Citrus marinated sea trout with samphire and crispy oysters

Citrus marinated sea trout with samphire and crispy oysters

British Seafood
David Loftus

This is a way of pickling fish that is good on the day it’s prepared, but even better the following day. Ingredients from the estuary rather than the sea inspire this dish, the contrasting textures of the soft sea trout and crunchy samphire leaves working perfectly with the crispy, ozone-fresh oyster.


Quantity Ingredient
1 large sea trout fillet, filleted, trimmed and pin-boned
or 2 medium sea trout fillets, filleted, trimmed and pin-boned
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
2 lemons, finely zested and juiced
2 limes, finely zested and juiced
1 orange, finely zested and juiced
light rapeseed oil, for cooking
2 shallots, peeled and cut into rings
2 garlic cloves, peeled, green germ removed and chopped
100ml dry white wine
200g samphire, trimmed and washed
knob butter
100ml olive oil

Crispy oysters

Quantity Ingredient
4 pacific oysters, shucked, juices retained, (see note)
50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
75g japanese panko breadcrumbs
oil, for deep-frying


  1. In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns until they start to pop. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the salt and sugar, and grind until fine.
  2. Lay the sea trout fillet, skin side down in a deep tray, sprinkle with the spice mix and rub it in carefully. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and add a good drizzle of oil. When the oil is hot, lay the sea trout skin side down in the pan (cutting it in half to fit in the pan if necessary) and cook for 1 minute or until golden. Carefully lift out the sea trout and place back on the tray. Scatter the citrus zests over the fish.
  3. Put the frying pan back over a medium heat and add a little oil. Add the shallot rings and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and citrus juices and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour the marinade over the trout, making sure it is covered, and then lay some cling film over the top to keep everything submerged. Chill for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. For the crispy oysters, pat the oysters dry on kitchen paper. Have the flour, egg and breadcrumbs ready in 3 separate bowls. One by one, pass the oysters through the flour, egg and breadcrumbs and place on a plate. Set aside until serving.
  5. Blanch the samphire in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and briefly glaze in a covered pan with a knob of butter, adding the shallots from the marinade and tossing to combine.
  6. When ready to serve, heat your oven to 120°C. Take the trout from the fridge and place in the oven for 10 minutes, just to take off the chill. For the dressing, strain off 100 ml of the marinade into a bowl, add the 100 ml olive oil and saved oyster juices and whisk to emulsify. Pour into a jug.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep-fryer or other deep, heavy pan to 180°C. Add the oysters and deep-fry for 1 minute, then drain on kitchen paper.
  8. To serve, place the sea trout fillet and samphire on a warm serving platter. Spoon over the dressing and top with the crispy oysters. Serve at once.

Opening oysters

  • I find an oyster knife isn’t the best implement for shucking an oyster unless you’ve one with a small blade; I prefer a sturdy butter-knife-sized knife.

    Hold the oyster flat side up in a folded tea towel (for protection), in one hand. Insert the knife into the hinge of the oyster and wiggle at the hinge, using a little force, until you hear a popping sound and it yields. Run the knife along the roof of the flat side to cut the attaching muscle and release the oyster from the top shell. Using the same knife, carefully cut away the same muscle from the bottom shell and flip the oyster over in the shell, being careful to retain all the juices. The oyster is now ready.
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