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Srirat P Sandra G Candace C Gabriella dhea H

deboning whole cooked salmon

Butch P

deboning whole cooked salmon

Hi, hope you can help me with something. I will be making Craig Claiborne’s “Poached Baked Salmon” which is a (I will be making several) whole Salmon in foil with some white wine and herbs for my Club. I don’t have a problem with the recipe but there is no tutorial on how to remove the filets after the fish is cooked. I have done this with smaller fish but never one this large and question if I can remove all the bones and put the salmon back together for presentation. Do you happen to have one or know where I might look? I have scoured You Tube and the cooking sites with no luck.

Christophe K
Rouxbe Staff

deboning whole cooked salmon

It is actually fairly easy.

If the head is not already off, cut it off just behind the collar. Then, if you are right handed, place the salmon north/south, belly on the left side, (or if you prefer, place the head at noon and the tail at 6 o'clock by your waist).

Using a chef's knife in your right hand, make a cut along the back from head to tail all the way to the back bone. Because the salmon is cooked, it is almost more of a gentle slicing motion, as opposed to cutting into the flesh of a raw salmon. Place your left hand and forearm flat on the salmon. Using the knife inside where you cut it, lift the filet ( using the knife like a spatula/lifter), lift and "turn" the filet like you would be turning a large page of a book, while holding the filet with your left hand and forearm so it does not break. As you do this motion, if the salmon is cooked trough, the belly bones will stay connected to the back bone and you will end up with a whole filet. Then just remove the pin bones with some tweezers or pliers.

For the next filet, simply lift the back bone using your fingers. Grab the back bone from the top (head) and gently pull. It should come off nicely and you should end up with one back bone with both sides of the belly bones attached ( whole skeleton basically). Remove the pin bones of the second filet. You can place back the first filet on top of the second. Hope this helps! It is actually easier to do than to write about it. Cheers!

Butch P

deboning whole cooked salmon

Hi Christophe
And thanks for the write up. I will probably be doing three or four of these on the 25th. I’ll let you know how I make out.
The recipe recommends whole fish with the head on, wild salmon come headless. I also hear a lot about taste and wild salmon verses farm raised. If you had a choice would you pick headless wild salmon or whole farm raised?
Thanks again Butch

Christophe K
Rouxbe Staff

Wild Versus Farmed

Now you're really opening a can of worms!!! if you go for farmed nothing is stopping you from removing the head prior to cooking; however, the choicest piece in a round fish is the cheek, depending on the size of the fish a loonie size morsel of meat.
Wild may be drier than farmed because it is leaner, of course depending how farmed your salmon is, it comes with it's own issues...
Bonne chance.

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