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Alaskans Love Salmon Skin

February 23, 2018

Alaskan artists dedicate entire exhibits to its ocean-fresh, silvery-blue patterns. I wear locally-made earrings with embedded salmon skin jewels. We cure and tan it and make salmon skin leather wallets and baby slippers and bustiers. We even see the Alaskan coastal brown bear ripping off the skin of a salmon (his favorite part) and leaving the rest behind. That's not just because he likes the taste. The majority of those healthy omega-3 fats are stored within the salmon's skin.

Enjoy Salmon Skin!

Just like the brown bear- Alaskan humans LOVE eating salmon skin. An expertly grilled fillet of Alaska salmon has some sexy, smokey-charred grill marks, moist and flaky flesh, and sizzling, crispy skin. We often even serve it skin side up so it won't get soggy on the plate. My daughter loves peeling the skin off a pan-seared king salmon filet, then returning it, salted and flat, right back into the cast iron skillet to fry in its own oils like a clandestine chicharrón. <<Crunch>> So good! The scales are so soft and small that you can't even detect them. Chop it up like bacon bits in your salad. My personal favorite is thin strips of crispy salmon skin wrapped up in a Nori sushi roll and dipped in wasabi creme.

It breaks my heart to think about all the wasted wild Alaska salmon skin. I cringe when I see a happy customer's empty plate, licked clean... a perfect piece of salmon skin the only thing remaining. At our Alaska lodge, any scraps go into the chicken bucket, so nothing is really wasted. And I know many a home cook shares their discarded salmon skin with their beloved pets... but for a fact many too many beautiful pieces of salmon skin end up in the trash. In the landfill.


Maybe several reasons...
>Maybe their mom told them not to eat fish skin? Maybe the only time she tried it the skin was slimey and flavorless.
>Maybe lack of education? Maybe people get weirded out by eating skin from any animal and have just never heard about how healthy and delicious wild Alaska salmon skin really is.
>Maybe some people started getting freaked out by heavy metal exposure and the risk of consuming toxins in ubiquitous farmed-raised Atlantic salmon. There are many reasons to avoid eating farmed salmon- I encourage you to do your own research.

However, when you opt for wild-caught, sustainable Alaska salmon there are significantly fewer toxins than in farmed salmon.

Wasting Alaska Salmon Skin

Let's talk about not wasting wild Alaska salmon skin.

Too many times I've seen a recipe that reads something like this... "8 oz. filet of sockeye salmon, deboned, discard skin". Discard?! No way! So I set out to figure out how to utilize salmon skin -- and not just by way of me frying it and shoving it into my mouth while hovering over the stove -- but more strategically.

One thing that I found is salmon skin can add beneficial binding power and moisture to my favorite salmon cake recipe... making them Perfect Salmon Cakes. Check out my recipe and the secret technique... and please eat those wild Alaska salmon skins!

See Recipe

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