Moosehead Lake Fisheries Coalition Lake Trout Cookbook

Lake trout, “togue” are often considered not fit for table fare, but these fish are in fact excellent if properly prepared.  Moosehead Lake has an abundance of lake trout, and a liberal bag limit, so it’s time to address how to enjoy your catch.

First, we need to discuss some basics in their preparation.

  1. Smaller lake trout are generally milder in flavor and better to eat.  Consider photos and releasing the bigger lakers for future trophy fish action.
  2. The skin on a lake trout is oily and should always be removed as the first step in preparation.
  3. Most people hate fish bones in their meal.  Lake trout are easy to filet and if done well, bones are not a problem.


Fried Laker

Lake trout can be fried several different ways as outlined below.  First prepare the fish by filleting and skinning.  Rinse and pat dry the filets.

*Beer Battered:

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup corn starch
    • 1 egg
    •  1 tsp. salt
    •  1 can beer
  • Mix batter and heat oil to 375 to 400
  • Pat seasonings onto both sides of filets (salt, pepper, and seafood seasoning to taste)
  • With tongs, dip filets into batter, lift, and let drain
  • Wave the filet across the top of the hot oil 3 times and release into oil
  • Cook for 3 to 5 minutes depending on filet thickness

*Cracker Crumbs Coated:

  • Crush saltines, Ritz, or other crackers
  • Season with salt, pepper and seafood seasoning
  • Beat 1 egg and dip filets in egg wash
  • Drain excess egg wash from filets and roll in crushed crackers
  • Pan fry filets using butter or oil in pan. Thin filets need to cook only 3 to 4 minutes per side


*Seasoned Breadcrumbs Coated:

  • Prepare fish as discussed for Cracker Crumbs, but use seasoned breadcrumbs


Lily Bay Lobster

  • Start with several lake trout filets and cut the filets into pieces about 1 by 2 inches
  • Warm butter for dipping the “lobster”
  • Cook the lake trout pieces by steaming for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Serve hot with drawn butter as appetizer or entrée’


Greenville Shrimp

  • Start with several lake trout filets and cut the filets into pieces about ½ by 2 inches to resemble shrimp
  • Drop 10 to 15 pieces of filet into boiling water
  • Dip fish from boiling water in no more than 30 seconds and immediately place in ice water
  • After all fish is cooked and chilled, place on a cold plate or bed of crushed ice
  • Serve with cocktail sauce as appetizer


Rockwood Scallops

  • Start with several lake trout filets and cut filets in chunks that resemble scallops
  • Mix up a small portion of pancake mix batter and preheat cooking oil to 375°F
  • Dip the fish chunks in the pancake mix, let excess batter drain, and drop into cooking oil
  • Cook for 4 to 5 minutes
  • Remove from oil and drain on paper towel
  • Serve with tartar sauce



  • Start with about 2 pounds of lake trout filets
  • Chop or cut fish into ¼-inch pieces
  • Place in large bowl
  • Chop one large red onion and 4 or 5 garlic cloves and add to fish
  • Add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Squeeze juice from 4 or 5 limes and 2 lemons into bowl and mix ingredients
  • Let stand in refrigerator for about 1 hour. The lime and lemon juice marinades the fish.
  • Serve on Ritz crackers with a dab of horseradish


Baked Stuffed Lake Trout

  • Start with several lake trout filets
  • Prepare stuffing:
    • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
    • ½ cup butter
    • 2 tbs. chopped green pepper
    • 2 tbs. chopped mushrooms
    • Sage, salt and pepper
    • Combine in bowl with 1 beaten egg
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Grease glass baking dish
  • Place fish filets and overlap so that average thickness is about ½ to ¼ inch
  • Cover fish filets with stuffing
  • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes


Cedar Plank Lake Trout

  • Start with purchased cedar plank or utilize two white cedar shingles about 8 inches wide
  • Overlay shingles to create thickness of about 3/8 inch
  • Soak cedar in water for 1 to 2 hours prior to preparing fish
  • Use fresh lake trout filets
  • Place on soaked cedar plank
  • Season filets with salt, pepper, and seafood seasoning, if you wish
  • Spread mayonnaise or Miracle Whip on top of filets
  • Place plank with fish on indirect heat on grill
  • Close grill cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until fish is firm
  • Do not let cedar plank burn (flame)


Grilled Laker

  • Pat dry the lake trout filets
  • Season with salt, pepper and seafood seasoning
  • Lightly coat filets with mayonnaise
  • Grill over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes per side until fish is opaque
  • Do not overcook
  • Since fish is likely to break, a well greased screen grill surface works best


Smoked Laker

  • Small lakers (less than 16 inches) work best.
  • Do not filet, just cut off head and tail and leave skin on fish.
  • Prepare a marinade of:
    • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • .4 tbs. salt
    • 2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 cups water
  • You can experiment by adding hot sauce, Italian salad dressing, etc.
  • Place fish in marinade in flat pan
  • Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour
  • Remove fish from marinade, let drain, season fish with shake or seasoning/fish rub flavors of your choice
  • Place remaining marinade in water pan in smoker, adding to it apple juice and water. Utilize wood chips of choice in smoker – apple wood is good.
  • Smoke for about 6 hours at a temperature of about 200°
  • Remove fish from smoker and let cool when texture of fish becomes stiff, just starting to dry
  • Smoked fish will keep in refrigerator for days but must be frozen to keep longer.


Lake Trout Fish Cakes

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the cooked leftover lake trout with
    • 1 egg per pound of fish
    • ¼ cup mayonnaise per pound of fish
    • ¼ cup milk per pound of fish.
  • Mix well.
  • Sautee ¼ cup of finely chopped onion per pound of fish in butter and add this to the fish mixture.
  • Season the mixture with minced garlic, horseradish, soy sauce, and/or lemon pepper
    • the amount of each of these ingredients depends on the amount of fish you begin with, and the level of each ingredient you will be able to tolerate and still enjoy the finished product.
  • Lastly, add cracker crumbs to thicken the mixture to a consistency that can be worked by hand into patties
  • Make 4-inch patties and place them on a greased pan, or avoid having to make patties by using a greased muffin tin.
  • A dollop of butter on each patty is optional.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 45 minutes.


Cola Nut Lake Trout

  • Ingredients
    • 4 lake trout filets
    • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
    • ½ cup chopped pecans or pine nuts
    • 1 12-ounce can cola (not diet)
    • 1 tbs. Tabasco sauce
    • 1 tbs. butter
  • Preheat grill to medium heat
  • Rinse fish and pat dry
  • Brush with oil
  • Toast nuts in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned
  • Remove and set aside
  • Pour cola into same skillet over medium-high heat
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cola is reduced by half and has the consistency of syrup
  • Stir in the Tabasco sauce, butter and nuts
  • Keep warm over low heat
  • Grill lake trout filets for about 4 minutes
  • Carefully turn over and grill for about 3 minutes or until fish is opaque and firm
  • Remove from grill
  • To serve, spoon sauce over lake trout (4 servings)


Lake Trout Loaf

  • Using skinned, cooked fish (leftovers maybe)
  • In 2 quart stovetop pan, put:
  • 1 chopped onion, salt, and pepper
  • Break up 10 soda crackers and 3 or 4 slices of bread
  • Add to it 2 tbs. butter and milk to wet (½ to ¾ cup)
  • Heat on stovetop to mix till mushy then stir in 1 egg
  • Add fish in bowl and stir
  • Turn into buttered loaf pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350°


Lake Trout Chowder

  • In soup pot put skinned fish filets, salt, pepper and chopped onions
  • Cover with water and slow cook until tender
  • Remove fish from water and add to seasoned water, bite-sized potato pieces and grated carrots, adding enough water to cover
  • When vegetables are done, add fish, ¾ stick of butter and 1 can of evaporated milk – add more dairy milk if needed
  • Best if it sets a few hours before eating.


Batter-Fried Togue Nuggets

  • Prepare batter of
    • ¼ cup flour
    • ¼ cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup of dark Maine beer (the darker the better)
    • ¼ tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. oil
    • Dash of sugar
  • Deep fry


Laker Spring Chowder

  • In a large pot sauté on medium heat until bacon is soft (about 4 minutes)
    • 4 to 6 slices of diced bacon
    • ½ stick of butter
    • Garlic salt or fresh garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
      • Add:
        • 4 cups of water
        • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
        • 2 small, diced onions
        • 2 diced potatoes
        • 3 bay leaves
        • ½ small bag of frozen corn (opt.)
        • Lake trout (as much as you want, fresh or frozen)
        • Also add other seafood if you want (clams, scallops, shrimp)
      • Boil on medium heat until potatoes and fish is cooked
        • add 2 cups of half and half cream. Do not let chowder boil after adding half and half.


Fried and Baked Lake Trout

  • In a plastic baggie put in lake trout filets and cover with half and half cream.
  • Add enough lemon juice to make the cream thicken.
  • Soak for 30 minutes.
  • In another baggie, mix ½ jiffy corn muffin mix and ½ cup corn meal.
  • Put filets in one at a time and coat. Fry in butter or oil.


Togue Fish Sandwiches

  • Steam or boil fresh filets and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Break them up and use as you would a can of tuna adding mayonnaise, onion, pickle, olives, etc.