My Dad went fishing with one of his buddies, and luck was with them as this is what he brought back a small steelhead. Then dropped it by my house. I am so spoiled!! It was just the perfect size for dinner. I know most people aren't going to be lucky enough to have a fresh from the river fish, but try to get one as fresh as possible; it really does make a huge difference in the taste. Also if you can get a wild caught rather than farmed it is also better. We cut it in two pieces and Dad bbq'd the other third. Most of the time I use a fillet but with a fish this small I did the whole thing. Just adjust the recipe as needed for the size of your fish.
You can't get much fresher than this. Make sure to wash it out gently with cool water. If you want to eat the skin you will need to descale the fish by using the back of a knife and going again the scales. It is a messy process, we don't eat the skin so I don't worry about it.
1 cup of brown sugar, yes it is a lot but when it is all done it won't be sweet.
Slices of onion, I used a yellow onion but a sweet one would work well too
After the fish is washed and patted dry rub the cavity with a heaping handful of brown sugar make sure you spread it around really well, this is important for the flavor
Lay slices of onion in the fish, it won't taste like onion but it gives a nice hint of flavor
Next lay in slices of the lemon
Cover the outside of the fish with the remaining brown sugar
Peel off the skin then slice down the back and through the side. Beware though you will probably have bones to pick out.
Baked Salmon or Steelhead
2-3 pound salmon or steelhead
1 cup brown sugar
3-4 slices of lemon
3-4 slices of onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Make sure your fish is clean wash it out gently with cold water then pat dry with a paper towel. Place in the bottom of a baking dish. If using a whole fish open cavity and rub with some brown sugar, then layer onions, and lemons. Coat the outside of the fish with remaining brown sugar and cover with foil. Bake for 30 min or until done.
Note: if you are using a fillet put skin side down and rub flesh with brown sugar then layer with onions and lemons then more brown sugar.
You can serve this hot/room temp/cold it is good anyway you serve it.
Next up: Leftovers-salmon/steelhead cakes.