
    Me: Am I supposed to fry golf balls in mustard? Because that’s all I’ve got since you spent so much time on the course and not any time on the lake this summer.
    Mr Coach: You look nice today.

    So, either we are coming to your house for dinner tonight or I will be attempting to fry golf balls. OR we will be eating leftovers. Probably that one.

    1. Take a minute to smell the fillets to make sure there is no fish smell. One frozen pack I opened looked kind of “leathery” and had a strong odor. They went back in the bayou to feed the crabs.

      Sad news. Felix needs another larva exorcism. HELP!

  11. OK Mr Safety Pants here…. Do not put a glass lid on your deep fat fryer while in use… Read the instructions… I got pecans… I miss kumquats and satsumas though….

    1. Revert to black iron pot. Forget instructions. Don’t need em. Satsumas are almost ready . . . just like trout. out of town weekend for BW. Gotta collect prize money.

  12. Just wanted to report…I opened up my Community Coffee I won. It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!
    I don’t know how it’s possible, but I do believe it tasted better than the same thing I buy! LOL! Thanks again Blair and BW!

  13. I enjoy checking your site outThe speckled trout usually show up in my area Cape May County, NJ at this time of the year as the water temperature drops into the high 50s. The first one has not been caught yet. Some years we catch hundreds of specs others only a dozen or so.The season was short last year only 4 weeks from the first and last fish caught. To catch a spec in this area you need the patience of a big game hunter. .