How to Tell if Salmon Fillet is Fresh
Freshness Indicators for Fish Fillets
A "fish fillet" is the flesh of a fish which has been cut or sliced away from the bone by cutting lengthwise along one side of the fish parallel to the backbone. In preparation for filleting, any scales on the fish should be removed. The contents of the stomach also need careful detaching from the fillet. Because fish fillets do not contain the larger bones running along the vertebrate, they are often said to be "boneless". However, some species, such as the common carp, have smaller intramuscular bones called pins within the fillet. The skin present on one side may or may not be stripped from the fillet. Butterfly fillets can be produced by cutting the fillets on each side in such a way that they are held together by the flesh and skin of the belly.
One disadvantage of purchasing fillets is that many of the freshness indicators have been obliterated or removed. Careful inspection using the following guidelines will ensure a quality product.
1) Fish fillets should be moist, shiny, and glistening.
2) Shapes should be consistent, well trimmed, and free of most bones.
3) Excess water in the container indicates freezing and thawing.
4) Aroma should be fresh, clean, and briny (smells like sea), not fishy.
5) Firm, stiff , and dry fillets indicate that they have been previously frozen.
6) Packaging should be intact and well sealed.
7) Color should be consistent without traces of blood, yellow, or gray.
8) Skinned fillets should be totally free of skin.
Fish Fillet Portion Size
Portion-size fillets come fabricated in specific sizes and weight and are available more readily frozen than fresh.
Skin on or Off
As mentioned, it is advisable to purchase certain high-cost species with the skin on to avoid any product substitution. Common fish like flounder, monkfish, and cod are normally skinned immediately after filleting; whereas others with softer flesh are left skin-on to avoid the fillets breaking up during processing.
Cook your fish fillet using this recipe... Delicious and Easy Wild Alaskan Salmon Recipe
Fish steaks are cross-section cuts, available bone in or bone out. Steaks may also contain the belly flap and pin bones, especially when cut from round fish such as salmon. This “round” steak, including the belly flap, can be secured into a cylindrical shape with cotton twine for easier cooking and presentation. Depending on the fish and cooking method, skin can be left on or removed after cooking. Larger flat fish such as halibut can also be cut into various shaped steaks. These are not fabricated into steaks in the same manner as round fish but are filleted and cut into squares or rectangles.
Cross-cut steak is an economical way to cut a round fish. It involves less labor and offers premium product utilization. They are also easily portioned and can be sold by the piece in retail operations. When cutting a steak from a round fish it is not advisable to utilize the tail section, which tapers down into a very thin portion with a thick bone. Use this tail meat for other items such as fish stews, mousseline, or rillettes. A disadvantage to cross-cut steaks is that the bones are still intact and may be undesirable to customers or guests, although bones do add flavor when cooking.
Fish Steak Preparation
Determine the appropriate portion size and the number of cuts necessary for the specific fish. Cut through the top fillet to the backbone with a large knife. Increasing the knife pressure, cut through the backbone and bottom fillet until the steak is separated from the fish. Larger fish may require the use of a rubber or wooden mallet to penetrate the backbone, but be careful not to damage and bruise the bottom fillet.
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