Fjord Trout: in search of the source

by Great British Chefs

Join Daniel Galmiche as he visits the Norwegian fjords to find out why the trout farmed in these waters is so special.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

It’s not until you see the crystal clear water in Norway’s famous fjords that you can really appreciate just how pure the fish living in it can be. That’s why Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche travelled to the country to discover how Fjord Trout develops its beloved colour, texture and flavour, talking to the people who farm and cook with the fish on a daily basis whilst sharing his favourite Fjord Trout recipes.

The first person Daniel met was Sven-Åge Hauge, a regional fish farming manager for Lerøy. ‘Norway has a very good environment for aquaculture and fish farming,’ he tells Daniel. ‘We have a very long coastline, deep fjords, pure clear water and we give the Fjord Trout plenty of space; our farms are 97% water and three percent fish.’ This means the fish have plenty of room to swim around and develop in the pristine fjords, so they can grow bigger and develop the muscle that gives Fjord Trout its firm bite and texture.

‘For me, there are a couple of elements that are very important with Fjord Trout,’ adds Fredrik Hald, product development manager for Lerøy. ‘The texture is firm but soft at the same time – when you first bite into a piece it’s solid, but then it melts in your mouth. And then you discover the beautiful taste; aromas of fresh nuts, almonds and cucumber. It’s also sweet because the fish has a fatty belly and the rest is a mixture of muscle and fat, which gives that unique combination needed for sushi, sashimi and tartare.’

If you have Fjord Trout at home, it’s best to cook it simply. Daniel starts by simply frying Fjord Trout in a little butter and oil between two pieces of greaseproof paper. Resting another pan on top keeps the skin flat against the heat, so it crisps up evenly. Then all it needs is a scattering of flaked almonds, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

It’s also very easy to marinate and cure Fjord Trout – covering it in salt, sugar, crushed coriander seeds, lime zest and fresh coriander is all it needs. Wrap it tightly in clingfilm and leave it overnight, before slicing the fish thinly.

After talking to the people in Norway, seeing the fjords for himself and cooking the Fjord Trout surrounded by its own environment, Daniel finally found the answer to his question while eating sashimi next to a glacier. ‘Now I’ve got it. This is the glacier, which feeds the river, which flows into the estuary, which reaches the trout fry that stock the fjord. It is pure, it is delicate, it is amazing.’