Spicy Steelhead with Pickled Cucumbers

These sea-run rainbow trout are excellent when cooked on the barbecue, but you can grill, pan-sear or broil the fish as well. A four-pound fish, before cleaning, is perfect for a meal for four adults. The flesh is firm and the flavor is similar to trout and salmon. Fillet large fish for grilling. For smaller fish, you may choose to leave the bones intact until after grilling. The spicy part is easy. Just lay out a few thin lines of Asian chili-garlic sauce (sambal, sriracha, etc.) over the top of the fish before serving. If you can’t find the Asian stuff, use your favorite hot sauce.

Spicy Steelhead with Pickled Cucumbers


  • 2 large steelhead fillets skin intact
  • *** juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or substitute 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • *** Asian chili-garlic sauce

Pickled Cucumbers

  • 1/2 yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  • Lay fillets, skin side down, in a shallow tray or dish. Squeeze lemon juice over fillets. Rub oil over fillets then season with pepper and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Place fillets, skin side down, on a medium-low temperature barbecue grate. Cover and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Carefully turn fillets one quarter turn on grate, keeping skin side down. Replace cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Actual cooking time will depend on thickness of fillets and temperature of barbecue. Cooked fish will be firm to the touch and light pink in color.
  • Allow cucumbers to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain well. Arrange cucumbers on individual plates or platter. Remove fillets from barbecue. Carefully remove skin and place fillets on cucumbers. Top with some chili-garlic sauce, but be careful!
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients except onion and cucumber. Heat for a few minutes dissolve sugar, but do not boil. Place cucumber and onion in a bowl, pour liquid over and chill in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

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