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Personal Chef Secrets: How To Make Crispy Salmon Without Skin

Crispy Salmon

Why As A Personal Chef I Remove The Skin

I love crispy salmon. I love it with the skin on however as a personal chef it becomes tricky when deciding how to treat salmon with guests of 10 or more. I have found that in larger groups it is best to keep the skin off to avoid having last-minute requests or having guests having to pick around their salmon because they aren’t fans of the skin. So the next conundrum is how do we mimic the texture of crispy skin without it. 

What You Need…

1 Large Salmon Filet

1 Cutting Board

1 Chef Knife

1 1/4″ Sheet Tray

1 Piece of Parchment

1 1/4″ Rack

1 Frying Pan

Kosher Salt

Oil For Pan

I am going to start with a whole filet of salmon with no bones and skin on. To take the skin off of the salmon I use a sharp chef knife with a little bit of water on the blade. On the cutting board from left to right lay the filet in the tail to the head direction. Where the tail begins you make a small cut right above the skin about an inch into the filet keeping the blade even with the cutting board so that the knife rides right between the skin and the flesh. Once you have a little room to work with you can grab the skin your left hand and gently slice back and forth while pushing the blade forward through the entire filet. 

This whole operation takes practice and chances are this will be difficult the first couple times you do this. You can always opt to buy already cut skinless filets however learning this technique is pretty fulfilling and allows you to save money and garner delicious parts of the fish otherwise thrown away. 


Now that the filet is skinless let’s remove the belly fat. This will help us have evenly cut portions as well as portions that cook evenly. Starting from the head of the filet find where the belly fat starts and cut in one even straight line all the way down the filet. My favorite thing to do with belly fat is, chop it into small pieces and toss it with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onion, and sriracha and eat it over a warm bowl of white rice. Super amazing. 


The next thing is to trim the top of the filet any tough or stringy parts that help even up the rest of the fish. Employ the same technique as before and cut in a straight line. You can also use this in your rice bowl. 


Now that we have an even filet flip it over. It’s important to get rid of the grey bloodline that runs down the center of the fish. It doesn’t taste amazing. In order to do this without hacking up the fish entirely, I slide the knife on an angle taking small gentle slices out until it is removed. It’s okay to leave some, in other words, don’t go digging for trouble. 


Now that the filet is completely cleaned up cut the filets into even portions. The tail is going to be the skinniest piece but it’s still delicious. 


Now this is where the magic starts. We take a sheet tray and cover it with a piece of parchment paper. And put a roasting rack on top of that. Place the filets on the rack skin side down and two inches apart. Place in the fridge uncovered for 24 to 36 hours. During this time the skin, all the way around the salmon starts to dry up. This is what makes the salmon super crispy.

Now that the salmon is ready put a large pan on high heat and preheat your oven to 300 degrees farehnheit. Once the pan is ripping hot add 3 tablespoons of oil and swirl it evenly around the pan. Season the salmon with salt and place the salmon flesh side down and sear. You will see the salmon start to get super crispy. Once this happens flip the salmon and sear for 3 mins. Place in the oven and finish cooking to your liking.