Rainbow trout with creamy prawn sauce and watercress

The Hairy Bikers served up rainbow trout with creamy prawn sauce and watercress on Hairy Bikers’ Best of British.

Rainbow trout with creamy prawn sauce and watercress


Serves 4
Prep time
around 10 - 15 minutes
Cooking time
1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 200g fillets fresh rainbow trout or sea trout, pin-boned but not skinned
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed, well washed and drained, Choose watercress with small leaves if possible
  • Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, thickly sliced
  • 1 celery stick, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 12 large raw prawns or crayfish, in their shells (roughly 350g)
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 300ml water
  • ½ tsp flaked sea salt
  • 4-5 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 25g butter


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion, fennel, celery and carrot for 15 minutes or until softened and golden brown, stirring often. While the vegetables are cooking, peel the prawns or crayfish. Cut down the back of each prawn or crayfish with a small, sharp knife and remove the black intestinal track – it will look like a very thin elastic band. Put the shellfish meat on a plate, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to keep cold. Put all the shells, including the heads, in the pan with the vegetables. Add the bay leaf and thyme.

  2. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium high heat, crushing the shells with a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible. Stir often to ensure the vegetables do not burn. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Pour the wine into the pan and allow to bubble furiously while stirring well to lift the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Add the water and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid through a colander lined with muslin set over a medium saucepan. Press the shells with a ladle to squeeze out as much of the stock as possible. You should end up with around 200ml. Return the stock to the hob and bring to the boil. Boil hard until the liquid has reduced to around 75ml. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

  5. To cook the trout, melt the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Season the trout fillets on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the fish, skin side down over a medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Turn over, peel off the skin and cook on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a warmed plate and leave to stand.

  6. Bring the stock reduction back to the boil. Reduce the heat a little and stir in the double cream. Cook for 1 minute more and adjust seasoning to taste. Add a little extra cream if the sauce is too intense. Stir in the prawn or crayfish meat and return to a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 minute until the prawns are completely pink and just beginning to curl. Remove from the heat.

  7. Divide the watercress between four warmed platesand top with the fish fillets, keeping most of the watercress to one side. Tip any juices that have collected underneath the fish into the sauce. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the prawns or crayfish and drop gently on top of the fish. Pour a little of the sauce over and put the rest into a warmed jug to serve separately. Serve.