Some of my favorite memories from this experience are the times that I get to spend with my host family sharing in things that they love. As I’ve mentioned before, in Perú food is love, so much of the experiences are centered around the dinner table.
To celebrate my host mom’s birthday, my host parents, two brothers, and I went to a family friend’s trout farm and I ate the most delicious trucha I’ve had in my life. I want to share the secret recipe to making the perfect trout with all my readers (don’t worry, I asked permission to share).
- Catch the fish
My host brother, Cesco, was determined to attempt the “catch by hand” method, but ultimately we found that skimming a net on the bottom of the pond and scooping the fish out was far easier. Major kudos to Cesco for his perseverance, though!
2. Sort the fish by weight
I learned that certain trout sizes serve best for certain dishes. We separated the smaller trouts to make ceviche and the larger trout to grill. There will be a traditional Peruvian ceviche recipe at the end of this post, but for now, we will focus on the delicious grilled trucha.
3. Clean and prepare the fish to grill
Here’s the secret. Simpler is better. To prepare the fish, we cut three slits on each side of the fish and one slit down the belly. We removed all of the insides and thoroughly cleaned the fish with water. Then, fill each crevice with a thin layer of salt. Lastly cover the fish in freshly squeezed lemon juice. Now you are ready to grill!
4. Time to cook
If possible, I highly recommend setting up your kitchen in the middle of a gorgeous potato field with a view of mountains that stand at 16,000 feet as your backdrop. If not possible, a simple grill will have to do. Grill the fish and serve with a simple side salad, freshly picked potatoes, and ají and you’ve got yourself a Peruvian trucha dish! Provecho!
BONUS RECIPE: Ceviche Peruano
- 500 g Fresh Trout (or any white fish cut into small cubed pieces)
- 1/2 Red Onion (Sliced in larger, thin strips)
- 1/2 Green Ají (Habanero pepper- chopped finely without seeds)
- 1/2 Yellow Ají (Yellow hot pepper- chopped finely without seeds)
- 10 limónes (key limes sliced in half)
- 1 boiled ear of Corn (sliced into thick pieces)
- 1 boiled Sweet Potato (sliced into thick pieces)
- Pinch of salt
Rub the sides of a bowl with the leftover ají. Add the fish and onions to the bowl and toss until mixed. Add ají, a pinch of salt, and squeeze half of the limes into the bowl. Mix thoroughly and then add the rest of the limón.
Garnish the plate with a piece of lettuce (to serve as a bowl to the ceviche), corn, and sweet potato. Add the ceviche to the plate and enjoy!