Canned salmon is a versatile ingredient that's delicious plain or can be upgraded to make a variety of dishes including pasta, salmon patties, and even soufflés. However, when it comes to canning this fish, the age-old question remains — what should you do with the skin? Technically, there are no wrong answers when it comes to keeping or ditching the salmon skin as it mostly comes down to personal preference. You'll find supporters and distractors on both sides.
However, it's important to consider the pros and cons of keeping the salmon's skin if you're planning on keeping the fish's skin intact. One argument for removing the salmon skin before canning is that it can be difficult to remove afterward. In particular, some find canned salmon's skin to be soggy and extremely thin. This can make slicing it away from the meat a chore.
However, some people prefer to keep the skin on the salmon for the added flavor that it gives the meal. Some also like the way that the canned salmon looks with skin in the jar. For instance, one Redditor wrote, "I leave the skin on and place them outward because I like how it looks. They become very soft and I've never had a problem cleaning the jars."
How To Skin Salmon
Whether you're keeping the salmon on for canning or not, it's important to know how to remove the skin for either instance. As mentioned above, removing the salmon's skin before canning is easier than doing so afterward. To do so, simply lay your salmon flat with the meat facing up on a cutting board. From there, you will be slicing the fish horizontally at a slightly downward angle. Consider using a knife that's slightly duller to slice away the skin to help prevent accidentally slicing through it. The entire piece of skin should be removed in one piece.
If you're removing the skin post-canning, then you want to be careful as you're dealing with a slimier, smaller piece of fish. You can help yourself by following this step prior to canning. One Redditor explains that stacking the salmon in the jar in a certain way will make the fish easier to clean. They wrote, "I always learned to cut the fish into strips and leave the skin on (some scale it but not all) then pack it skin side in. It's tempting to put skin side facing out since the scales are so beautiful, but it is definitely harder to clean."
What Do With Salmon Skin
If you're removing the salmon's skin, then you may be tempted to toss it into the bin. However, to do so would be a shame and, to some, a culinary sin. Salmon skin is prized for its flavor and its fat content, so much so that some might call it the bacon of the sea. Rather than just tossing it, you can actually turn it into a quick snack by frying it up. Dry off the skin and coat it with some oil, and you'll have salmon cracklins. The heat from the stove will cause the skin to crisp to a crunch. Alternatively, you can season the skins and cook them in the oven as well.
If you're feeling particularly artistic, consider substituting seaweed wrap for salmon skin in your California rolls. Of course, there is a way that you can use salmon skin to boost your canned salmon chunks. Simply remove the skin before canning and layer it at the bottom of the jar. It will create a liner for your canned salmon and impart all of its flavor and fattiness to your canned salmon. You end up with the best of both worlds.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.