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?
Squicked by Salmon Skin
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.
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