Can You Eat Salmon Skin? Here’s What You Need to Know

Plus, how to remove it.

<p>Inna Kozhina/Getty Images</p>

Inna Kozhina/Getty Images

Salmon is one of the healthiest and most popular fishes to make, and if you like the skin, there’s absolutely no reason to discard it. In fact, the salmon skin is known to be an excellent source of minerals, plus omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B and D, and more nutrients. And salmon skin can add a delicious crunch to any baked or pan-fried salmon filet. Prefer your skin soft? That’s easily achievable too. And if you’d rather eat your salmon skin on its own, you can indeed cook it separately from the rest of your salmon. Read on to eat every bite of your salmon, including the skin. 

Related: 2 Rules for How to Cook Salmon Even Haters Will Love

Can You Eat Salmon Skin?

“Yes, you can definitely eat the salmon skin. The skin of the salmon has the highest concentration of omega-3s, besides being a great vitamin D and vitamin B supplement,” says Steven Wong, fishmonger and salmon expert at Seafood from Norway

Many people find the skin to even be their favorite part of the salmon, for its flavor, texture, and nutrients. Whether you’re cooking salmon steaks, salmon filets, or chunks of salmon, fresh or frozen salmon skin is certainly edible. Salmon skin rolls, using crunchy salmon skins, are also a popular sushi bar item stateside.

Is Salmon Skin Good For You?

Yes, salmon skin is good for you. Salmon skin holds the aforementioned nutrients, plus natural fish oil, which can help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce arthritic pain, and help prevent heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. The gray area on salmon, just between the skin and pink flesh, is also packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.

Related: How to Grill Salmon So It’s Not Dry

How to Cook Salmon Skin

Salmon skin can easily be cooked attached to the fish. “I love to just pan sear salmon with the skin side down first,” Wong says. “I start off with a pan on high heat to give the skin a nice char, and just leave it there for a few minutes. At first, the skin seems to stick to the pan, but over the course of three minutes or so, the skin will curl up and stay crispy.” 

Make sure your salmon skin is completely dry (patting it with a paper towel or tea towel works well) before adding it to the pan. Some cooks also like to lightly score the skin, to enhance the texture. Just be sure not to cut into the flesh.

How to Remove Skin From Salmon

If you want the skin removed from your salmon, you can simply ask your fishmonger to de-skin it when you buy salmon. Take the salmon skin with you to make crispy salmon skin at home, or if the skin really isn’t your thing, you can dehydrate it to make a healthy dog or cat chew. 

If you’re undecided on whether you want the skin on or off, you can also remove the skin at home “Boil a pot of water and carefully pour the hot water onto the salmon skin,” Wong recommends. “The skin will turn a little loose and you can almost peel it off the meat with your fingers. First, try a small spot of the salmon to see if the water is hot enough to separate the skin from the meat. You should then be able to peel all of the skin off. If not, repeat with more hot water and eventually you’ll easily be able to remove it all.” 

Related: How to Avoid the White Stuff When You’re Cooking Salmon

Too complicated? You can also use a chef’s knife to slice under the start of the skin, and tug it off while wiggling the fish.

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