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Salmon Technique

Tom_W.'s picture

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We've gained a 4# frozen Pacific Salmon minus head, etc.

I'd appreciate a recommendation on prep technique. I live in freshwater country where the Largemouth Bass is more common.

Any recommendations.......
Fillet like I always do bass, removing the skin and bones?

Cut steak type cuts through the rib area and then fillet the balance?

Would you recommend leaving the skin on or taking it off for cooking?

Also would appreciate cooking and sauce (recipe) suggestions....pan sear, bake or ???????

Thought I'd check with the experts and try to avoid a sad first time experience. Here in the middle of the US we're more familiar with the canned variety.

Thanks as always,

Tom

nihon_no_cook's picture

(post #25967, reply #1 of 6)

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Use the search feature of this site to locate the previous thread about salmon. That should take care of your recipe requests, at least for a while. As for the butchering techniques, I'll leave that for someone else to answer.

EM_'s picture

(post #25967, reply #2 of 6)

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After my husband goes to British Columbia for a salmon fishing trip, we always have a freezer full of salmon. Don't ask me how to prep, but we have steaks with a bone and skin and skinless fillets.

The favorite cooking method is on the grill and easy to boot. Melt some butter in a disposable aluminum foil pan, place fillets or steaks in pan and sprinkle them with salt and lemon-pepper (heavy). Cook on a covered grill until the salmon begins to "milk" and the texture is flaking. Sauces and intricate recipes can be wonderful, but when the salmon is fresh from the water, the grilling method is hard to beat.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #25967, reply #3 of 6)

Carolina's picture

(post #25967, reply #4 of 6)

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What a fantastic new way (at least for me) to cook salmon! Do you still get that good charcoal flavor?
Would you recommend spraying the pan with Pam to keep the fish from sticking?

Jeff_'s picture

(post #25967, reply #5 of 6)

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To fillet a salmon:

1. A sharp knife is a must. . .a fillet knife if
you have one. These knive have long flexible
blades.

2. Cut off the bones (collarbones?) which are
part of the body of the fish, just behind the
gills (toward the tail).

3. With the salmon on its side, make an incision
just lateral to the midline of the back. There
are bones in the back at the midline. You want to
cut just above these.

4. Continue slicing through the flesh as close to
the bones as possible. You'll run into the
backbone. You will have to cut through a row a
fine bones which will be pointing from the
backbone into the middle of the fillet. These
will be removed later.

5. Carefully continue cutting as close to the
ribs as possible until the fillet is free.
Alternatively, if you are lazy or don't mind the
ribs, you can just cut through the ribs and leave
them on the fillet.

6. Repeat the process for the other side of the
fish.

7. Lay the fillet, skin side down, on the counter
and run your finger from the head to the tail of
the fillet. You will feel the small lateral bones
I mentioned above. Get a pair of pliers (small
needle nose pliers work great), and pull out the
bones.

I never remove the skin, but if that's desired,
place the fillet, skin side down, on a large
cutting board. Starting at the tail end,
carefully cut as close to the skin as possible
until you have enough of a flap of skin to hold on
to. Grab onto the skin with one hand and cut with
the fillet knife (this is when the fillet knife
really comes in handy), with the knife blade
parallel to the board. Saw the knife and slide
the skin from side to side as you cut.

My favorite way to prepare salmon is in a
Teriyaki/basil/garlic marinade.

Combine
~1 cup teriyaki sauce

~2-4 cloves garlic, sliced, chopped or crushed

fresh basil, chopped

~1/4 cup olive oil

Allow the (skin on) fillet to marinate 2-8 hours, turning
occasionally. Fire up
your charcoal grill. I like to put the salmon
onto the grill flesh-side down for a couple of
minutes to get grill marks then flip it for the
remaining cooking time. Sometimes it tends to
stick, so if having the perfect presentation is
important to you, you can just place it skin side
down. Place the top on the grill and cook until
the center of the fillet is no longer translucent.

jb

EM_'s picture

(post #25967, reply #6 of 6)

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You won't get as much smoked flavor as you do if it sits directly on the grill, of course, but enough. Pam is fine.

In my grilling post I meant heavy on the lemon-pepper, not the salt. I see it wasn't clearly stated.