Is it OK to Eat Salmon Skin?

More often than not, I get asked if it’s OK to eat salmon skin. The answer: yes—yes it is OK, but there are a few important things to consider before adding salmon skin to the diet, one being personal preference. I love crispy salmon skin straight off the grill, but I know plenty of people who don’t. And although I will eat it grilled, I’m not inclined to cook it separately, but I know people who do. Believe it or not, they all swear it’s just like eating bacon. That, I doubt, but hey, if you like the texture and flavor, then go for it. Here’s a few other things to consider when deciding whether or not to eat salmon skin.

Nutritional value of salmon skin
Some of the same nutrients that are in the fish, are also in its skin—some, even more so. Salmon skin is a good source of protein, vitamins B and D, niacin and other essential minerals, and, because the skin itself is higher in fat than the flesh, it contains an even higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk for heart disease as well as lower triglyceride levels

Consider the source
Just like the fish itself, the skin carries with it the traits of the environment where it has lived. A salmon caught in the pristine waters of Alaska has far different attributes than one raised in polluted waters. And, while I am an aquaculture advocate, if I don’t know the farm where the salmon is raised, I will not eat the skin. NOTE, there are some fabulous farms out there (Ora and Verlasso) with excellent salmon—salmon that has skin even I would eat, but,   if you’re unfamiliar with the farm where it was raised, I advise you skip the skin and eat only skin from wild-caught fish.

Bottom line
It’s OK to eat salmon skin, but consider the source. And, be aware that it has a higher fat content than the rest of the fish so for those on a restricted diet, eating salmon skin might not be a good choice. But, for most people, eating salmon skin is A-OK and at around 100 calories per serving, it’s a tasty addition to your diet.

Grilling salmon with the skin seals essential nutrients and healthy oils inside the fish

Best way to cook salmon skin
As I mentioned before, there are plenty of people who like to fry salmon skin as they do bacon. Me, I’m not a fan. But, if you want to try this method, it’s as simple as can be: fry the skins until golden brown in a few tablespoons of oil (try sesame oil), add salt and pepper, and you’re done.

Or, you can do as I do and grill your salmon filets with the skin on: lightly brush skin with olive oil, place directly on a hot grill, skin-side down. Grill salmon for about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your filet. Use a heavy spatula to remove, place on serving dish and your done. Salt and pepper and lemon to taste.

A note about my recipes … most of what I cook isn’t a precise science. It’s look, taste and feel. And I encourage you to cook the same way. Add a little more of this, or a little less of that … and pay attention … and before long you’ll be a wiz at cooking seafood.

Coming up NEXT on the blog … a trip down Highway 101, smoked salmon pizza, and a recap on the wild-caught vs. farmed seafood debate.

Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox