Baked trout in best tomato sauce, with lemon and herb rice. 33p.


People often ask me why I don’t buy items from the Reduced chiller at the supermarket: well I do, I just don’t tend to blog about them, on the basis that they aren’t dependable, and price reductions vary from supermarket chain to supermarket chain, and even store to store. However, on finding a packet of trout in my local supermarket for 70 pence this evening, it was too good not to share.

You can substitute the trout in this recipe for white fish fillets: Sainsburys do a frozen bag of white fish for £1.75, for 520g, which would make the fish in this recipe 81p for a 240g portion, so only 2-3p more expensive per head than my bargain trout.

Ingredients: (Served 4 at 33p each)

240g trout, (normal price £2.41, reduced 70p) or 240g white fish fillets (£1.75/520g)

1 tablespoon sunflower oil, 3p (£4.50/3l)

400g chopped tomatoes, 31p (31p/400g)

1 onion, 11p (each)

1 chilli, free

200g white rice, 8p (40p/1kg)

Fistful of parsley and basil, free

Juice and zest of half a lemon, 8p (84p, bag of 5 fruits)


Firstly, prepare the tomato sauce. Peel and dice the onion and add to a saucepan with the chopped tomatoes. Place on a low heat and allow to simmer.

Pop the herbs into a tea cup (my preferred method of chopping them!) and chop into them with kitchen scissors until they are finely chopped. Grate the lemon zest in, half the lemon and squeeze the juice from one half in. Tip most of the herbs and lemon mixture into the tomatoes and onions, and reserve some for the rice.

While the onions are gently softening in the tomatoes, and the herbs infusing the sauce with their own special wonderfulness, now would be a good time to pop the rice on to boil. Bring a saucepan of cold water to the boil, add the rice, and reduce to a simmer.

Set the oven to 150C, pop the trout on a baking tray skin side down with a smudge of oil to prevent it from sticking, and bake for 10-12 minutes until opaque and pinkish. By this time, all being well, the rice should be nice and fluffy…

Drain any excess water from the rice, and tip in the remaining lemon and herb mixture. Spoon onto plates or into bowls. Break up the trout into large chunks with a fork, (tip any excess juice or oil into the tomato sauce and give it a quick stir). Serve the trout next to or on top of the rice, and top generously with the tomato sauce. Garnish with extra herbs if available, and enjoy the melty goodness…

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. I cook like this. Such a good simple recipe. I have had money, but not any more. When Richard Corrigan sounded amazed and bemused that his “subject” only had 28p in her account, I realised that the gap was unbridgeable.

  2. Tiny tip for if you want to be really frugal: boiling water in the kettle is a more efficient use of electricity than heating water in a pan (applies to gas hobs too).

  3. just read about you in the guardian and came on here for a peep. what a wonder blog! i’m lucky enough to be able to afford food, but i still remember when i was a child at home and my mum, sister and i had to be careful with how quickly we ate the weekly shop. best of luck in the future. x

  4. I noticed that you use a good amount of fresh herbs from your window sill to “freshen up” your recipes which is a great idea. What do you suggest for those who don’t have access to fresh herbs and/or have a brown thumb? Thank you!

    • A jar of mixed dried herbs is a godsend – Sainsburys do a basic one for 30p! And try to grow mint – the pre-grown supermarket pots are practically unkillable. I say my ‘essentials’ are:

      1 ‘fresh’ tasting herb – mint or basil
      1 ‘earth’ – rosemary or thyme
      1 ‘all purpose’ – parsley or mixed herbs
      Dried chillies

      I interchange mint and basil, rosemary and thyme all the….time…. 🙂

  5. Got reduced herb plants at garden centre and cuttings from friends, now off to get ingredients…recipes are a life-saver 🙂 Thanks!

    • I didn’t have one for months – and now only have a drawer in a shared freezer. I just ate the same dinner two nights in a row – which if you think about it, means you only have to cook half the week… 🙂

  6. Consider cutting the fish into chunks and cooking it in the tomato sauce, keeps the fish moist and imparts a bit more flavor. As a variation you could try adding diced olives or a small but of capers to the sauce.

  7. Im Curious, kippers are quite cheap, I know they are strong in taste so would they be to strong & strange for a dish such as this, I’m thinking they probably are but I’m considering trying, any thoughts Jack? 🙂

  8. Sounds yum. We have a stock of reduced fish in thr freezer including trout. We got some for as cheap as like 30p and we got cheap fresh coley on sale and froze that too. We use our freezer as we cant always afford fresh fish or meat so can stretch it out a while like this

  9. Jack! I love your blog! Been a fan for a while, you truly rock. Kudos for all you have achieved. You are not just an awesome cook but an inspiration to all. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply