If there’s one treat on earth that’s even better than crispy pork crackling – because it’s lower fat and doesn’t involve murdering a sociable, intelligent and highly trainable animal – it would have to be salmon skin that’s been baked to crunchy perfection.
(I mean no offence to all the salmon out there, but be honest, you’re not in Babe’s league.)
So for months I’ve been trying a variety of cooking tips found on an assortment of Google sites to achieve this, and after much experimentation using friends as guinea pigs (thank you all for suffering through various iterations) have finally hit the jackpot and am delighted to share the results, which have proven to be reproducible in my oven at least, right here, right now.
#55 Create Perfect Crispy Salmon Skin
It turns out that salmon skin nirvana is not too difficult to achieve:
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 200ºC
- Choose a salmon steak with a generous covering of skin. I’ve noticed they sometimes sell skinless salmon steaks. Unbelievable! I pray they don’t just toss out the skins…
- Carefully detach the flesh from the skin with a sharp knife, just so…
- …before scraping off all the fat and any residual flesh on the undersurface so the skin is glistening and streamlined.
- Then cut to size and pat dry on a paper towel:
- Next, season generously with salt, pepper and oil, rubbing in well, and lay the pieces on an oiled metal cross-wire cooling rack.
(It goes without saying that Murray River pink salt, freshly ground black pepper using an obscenely long pepper grinder and a virtuous brand of EVOO were chosen)
Now the following step is VITAL to success:
- Place the racks with their compressed cargo onto a baking tray and into the hot oven on the middle shelf.
Then, if you cook the salmon fillet in a frying pan on the stove top at a low-moderate setting for 5 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other, this 9 minutes will be the exact time it will take for the skin in the oven to reach perfection.
I invert the two little trays (as one) at the same time as I turn the fillet on the stove top, too, just for symmetry.
The salmon skins should be golden brown, straight-as-a-die and delicate crunch heaven.
You’re most welcome.