Crispy Fried Five-spice Trout

This is an elegant trout dish which we often had at home for a quick lunch or dinner. With its clean and delicate taste and texture, all that it needs is the touch of an aromatic seasoning to complement its own unique flavour. At our table, it was served with rice, a fast stir-fried vegetable dish and, usually, soup made the night before and simply reheated. An easy four-course meal in about half an hour.


  • 2 small whole trout, cleaned
  • ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 lemon, quartered, to garnish
  • Fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish


Blot the trout dry inside and out with kitchen paper.

Mix the five-spice powder with the salt and pepper and sprinkle this evenly over the trout. Dust the outside of the trout thoroughly with the flour.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, turn the heat down to medium and pan-fry the 2 trout for 3 minutes, until they are brown and crispy. Turn them over and pan-fry the other sides. When the fish are cooked, which should take about 5 minutes total, remove them to a warm platter.

Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh coriander. Serve at once.