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Updated: Jun 13

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These easy pan-fried speckled trout cakes are one of my favorite seafood meals that grace my dinner table every year. And while I love a good fish fry (frying a lot of whole fish) as much as the next person, sometimes I like to mix things up a bit.

Fried Speckled Trout Recipe
Photo by Larry White

If there's one thing that I learned by living on the coast for the last 20 years, it's that most crab cakes are somewhat overrated. Don't get me wrong, lump crab meat is one of the finer delicacies on Earth. But the attributes that make it so great often get lost in cake form. 

Speckled sea trout on the other hand offer a little more bite and flavor when made into cakes. I also believe that they hold up to a bit more seasoning as well. And speaking of fresh fish, you don't need to use trout for this recipe either.

You can swap it out with redfish, bass, salmon, or even crappie. The option is totally up to you, just keep in mind that the texture will change depending on what fish you use.


  • Use a heavy-bottomed skillet. You don't need a non-stick skillet to properly pan fry fish. Skillets made of thin materials do not heat evenly, therefore you will have hot spots and cool spots in the pan causing the fish to cook unevenly. 

  • Make sure that the pan is thoroughly heated before adding the fish. A cool pan will cause the breading to stick to the pan and soak up the majority of the cooking oil as well.

  • Remove any excess breading mixture. Gently dust off any breading that hasn't adhered to the fish. If you don't remove these, they will fall off and find their way to the bottom of your pan and have a chance of burning, which will give your cooking oil an off flavor.

  • Always fry with a cooking oil that has a high smoke point. Electric stove tops are notorious for spiking in temperature while you are cooking. While this may not matter as much while you are cooking a steak, this can actually ruin your fried fish. An easy way of giving yourself a buffer is to use cooking oil with a smoke point of at least 375 degrees F. Oils like avocado, peanut, and refined coconut are considered high smoke point cooking oils.

  • If you're still on the fence about fan frying, you can absolutely use a deep fryer or air fryer in place of the stove-top cooking process.


  • You can freeze the uncooked trout cakes for up to 2 months if they are stored in an airtight container. Layering them in between parchment paper will help prevent them from sticking together. 

  • If you decide to freeze the fish cakes after they are assembled, there's no need to thaw them before cooking. You can fry the trout while it is still frozen. Just be aware that the cold temperature of the fish can rapidly cool down your frying fan.

  • Consume any cooked leftovers within one day of preparing for peak freshness.

  • My favorite way for reheating leftover fried trout is in a 325-degree F oven until they are just warmed through. I don't recommend microwaving them, as they will become rubbery.


  • This trout recipe goes great with creamy dipping sauces. A few of my favorites are classic tartar sauce, remoulade, mojo aioli and garlic aioli with a little lemon juice and fresh herbs.

  • I usually cook this meal during the spring or summer and like to serve it with my summer squash and poblano pepper casserole

  • For garnishes I like to keep is simple. Fresh parsley, dill, , lemon wedges

Looking for other recipes? These are some of my favorites:

Lastly, if you make this crispy fried speckled trout recipe, be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! Also, tag me on Instagram with some of your creations. I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.



Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4-6 people

Author: Larry White


  • 1 pound speckled trout filets (boneless/skinless) roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, small dice

  • 1/2 cup onion, small dice

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • a few dashes of hot sauce

  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise 

  • 1 tablespoon creole or dijon mustard 

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs 

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup masa harina or all purpose flour (for dusting the cakes)

  • Oil for cooking the fish cakes


  1. Remove the bones and the skin from the trout fillets if you haven't already done so. Roughly chop the fish fillets with a sharp knife.

  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Cook the vegetables while stirring ever so often until they are tender, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, spread thin, and let cool.

  3. In a large bowl add the cooked vegetables and the remaining ingredients (except the masa harina and frying oil). Mix well and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This helps the mixture become tacky and will help with forming the fish cakes.

  4. Form your cakes into the size you like. Dust each side of the cakes with the all purpose flour or masa harina. Alternatively, you can form the cakes into balls and roll them around in the masa or flour, and then flatten into disk shapes. 

  5. Heat a large pan or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to fill the bottom of the pan to around 1/4 of an inch. Once you see the oil start to lightly smoke, place fish in the pan.

  6. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to work in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan. An over-crowded pan can lead to soggy cakes.

  7. Carefully remove the trout from the pan and place them on clean paper towels. Immediately season lightly with salt.

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Simply delicious!


Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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