“My first fly-fishing experience was definitely a memorable one, even though I didn’t catch anything. Luckily, I was surrounded by experienced fisherman who allowed me to cook them one of my dishes using their catch. Usually I would use banana leaves to wrap the fish up before chargrilling it, but using local leeks instead worked a treat, adding a nice smoky flavor to the dish. ” Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom






Skill level

Average: 4.9 (4 votes)


  • 2 leeks, green tops discarded
  • 600 g whole rainbow trout
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp roasted crushed peanuts
  • ½ tsp fried shallots, (see Note)
  • ½ tsp fried garlic, (see Note)


Fish sauce vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced


Watercress and pomegranate salad

  • 1 semi-ripe mango, peeled and julienned
  • large handful watercress sprigs
  • small handful mint leaves, sliced
  • ½ pomegranate, seeded

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat a barbecue chargrill and let the coals burn down to red amber.

Meanwhile, cook the whole leeks in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again and squeeze out as much water as possible. Cut the leeks in half lengthways. Remove 3-4 outer leaves off each leek and place them vertically on a work surface with the edges overlapping. Reserve the remaining leek for the salad.

Pat dry the trout and use a sharp knife to make 3 incisions on both sides. Season the fish generously with salt inside and out, then place horizontally over the leek leaves and wrap the leaves over the fish. The leek leaves protect the fish skin during cooking and imparts a lovely flavor. Brush the outside with oil, then place on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on both sides - it doesn’t matter if the leeks burn during cooking.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small jar, seal and shake well.

When the fish is nearly done, place the salad ingredients in a mixing bowl. Thinly slice the white inner hearts of the leeks and add to your salad with about 60 ml (¼ cup) of the dressing and toss gently. Place the cooked trout on a serving platter and top with the salad. Sprinkle with toasted peanuts, fried shallots and fried garlic, then drizzle 1 more tablespoon of dressing over the dish and serve immediately.  



• Fried garlic and shallots are available from from Asian supermarkets.


Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom starts Thursday 14 May 2015 at 8pm on SBS ONE and finishes 2 July 2015. Visit the Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.