I had a really awesome sushi roll the other day. I ordered a salmon skin roll, as I frequently do because salmon skin is one of the best and most underutilized parts of the fish (also see: collar). But instead of thin strips of delicious, fatty, crisp salmon skin, the roll was full of finely chopped extra-crispy salmon skin bits. They looked just like bacon bits, and somehow tasted even better. The crunchy, meaty fragments against the soft, tangy-sweet rice was a rare kind of textural bliss.
How to get the skin off the salmon for said purpose? Well, unless you’re skilled with a thin, flexible and highly dangerous filleting knife and willing to risk a fingertip or two for the bottom half-inch of your piece of fish, I’d recommend baking or pan-searing the salmon first, peeling the skin off (it’ll basically fall off at that point) then broiling or frying it.
Oh, salmon skin. Fishy chicharrones, pork rinds of the sea, poor man’s bottarga. Thin strips easily replace bacon on a BLT. Er, SSLT? I can imagine sprinkling these on spaghetti like breadcrumbs, or topping a baked potato with a healthy dollop of sour cream. If only I’d known about salmon skin bits before Macaroni Salad Week. What am I talking about? I can make up a macaroni salad recipe anytime I want! I created Macaroni Salad Week!!!
Here we go:
Toss your elbows with finely crumbled feta cheese, a generous squeeze of Japanese kewpie mayo, tons and tons of chopped fresh dill, the juice of a lemon and your desired amount of deep-fried, crumbled salmon skin. I recommend copious amounts.
Using the skin of a whole smoked fillet of salmon will give you more of a bacon effect, but boy is it salty. I actually prefer the fried skin of a straight up piece of salmon. Now that you know about this crazy little secret, I encourage you to sprinkle it on everything — mashed potatoes, soup, anything.
Oh my god. I just thought of something genius. Fried salmon skin-crusted salmon fillet. Okay everyone, I’m leaving early. I’ve got stuff to crust. I mean salmon to fry.
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