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Fish is one of the tastiest and most enjoyable foods to cook and create with. The only issue is that fish takes a serious hit in quality as it starts to become less and less fresh. There is little better in life than a fresh salmon fillet that is so fresh that it was swimming around the day before you eat it. While supermarkets are incredibly convenient as the fish is already prepared for cooking, they lack the freshness that you are looking for. The freshest fish you can get is straight from a fishmonger, although you might have to deal with some pesky salmon skin.
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Why Remove Salmon Skin?
When you buy a fresh salmon fillet from a fishmonger, it is most likely that you will have the skin still attached to one side of it. The skin side is by no means bad or inedible, yet it can sometimes prevent you from achieving the perfect texture you desire.
When frying salmon fillets, a lot of people remove the skin as it will crispy up and try to make the whole fillet a bit more stuff. The crispy skin is delicious and can be eaten, but if you were wanting to mix up your fried salmon fillet and toss it with some salad, the skin would prevent it from breaking apart properly.
The delicate flesh might be delicious, yet some people may be cooking a salmon fillet for a celebration or gathering and want to one-up their presentation game. While salmon skin is natural and pure, it can sometimes look messy. If you are wanting to ensure your salmon dish is uniform and perfect, removing the skin might be a good idea.
The salmon skin can sometimes have a texture that goes against the dish you are trying to create. The dish known as ‘sashimi‘ requires raw salmon to be placed over a cuboid of rice. If the salmon skin was still attached, it would be very tough and unpleasant to eat. Once removed, the raw salmon can be enjoyed with a delectable texture.
Depending on the dish you are wanting to make with your salmon, you might find some use in looking at some amazing sides and ideas to serve with salmon.
How Do You Remove Salmon Skin?
Assuming you have a rather sizable salmon fillet fresh from the fishmonger, you are going to need to not only remove the skin but also pluck a bone or two as well. Removing the skin from a fillet is easy and requires very little effort if you use this foolproof method.
All you will need to remove your salmon skin is;
- Your salmon
- A cutting board
- A very sharp knife
- Kitchen-safe tweezers (optional)
Place It On A Cutting Board
Firstly, you will want to place your salmon on a clean cutting board that is on the edge of the counter so that you can easily reach it from all angles, should you need to. Ensure the tail end is facing you as this makes the process a lot smoother. If you have smaller pieces of salmon, make sure the thinnest end is closest to you.
Remove Any Bones
Once you have your salmon prepared on a cutting board, you will want to begin the process of removing any small bones that may be in the fillet. They will not be large pieces of bones, more so little needles. To do this, rub the salmon up and down in the center, feeling for any bones. This is worth doing thoroughly as no one likes bones in their salmon. When you locate a bone you can either remove it by hand or use tweezers.
Choose The Right Knife
Before you actually remove the salmon skin, you want to make sure you have chosen the right knife. Whatever knife you choose must be longer than the width of the salmon. If you do not have a knife this long, you can trim the fillet down the tapered edge. If you have a boning knife, chef’s knife, or utility knife, then you can choose whichever one you generally prefer. If you do not have any specialist knives in your house, try and pick a very sharp knife that is big enough. You are more likely to cut yourself on a dull knife than on a sharp knife due to slipping.
Remove The Skin
Once you have everything done, you can begin removing the skin. To do this, you will want to make a small cut between the flesh and the skin that is about an inch in size. This cut is the perfect place to grab and hold so that you can cut the skin easier. If the skin is oily and difficult to get a good grip on, you can use a paper towel to grip it tighter.
When holding the piece of skin you have cut, pull it taught so that there is no slack. With a slow but slight sawing motion, you can begin to cut the salmon as close to the skin as possible at a downward angle. Once you reach the other end, your knife should slip right out and you shall be left with some salmon skin, and your fillet, completely separate from each other.
Prep For Cooking
Now that you have your fillet separated from the skin, you can prepare it for cooking. This means you can now trim it to your liking depending on the dish you intend to make. If you are just frying your fillet, you can cut it into individual portion sizes. You can cook salmon in many different ways, or not at all. If you want to try your hand at sashimi, you can thinly slice your fillet and place it over sushi rice.
Storing Raw Salmon
If you intend on leaving the salmon for a bit before cooking with it, it is best to store it properly so that you can keep it as fresh as possible. Any smaller pieces of salmon can be placed in an airtight container. Whereas, whole fillets should be wrapped in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. For long-term storage, you can freeze salmon for up to a month and thaw it overnight before use.
Can You Eat Salmon Skin?
Salmon skin is completely edible and is also delicious. Not only is it great to eat, but salmon skin also contains a lot higher concentration of some of the nutrients that are found in salmon. Anyone wanting to benefit from the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon will definitely want to keep the skin on to make sure they get even more of the nutrient. When pan searing your fillet, the skin will become crispy and delicious, which can really add a great texture to the dish. You may want to use a bit more oil than usual to prevent the skin from sticking to your pan as the skin side is prone to do so.
Should You Remove Salmon Skin?
As mentioned, the skin on salmon is delicious and tasty. However, it can also sometimes ruin the texture of your dish. This is because some recipes require the salmon to be as soft as possible and the skin can be quite tough sometimes, especially when eaten raw. When making a pan-fried fillet, the skin can come in really handy at adding flavor and more texture to the dish, but for anything like sushi or a recipe that calls for you to shred your salmon, it is best to take the skin off. After following this super easy method, you will be able to do so at home, on your own, in the blink of an eye.