Recently, I picked up a whole fresh salmon filet at Costco and, when I got home, I portioned it up so I could freeze it for future meals. It wasn’t as pretty as this wild caught Canadian salmon, that I got for a crazy cheap price some years ago, but I cut it up the same way so I’m recycling pictures from an earlier post on LJ.
Here’s what I did with some of the Canadian salmon – teriyaki basted and baked buttery rich and tender salmon belly meat and crispy salmon skin. (Yes, teriyaki IS my favourite baste/glaze for salmon)
As for the butchering technique:
First, rinse off the filet and pat it dry with paper towels. It looks so lovely and red, doesn’t it? 🙂
Then, cut into the filet at the tail end, about 2-3 inches from the end. (My fridge was REALLY cold. You can see some shards of ice forming on top of the salmon.)
If you have a sharp knife, and are confident in your knife skills, you can hold on to the tail with a folded over paper towel and run a sharp knife between the flesh and skin from the tail to the head portion of the filet. However, once you make that first cut through to the skin and get about an inch under the flesh, you can remove the knife and use the back edge of your hand ‘in place of the knife’ to free the flesh from the skin while firmly holding on to the tail. There’s no risk of cutting the skin or hacking up the underside of the flesh if you use your hand. Which is what I did.
The result is a sheet of salmon skin, a cleaned filet and the couple of inches of salmon from the tail cut off the skin.
I flipped the cutting board around, trimmed the fatty belly meat off and then portioned the rest of the salmon into 7 portions. I used the width of 3 fingers as my portion guide. The weight of each portion ranged from 3-5 oz depending on the position on the filet.
The underside of the skinned salmon pieces
And, what I ended up with … wrapped for the future.
On the right, in the Ziploc container: 6 lovely salmon portions wrapped up in pairs of similar size and weight. On the left, in the smaller container: the scraps from the tail portion that I used to hold onto when I removed the skin from the rest of the filet, the next tail portion, and the belly meat cut into about 5 strips. The salmon skin was baked until crispy and served with seasoned seaweed.
Crispy Salmon Skin
salmon skin, no meat remaining
neutral vegetable or grapeseed oil
salt, as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 deg Farenheit.
Place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil brushed with oil on a baking sheet.
Cut the skin into approximately 2 by 3 inch portions. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, turning over the skin after 10 minutes. Remove the skin as it crisps up. Some pieces may be slightly thicker so may require an extra couple or three minutes. Transfer to a doubled sheet of paper towelling and let cool. Cut or break into shards and use as garnish.