Salmon is a fish known for its mild, non-fishy taste and pink coloring. Whether served with asparagus and rice on the side or roasted with lemons and dill, the dish is always popular. But what about the brownish-gray skin that coats part of your fillet? What are you supposed to do with that? Wonder no longer -- we've got you covered on everything you need to know about salmon skin.
Eating the skin is not only doable, but it's recommended. Salmon skin is tasty and provides a lot of flavor and texture to this more mild-tasting fish. The skin also helps the salmon retain moisture and nutrients as it's cooked.
On top of being a good source of protein, salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have been linked to reducing heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and high cholesterol. Because of the fish's health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration recommends eating two to three servings of salmon a week.
Most of the omega-3 fatty acids are located in the salmon skin, so removing it strips away most of the nutritional benefits.
While salmon skin is generally safe and healthy to eat, there are some risks for eating the skin of salmon that has been contaminated. A common source of salmon contamination is from chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which salmon can absorb through their skin. Humans who eat salmon skin contaminated with PCBs can experience harmful effects to their immune system, reproductive system, and nervous system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. PCBs have also been linked to cancer and, if eaten by pregnant women, birth defects.
However, PCB contamination is more prevalent in Atlantic farmed salmon than wild salmon, according to a 2004 study by Indiana University. So if you have a craving for salmon, you might want to check that it isn't farmed.
Salmon is a versatile dish that can be prepared in numerous ways:
Unlike with pan frying, there is no need to flip your salmon when you roast it. You can also bake your salmon in parchment or tin foil -- salmon en papillote. For this method:
Before grilling, you can also prepare a salmon marinade to enhance the flavor of the fish