Salmon Skin, A Query

Dear Home-Ec 101:

I scored a box of salmon fillets for a deal and am wondering if I should bake them with the skin on, or peel it off before it goes in the oven? Does the skin serve a purpose? Does it taste better?

Signed,
Squicked by Salmon Skin

Heather says:

Believe it or not, some people love to eat the salmon skin, especially when prepared so it is crispy. In most cases a recipe will indicate if the skin should be removed prior to cooking or not.

When cooking meat, whether fish or fowl the skin adds flavor and helps retain moisture.

I find, especially when grilling, that the skin helps hold the salmon together when turning. Salmon skin slips right off when the fish has been cooked. If I bake the fish, I leave the skin on and simply slide my spatula between the flesh and the skin to serve.

To remove skin from a salmon filet, the fish should be completely thawed. For best results thaw salmon in the refrigerator or wrapped in plastic under cool running water.

A filet of salmon is the long, boneless strip of meat that has been cut away from the ribs and backbone.

To remove the skin from an entire filet of raw salmon, grip the skin at the tail, that’s the narrow end. Use a very sharp knife and cut between the skin and the flesh. Once there is enough skin to grip firmly, switch the knife to your off hand, but keep it at an angle between the skin and the flesh.Use your dominant hand to continue gently pulling the filet by the skin.

If the filet has already been cut into portions, a slightly different approach is needed. The darker skin is the top of the fish while the light is the belly. Usually the skin begins to separate from the flesh at the top of the fish. Cut from top to bottom, as close to the skin as possible.

Send your household questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



7 Comments

  1. jeshudas on September 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    WOOOW..i've never know that salmon skin can be treat like yours! it's really new for me whom like salmon. i will bookmark your blog to get a new article from you..
    thanks and nice job!

  2. Monk on March 9, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Fish skin is a great source of omega 3s that leech into the meat when cooked! Leave that skin on, even if only for the cooking!

  3. Carrie on March 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks Heather, I did cook it with the skin on and it was great!
    And that is the first time I have ever seen the word squicked!

    • Heather Solos on March 4, 2010 at 12:55 am

      I'm so glad you had good luck with it. Enjoy the rest of the box.

  4. Eugene Mah on March 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    i normally cook salmon (or any other fish) filets with the skin on, then serve it skinless. It's definitely easier to cook fillets that way.

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  5. Cheryl Smithem on March 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Saturday while watching Jacques et Julia on PBS, Julia (Child that is) said the skin should be removed. I personally like it when grilling, like Heather, but will often remove it. However, being a fence-sitter, I can go either way.

    • HeatherSolos on March 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      It's one of those things I think comes down to personal taste. There are some camps that suggest that toxins are mostly in the skin, while those in the opposing camp swear that the most of the Omega 3 fatty acids are stored near the skin.
      I don't have the answer for that, I just know it's easier to grill with it on and if it keeps my fish from falling apart, I'm good with that.

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