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Fish Skins: The Best Part

One of the best parts of the fish is their skin. Fats are concentrated there, and so there’s a build up of rich flavor and healthy omega-3’s. There’s also the textural pleasure of crunching in contrast with tender flesh. It’s a great platform for sauce drizzled over the fillet for layering. Here are some great ways to use salmon skin, and this works with many other species as well. There are two key elements to cooking fish skin-high heat, and don't move the skin around while it's on the heat. 

The Real Good Fish chef and fisherman, Kevin Butler advises to salt and pepper salmon portions, then get a cast iron pan very hot.  Oil the fish on both sides and cook skin side down till 3/4 done look at color change about 8min.  (Do not move the fish during this time). Flip fish to finish, about 2 minutes.

 Chef Becky Selengut, author of cookbook “Good Fish” and “Shroom” has a trick for crisping skin. She places a small cast iron pan on top of the fillet, and the pressure keeps the skin in contact with the heat to help crisp it evenly.  

Here’s a video produced by Chow.com where Maria Finn at Real Good Fish shows how to make “fish skin bacon.” It’s super simple: Just scrape the scales off your fish skin, rub with sesame oil, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and red chili flakes on it and bake until crisp. I like to put these on rice bowls with a poached egg, sautéed greens, and brined salmon eggs.

And Doug Bernstein from Fish Restaurant in Sausalito makes fish skin chicharrones by deep frying sturgeon skin and sprinkling them with seaweed salt.