Seafood: Trout, Steelhead

Trout, Steelhead

Steelhead trout are found in both freshwater and saltwater, and shares some similarities with salmon. Coastal steelhead will head inland to freshwater to spawn, and have the ability to spawn more than once, making them quite a topic of conversation around the steelhead dinner table. (Are you going to go off and spawn again?) The taste and texture are very similar to salmon — a bit oily, flakes nicely, and has a wonderful mild flavor.

Considered a predatory fish, steelhead trout have been introduced into freshwater lakes and streams the world over with mixed results. In some cases they’ve mated with native fish, diluting their genetic purity and in other cases taken over altogether. The (sort of) good news is that they’ve become a very popular sport fish in the Great Lakes.

From a nutritional standpoint, the steelhead is tough to beat. It has all the good stuff and little to none of the bad. Rich in protein of course, but also in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B-12, (good things) and very little of the stuff that can hurt you, such as mercury and runoff from commercial agriculture.

The steelhead we get in the Monterey Bay is farmed. Hans Haveman of H & H Fresh Fish Company gets his fish from a well-respected farm that feeds its steelhead a diet rich in fish oil, as opposed to some aquaculture sites using soy-based diets. The fish oil diet produces a healthy, natural fish with all of the nutrients and (hopefully) none of the bad stuff, both listed previously.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
The Monterey Bay Seafood Watch rates farmed steelhead as a “Best choice” making this fish is a deliciously healthy and sustainable option at the MBCFM market.