The Mountain Fork River located near Broken Bow, Okla., is prime territory for trout fishing as it’s swimming with trout year-round. The river’s constant flow and cool waters are an ideal place to catch brown and rainbow trout.
One of the exciting aspects of catching and eating trout is the variety of flavors available, as trout taste different depending on its environment. So, let’s take the plunge and get to cooking!
First step in smoking fish is brining! This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: water, brown sugar and kosher salt. This simple brine gives the fish a rich, sweet element by enhancing the flavor of the trout without being too overpowering.
Start by adding 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (coarse grain) and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. You can also add in aromatics or flavor in the form of fresh herbs or fresh garlic and onions. Place the trout in the brine and set it in the refrigerator and brine for about 15 – 20 minutes. If you’ve got a thicker filet of steelhead trout, brine for 30-40 minutes.
Once your trout has finished brining, it’s ready to smoke. Preheat your smoker to 180 degrees F. Smoke the trout fillets for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
At this point, your trout should be cooked throughout and should flake easily. It can be plated and eaten with veggies, rice or even placed onto of a cracker or crusty bread with cream cheese.
A simple garlic and herb infused marinate combined with wine vinegar acts as both a basting liquid and a sauce for the fish. The trout skin protects the flesh and turns an appealing golden-brown during grilling.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, garlic, sage and rosemary. Cook over moderately low heat until the garlic just starts to brown. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.
Put the trout fillets in a medium glass dish or pan. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining. Add half of the oil-and-vinegar mixture and turn to coat.
Grill the fish skin-side down for 2 minutes. Turn and cook another 2 minutes. To serve, whisk the remaining oil-and-vinegar mixture and pour it over the hot fish.
Whether you prefer to wade out into the river with a fly rod, or fry it up in the kitchen, the fish around southeastern Oklahoma never disappoints. Hurry up and slow down and discover what’s biting around McCurtain County.
Things to Do
- Wild Boar Ridge Hunting Ranch
- Vojai’s Winery
- Beavers Bend Brewery
- Fish Tales Winery & Bistro
- Hochatown Outfitters