Seared Trout with Carolina Gold Rice and Herbed Buttermilk Sauce

Chef Chris Coleman

by Chef Chris Coleman
Built On Hospitality

Serves 2

2 filets trout, preferably from Sunburst or other NC Trout farm
Salt, as needed
2 bay leaves
1/2 c. Carolina Gold Rice, washed (see note at end of recipe)
3 T butter, divided
1 small shallot, small dice
1/2 c spring/early summer vegetables, small dice 
1 c Buttermilk & Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
2 T mild oil, like vegetable, canola, or soybean
1 T dill, chopped
1 t parsley, chopped
1 t chives, chopped 


  1. Completely pat dry your trout filets, and place on a plate, skin side up. Sprinkle liberally with salt and place in the refrigerator, uncovered. Allow to rest at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. 
  2. Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil, and add in the bay leaves. Add the washed rice and boil, 10 minutes, then drain. Spread rice out on a cookie sheet and set to the side. Warm an oven to 300 degrees.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 T butter and add shallots. Saute over medium heat until shallots are translucent. Add in your vegetables, and saute until crisp tender (we like to use asparagus, spring onion, and peas). Add in the sauce, and warm it through gently. Remove trout from fridge and pat dry the skin.
  4. While sauce warms, heat a pan large enough to hold the 2 filets without crowding over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and swirl. Add 1 T butter and melt. 
  5. Carefully place trout, skin side down in pan, pressing top of trout to ensure skin touches the pan flat. Season the flesh sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Cook trout, skin side down and undisturbed, until 80% cooked through. 
  6. While fish cooks, add remaining 1 T of butter to top of rice and place in the warm oven for 5 minutes, or until warm throughout.
  7. Watch the flesh of the fish; you will be able to tell that the fish is cooking by its color. It will turn whitish up the sides as it cooks. Once the fish seems cooked excerpt for the very top of the flesh side, flip it for just 30 seconds to “kiss” the flesh side and finish the cooking. Place cooked fish on a paper-towel lined plate briefly to absorb excess fat.
  8. Plate: Divide warm rice between two bowls or plates, and stir in the chopped herbs to the warm sauce. Adjust for seasoning if desired. Spoon the sauce around and over the rice. Place the fish, skin side up, over rice and sauce and serve immediately.

Note on washing rice:

Carolina Gold Rice contains a lot of starch. In this recipe, we cook the rice like a pasta, in a lot of boiling water. The rice will need to be rinsed prior to cooking it this way. Add the dry rice to a fine mesh sieve and place under running water, agitating with a spoon or your fingers until most of the starch is rinsed and water runs out clear.

Buttermilk & Mustard Sauce

This sauce is a slightly acidic cream sauce, and is perfect with fish, chicken, pork, or vegetables. 

Makes 1 cup


1/2 c white wine
3 T whole grain mustard, preferably Lusty Monk
1 T white miso
3/4 c cream
3/4 c buttermilk
1 bay leaf
1 spring of fresh thyme 
1 T rice wine vinegar
xanthan gum, as needed (optional)
Salt and pepper, as needed


  1. In a medium sauce pot, reduce wine by half. Add mustard miso, whisking until thickened and smooth. 
  2. Add cream, buttermilk, bay, thyme, and vinegar, and reduce by half. Remove bay and thyme. 
  3. If using xanthan: weigh out sauce on gram scale and add .03% xanthan, whisking to combine. 
  4. Season with salt and pepper and either chill for later use, or proceed with recipe.