Salmon can be eaten along with the skin and scales of the fish. Why? The skin is a great source of nutrients, and the scales are full of collagen!
So, if you’ve been wondering whether to take the time to remove the skin or scales from your salmon steak, why not reconsider it?
Salmon is already chock-full of great nutrients, but it can be made even more beneficial by eating the skin.
If you wanted to go one step further, you could try having your next salmon steak with the scales still on, too.
No, we aren’t joking! While most people like to remove the skin (and scales), it isn’t actually a necessary step.
It could be seen as wasteful to just throw out the skin and scales of a fish – it’s all perfectly edible, after all!
However, it’s important to understand that many people aren’t a big fan of the texture of the skin or scales.
Sure, the texture can change depending on how it’s cooked, but the fact remains.
If you want to find out more about salmon skin and scales, keep reading. We’re going to go through everything you need to know right here in this post.
Benefits Of Eating The Skin And Scales Of Salmon
As we briefly mentioned, you might be surprised to learn that both the skin and scales of salmon are actually nutritionally beneficial.
Skin might not be as much of a surprise, but scales? Scales actually contain a lot of collages, which is very important to things like skin, bones, tissues, and even tendons.
The skin of salmon is a great source of Omega-3 and fatty acids, which are crucial to good health.
This is actually one of the big reasons why so many people like eating salmon – it’s incredibly healthy! Salmon also contains lots of high levels of vitamins D and B, as well as a number of other important minerals.
The skin, however, is thought to be the part of the fish that contains the most Omega-3.
Why Salmon Skin Might Be Removed?
It’ll come as no surprise that a lot of people like to remove the skin of their salmon for pretty obvious reasons.
In many recipes, the salmon skin can often go soggy and unpleasant, which isn’t ideal. If a recipe calls for a salmon steak to be boiled or steamed, the skin will undoubtedly turn soft.
Since this isn’t preferred by the vast majority of people, the skin will just be removed.
However, if a salmon steak is to be baked or fried, the skin will likely crisp up, which many people enjoy.
This is especially the case if you are using some delicious seasonings, like lemon and dill.
These flavors will be infused with the skin, and there’s just no way you can turn that down.
With the flavors mixed in with the skin, keeping it moist enough but still giving it that crisp, most people would prefer to leave the skin on their salmon.
Whether they choose to keep the scales on that skin is another matter entirely, though. The majority of people would likely still opt to have the scales removed.
Why Some People Don’t Like to Eat Salmon Scales
The biggest issue when it comes to eating scales with your salmon is the texture.
Think of it, you’re eating that salmon because it is soft and succulent, then you get a bunch of hard, dry scales.
These scales will probably stick in your throat too, so they would be a choking hazard as well.
You’re turning a soft, succulent fish into something from a nightmare.
With that being said, a lot of people would probably enjoy the texture of the smaller scales. They aren’t very noticeable, and probably won’t get stuck in your throat.
How to Make Salmon Scales More Appetizing?
Using cooking methods like frying, baking, or roasting are the best ways to make salmon scales more appetizing.
By using these methods, the scales are incorporated into the dish as a whole, which makes it more palatable.
The soft and tender textures of the salmon’s flesh will be nicely blended with the crispiness of the skin, and also the scales.
If you were to have soft flesh and skin, then hard scales, it would likely be jarring to whoever was trying to enjoy their meal.
If you’re going to be trying out salmon with scales, be warned that it might take some experimenting to get it just right.
You will need to throw out all your ideas of what salmon should be like out the window, and keep an open mind.
Try roasting, baking, and frying with different flavors to see if you can find one that works for you.
If you can’t seem to like any of the options, you can always just peel the skin off once the fish is cooked anyway!
If you’re willing to try the scaled salmon, be sure to get creative with it. There are plenty of recipes out there to try.
You might find a method that works perfectly for what you like!
Removing Salmon Scales
Removing the scales from salmon while keeping the skin on is pretty easy. You don’t need any special skills or tools, just a knife and somewhere to work!
The first thing you will need to do is determine if your fish actually has scales.
You will be able to determine this if you see shiny, hard formations on the skin.
On a salmon without scales, you should be able to see a distinct diamond pattern. This pattern would otherwise be hidden if the scales were on.
As soon as you have determined whether your fish has scales or not, you can move onto the next step.
To remove the scales, get a knife and prepare a workspace. Because of how messy descaling a fish can be, it’s best to do this outside if you’re able to. If not, work over a sink.
First, you will need to find where the scales fart – do this by carefully running your fingernail across the fish.
Start at the tail and go up towards the head. Where you nail first catches, that’s where the scales start, and the angle you will need to work with.
Get your knife, and gently start scraping up the fish in the same direction your nail got caught.
You might need to rough up the scales a little first, so make them more visible.
All you need to do is keep roughing them up and scraping until they come loose.
Rinse the fish under clean water frequently to wash the loose scales off. After a few minutes, you will be left with a smooth, scale-less fish to work with! It’s that easy.
Removing Salmon Skin And Scales
If you are someone who likes to remove the skin from the salmon, you aren’t alone.
While the skin is full of nutrients and vitamins, it isn’t always suitable for cooking. There are two ways to remove the skin and scales from your salmon:
- Removing once the fish is cooked
- Removing before cooking the fish
The method of removal might depend on what the salmon is being used for, but also personal preference.
For ease, the best way to remove the skin and scales from salmon would be to wait until the fish is cooked.
When the salmon is cooked, the skin can be peeled off super easily. All you need to do is get a knife and gently tease the edge of the skin up on one corner of the fish.
You can then just use your fingers to peel the skin away if it allows you to, or continue to use the knife.
You can usually get the skin off cooked salmon in one big piece, but if you aren’t used to it, expect a couple of smaller pieces. Again, this is the easiest option for anyone.
The second option would be to remove the skin of the salmon before cooking it. You might need to do this if you specifically need the meat of the fish and need to avoid the skin.
A fair warning to anyone who wants to try this method – it takes some skill to do it properly.
Most of the time, a lot of fish meat goes to waste because of incorrect methods.
While we won’t go into how to effectively remove the skin of a raw salmon here (it is more complicated than you think), there are a number of great resources to check out for a tutorial.
Just make sure that you have a sharp knife and good knife control. It’s very easy to cut yourself or damage the fish in the process.
If you do try removing the skin from a raw fish, and it doesn’t turn out great, don’t be disheartened!
It takes a lot of practice, and no one is a pro the first time they try anything. Just keep practicing and learning, and you will get it eventually.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Salmon Scales Edible?
Yes, the scales of salmon are edible. However, many people prefer not to eat them as they are crunchy and hard, and often get stuck in their throats.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Salmon With Scales On It?
Either frying or roasting is the best way to enjoy salmon with scales on it. However, some experimenting might have to be done to find the perfect method for you.
Is It Easy To Remove The Scales From Salmon?
Yes, removing salmon scales is very easy. All you need is a knife and a clean space to work in.
Is Eating Salmon Skin Beneficial To Health?
Yes, salmon skin is full of Omega-3 and nutrients, which are essential to our health.
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