Whole Baked Trout with Fennel and Orange

With so many lakes and rivers, Iceland is a terrific place for trout. Here, it’s stuffed with fennel, herbs and orange and baked on foil that’s been well buttered so the skin gets nicely golden. Slideshow:  More Whole Fish Recipes 

Whole Baked Trout with Fennel and Orange
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons melted

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 3 scallions, coarsely chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme

  • 1 tablespoon dried lovage or 1 teaspoon celery seeds

  • One 3-inch strip of orange zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • One 4-pound steelhead trout or arctic char—cleaned, rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Flaky sea salt

  • Pepper

  • 2 tablespoons honey-Dijon mustard

  • 1 orange, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, fennel, scallions, garlic, thyme, lovage, orange zest, orange juice and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and fennel are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

  2. Rub the trout all over with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the melted butter on a foil-lined baking sheet and set the trout on top. Spread the honey mustard all over the inside of the trout and fill the cavity with the orange slices, overlapping them slightly. Spoon the fennel mixture on top of the orange slices.

  3. Tightly wrap the trout in the foil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes until almost cooked through. Unwrap the trout and roast for about 10 minutes longer, until the skin is golden and the flesh is just cooked through and flakes easily. Scoop out the fennel filling and fillet the trout; discard the bones and oranges. Arrange the fish and fennel stuffing on a platter and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Rhône-inspired white.

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