Smoked Trout Cakes

Rick Kangas

Grouse Mountain Grill, Beaver Creek, CO

In his professional kitchen in Colorado, chef Rick Kangas is able to smoke his own red trout (actually not a separate species, but rather a different color because of their diet). But if you can’t replicate a smokehouse in your apartment, any good-quality store-bought smoked trout will do. The combination and contrast of fresh and smoked trout nicely enhances the overall flavor of the finished dish. The tarragon adds a flowery, herbal note.


  • 5 ounces smoked trout meat
  • 6 ounces fresh trout, skinned and boned (approximately 1 fillet)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more if needed


Using a fork, flake the smoked trout meat and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the fresh trout and the egg, and purée until completely smooth. Slowly add the heavy cream, being careful not to blend too much.

Transfer the trout mixture to a bowl and fold in the smoked trout, onion, pepper, garlic, tarragon, parsley, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into balls (the size will depend on whether you are making an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre) and refrigerate them for a 1/2 hour.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan set over medium heat. When the butter is hot, place the trout balls in the pan and flatten slightly with a spatula. Cook the trout cakes until they are golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, flipping once. Drain on paper towels and serve with tartar sauce.


16 hors d’oeuvre, or 2 appetizer servings