Story last updated at 9/18/2013 - 1:52 pm
Bacon is all the rage these days, so my curiosity was piqued when I saw a recipe for "salmon bacon" pop up on Facebook a few months ago.
This recipe, as far as I can tell, is the only one I could find that referred to the crisping of the skin as bacon. So I tried it. It fascinates me when people try and use all of their catch.
I thought this particular concept was a bit weird. It's kind of like eating a banana peel. You can do it, but it's not particularly pleasant. And that's basically how I felt about how the salmon bacon turned out.
I picked up a nice filet of coho and de-scaled the skin side. I poured a little olive oil on both sides and sprinkled tarragon and sea salt on both sides as well. I baked the fish as normal, peeled off the skin when the fish was done and put the skin back in the oven.
The result was a nicely crisp skin. The taste - ridiculously salty and more than "mildly" fishy than the recipe described. If I were to experiment with this again I would skip salt completely. If you could take out the massive salt taste (partly my own fault, but I also suspect it's going to be naturally salty tasting), it would probably make for pretty good "bacon crumbles" on top of a salmon salad. Not the spread, the kind with leafy greens.
This absolutely does not come anywhere in the same ballpark (let alone county or state) as actual bacon. I think the only thing this and pig bacon have in common is the potential for crispness. You know, the same thing you can get out of a potato chip.
So, if you're looking for something different and crunchy to put on your seafood salad, try this out. (Or if you're just a little curious like I was.)
1 filet of choice salmon
½ teaspoon choice spice (skip salt)
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
De-scale the skin side of the salmon. Pour half of the olive oil on the aluminum foil where you will place the fish. Add half of the spice. Place salmon skin-side up on top of the oil and spice. Sprinkle remaining oil and spice on the skin side. Bake at 375 degrees until half done (salmon will turn from a deep pink to a pale, cooked look). Flip salmon so the skin side is facing down and cook until the fish flakes with a fork.
Gently remove the salmon skin and lay it flat back on the baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until skin is crisp. Cut into strips.
Sarah Day is the editor of Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.