Slicing and Dicing Salmon For Steaks

By:  Allie Moxley

Salmon steaks are somewhat similar to fillets, however, fillets are actually cut lengthwise, between the meat and the bones and steaks are cut across the fish with bones included. They are great for making a wide variety dishes and they are particularly good for grilling. Although you can easily head to your local market and pick up a few salmon steaks, there is nothing like taking it up upon yourself and seeing the whole process through.

Learning how to steak salmon is a lifelong skill.

The first step is to make sure you have all the right equipment. You need a sharp knife, the sharper the better in fact. You will also need a hard, flat surface to perform your slicing and dicing. This first method is if you are working with a whole, fresh caught fish. To begin, place the fish flat against your hard surface and make the first incision behind the gillplate; continue straight down. Cut down to the backbone of the fish, but do not go through it; keeping going across both sides. Cut off the head and tail. Trim off all the fins with kitchen shears or with your knife.

Remove the scales by running the knife or a fish scaler down from where the head was down to the tail, lifting the scales as you go. To gut the fish, take your knife and stick it into the vent in the underbelly region in front of the anal fin. Run the knife under the belly flap to the gill area. Remove everything from the gut cavity and then wash the fish thoroughly with cold running water. The next step in learning how to steak a salmon is to make crosswise cuts, perpendicular to the backbone.

These will mark the thickness of your steaks and should be between ¾ to 2 inches. Continue down the fish; you may use a rubber mallet to assist in cutting through the bones. You can cut the remaining parts of the fish, for example the last 8 inches near the tail into fillets.

An easier, but less hands on way to learn how to steak a salmon, is to order a dressed salmon from your market, and then cut it into steaks. Dressed cuts have already been cleaned and scaled, so they are easier to handle.

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