Crispy Fried Salmon Skin

chef slicing skin off salmon
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
  • 17 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: serves 4-6
Ratings (29)

This recipe falls under the "waste not, want not" file, but it results in a treat anyone will enjoy -- if you give this recipe a try. Basically, crispy fried salmon skin is like salmon bacon, or "salmon rinds," as opposed to pork rinds.

This recipe gives them an Asian flair, but you could season them any way you'd like: The flavoring keys are the oil you use and the post-fry seasoning. This recipe makes a snack for 4 to 6 servings.

What You'll Need

  • Skins from 1 salmon (any kind will do)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil for frying
  • 2-3 tablespoons sesame oil (or other flavored oil)
  • Garnish: soy sauce

How to Make It

  1. With a very sharp knife, slice the salmon skin (start with the scale-side up, but be sure the fish has been scaled!) into 1/4 inch thick strips from top to bottom -- i.e., from belly to back, not head to tail. 
  2. Put the salmon skin strips into a bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pat the salmon skin strips dry with a paper towel. It is important that the salmon not be wet.
  1. Add enough vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok to come up about 3/4 of an inch up the sides. Add the flavored oil and turn the heat up to medium-high.

    NOTE: If you want to take this dish in another direction, use olive oil and some smoked paprika for a Spanish flavor, or olive oil and lemon for Greek or Italian, or butter and thyme for French or bacon fat and cayenne powder for a Cajun feel. The possibilities are limitless.
  2. Add the salmon skin and fry over medium-low heat. Stir them frequently so they don't stick. Take your time. It can take a full 10-15 minutes for them to crisp up -- they will look rubbery at first, but be patient.
  3. When crispy, drain on paper towels and serve with the soy sauce. If you are not going Asian for this dish, skip the soy.