This is one of those skinny dishes that is truly “knock your socks off” delicious, takes no time to make, and is impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.

If the weather is warm and you want to grill it outside, you can. But you can always make it inside on a frying pan or grill pan.

Honestly, I prefer it cooked on a plain old frying pan because the skin gets uniformly crispy and chip-like.

By the way, I always think of our dear friend, Robert Towne, who wrote  “Chinatown” when I make this.

In the film, Noah Cross (John Huston) is having lunch with Jake Gittes (Jack Nickolson) when whole roasted fish are brought to the table.

Cross says, “I hope you don’t mind. I believe they should be served with the head.”
To which Jake replies, “Fine…long as you don’t serve the chicken that way.”



2  one-pound cleaned rainbow trout  (heads optional!)
1/4 cup Mirin or Shaoxing wine

3 T soy sauce
2 T Mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
1 T Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T White Balsamic Vinegar
1 t sesame oil
2 T garlic
2 T fresh grated ginger
3 T minced scallion
3 T chopped cilantro

Score the skin of the fish in crosshatch pattern to prevent it from curling when cooking.

Wash fish well with water and then rinse it, inside and out, with 1/4 cup Mirin.

Let it rest a while as you mix together the sauce.

Heat a slightly wet non-stick pan on medium high until the water evaporates and then spray with canola oil. (You want it wet because you want the pan to get hot without the non stick finish burning…)

Wait another 30 seconds while the oil gets hot.

Dry the fish and put into pan and reduce heat to medium.

Do not flip for 6-7 minutes. The skin should be crisp enough to snap if you broke it.
Flip and cook 5-7 minutes more.

Here is how it looks cooked on a grill pan…

Again, skin is not as uniformly crispy, but it is prettier…

Either way you do it, when the skin is crispy and flesh inside is opaque, lift to platter and put the sauce into the hot pan. Stir the sauce for just one minute to heat it, and pour it over the fish.


Whatever pan you use, eat that crunchy skin while it’s hot and crispy…. It’s so good, you’ll cry!


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