Lapsang Souchong Sea Trout

SUNDAY MERCURY, KEVIN ASHTON Pic Info: Lapsang Souchong with Thai herb salad. Photo: Adrian Pearman. 30/3/05
Lapsang Souchong Sea Trout © Kevin Ashton 2005

*This is another of my recipes from my newspaper column.

The difference between Salmon and sea-trout are small they both look very similar to the untrained eye. But some chefs including me reckon a wild sea-trout beats a wild salmon, in flavour and texture. They usually grow up to about 10kilo (approximately the same size as many wild salmon). Some of the UK’s best sea-trout are found in Wales where they are known assewin.

The great thing about cooking, if you pay attention to the results even bad ones can teach you something, that perhaps you can use later. Some years ago I tried experimenting smoking fish with various types of teas, but unfortunately I wasn’t happy with the results. Then recently whilst visiting Paris I was sitting with friends drinking tea, Lapsang Souchong to be precise which you drink without milk and has a delicious smoky flavour. Eureka! This and only this is the tea to smoke food with.


3 tablespoon Oyster sauce

2 red chillies *deseeded & finely chopped

1 Tablespoon finely chopped ginger

60 ml vegetable oil

Juice of 1 lemon & 1 lime

1 coconut

2 heaped Tbsp coriander chopped


1 bag of mixed leaves (washed)

4 Spring Onions cut in thin strips

1/2 bag bean sprouts

Soy Marinade

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

Black pepper

70 grams of Lapsang Tea

*ginger trimmings

4 x 175 gram sea-trout fillets

Chilli seeds & trimmings

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

  1. Split the coconut carefully and reserve & strain the milk.
  2. Break off a 40-gram piece of coconut and peel the brown skin off it.
  3. Place the peeled coconut meat, oyster sauce, ginger into a food processor and puree.
  4. Add the vegetable oil slowly, then the coconut milk, citrus juice & zest.
  5. Marinate the fish in the soy marinade for 1 hour turning once in a while.
  6. Line a wok with tin foil then add the tea, *ginger trimmings & chilli seeds
  7. Make sure your extraction fan is on and have your kitchen window open.
  8. Find a wire rack or a steamer rack that fits inside your wok.
  9. Heat the wok on a medium high heat until it begins to smoke. Turn the heat down to low & place the fish skin side up on the rack.
  10. Cover with a lid and smoke for 30 minutes then turn off the heat
  11. Mix salad ingredients then add 35 grams of thinly cut coconut strips, (you can use a sharp peeler to first remove the skin then cut the coconut).
  12. In a non stick frying pan flash fry the sea-trout in the vegetable oil for 4 minutes each side on a medium to low heat, then allow to rest for several minutes.
  13. Stir the coriander & chilli’s into the Thai dressing then toss the salad with 1-2 Tbsp of it, reserving the rest to serve on the side.

Place a small mound of tossed salad on each plate then top with the trout.

Chef’s Tips

You can serve jasmine rice with this dish if you wish. If you’re not keen on smoked fish this recipe works just as well without smoking, just allow a little more cooking time. Be careful when flash frying the fish because the soy marinade will make it brown quickly. If you can’t buy sea-trout use salmon or even a rainbow trout. Did you know you can peel fresh ginger with a teaspoon?….really…give a try, just scrap with a spoon and lose a lot less ginger than conventional peeling methods.

© Kevin Ashton 2005-2015


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