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Monday, April 11, 2011

Salmon Collar

I'm not going to beat around the bush on this one.  This was amazing.  Bomb.  Freaking sensational.  I was able to get my hands on some wild sashimi grade salmon collar... and it was everything you'd imagine and more.  Imagine little sticks of butter swimming around.  That is what this is.  Butter on a bone.  Most people when they think of fish, salmon especially, they think of a salmon fillet grilled, broiled, or whatnot.  This is some grilled salmon collar that is to die for.

What makes salmon collar so good?  Well, the fat content.  I was watching America's Test Kitchen today and they were airing an episode on salmon.  I saw the lady cut off the sliver of salmon fat.  I almost broke my monitor.  Why throw it away?  It's good for you (not to mention so delicious).  People take fish oil supplements for their health... and this lady is throwing away that piece!  For shame!

Okay, well, we have some salmon so let me show you how I did it.  I start off by preheating my gas grill.  It should preheat for a good 15 minutes before putting salmon on it.  Hot grates is key to salmon not sticking.  After turning on your grill to preheat, take your salmon out.  You want it cold (that's another key to it not sticking).

I started with a whole collar.  Rinse it and pat dry with a paper towel.  You want as little moisture as possible on the fish.  Cut it into three pieces.

Salt and pepper the fish and brush on oil.  I have a Misto oil spray so I just sprayed oil onto it.  When the grill is hot, wipe the grates down with canola oil.  Do not spray oil or pour oil right onto the grill.  There is a live fire under it.  Moisten a clean rag with oil and wipe down on the grates using your tongs.  Then throw the salmon on, skin side down first if possible.  The heat should still be on high.

Here is the trick to it not sticking.  Use tongs so you are not tempted to manipulate it in anyway.  When the fish is ready, it will release from the grates on its own, given that you've oiled the grates and sprayed/brushed the fish with oil.  When it is ready, you can grab the salmon on the sides and pick it up no problem.  If you try to pick it up and it is resisting, leave it alone and wait.  It should take only about a minute on each side.  Also remember you have pieces of different sizes.  Obviously the thicker pieces will take longer to cook.  But the good thing is that the larger pieces have more 'sides'... so you can just sear a 3rd or 4th side while the insides cook.

After that you're set.  I garnished mine with some thinly sliced scallions and some unagi sauce.  Boy, look at that crispy skin.  And the flesh?  Irresistibly buttery and flavorful.  I've never had a piece of salmon this amazing.