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Can You Eat Salmon Skin and How Does It Taste?

Learn whether or not salmon skin is edible and how you can safely enjoy it.

The holy grail of delicious seafood globally, salmon does not need any introduction.

Fresh Salmon And Lemon

It is among the healthiest and the most demanded edible fish worldwide, commonly found in the freshwater streams of the North Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

The fish is silver in color with light pink and grey hues and dark spots on the fins, head, and body.

Salmon is cooked in various ways like grilling, frying, baking, broiling, and searing. The fish is loaded with high concentrations of omega-3 Fatty acids and vitamins B and D, providing several health benefits.

While salmon is popular seafood throughout the world, the question arises: can you eat salmon skin? Let’s dive in and find out!


Do People Eat Salmon Skin, and Is It Safe?

Salmon skin is 100% edible and generally safe to consume. People across various countries and cultures have been safely consuming fish skin throughout history.

Salmon skin adds additional health benefits to the food, as it contains healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids in high amounts. These fatty acids are a great source of reducing triglyceride levels in your body while decreasing the risks of cardiovascular problems.

However, it is crucial to be careful about where the fish has been sourced, how it is cooked, and if the scales are adequately removed, as they may cut the mouth or get stuck in the throat.

Farmed salmon typically contains higher levels of contaminants than wild salmon. Likewise, salmon caught in the Atlantic Ocean is the most contaminated, and it is recommended to consume it in moderation, or even better, not eat it at all.

Salmon that comes from contaminated waters may be infected with toxins and heavy metals, making it unsafe for consumption as it may lead to health complications in immunocompromised persons, like birth defects in pregnant women.


What Does It Taste Like?

The taste of salmon skin is dependent upon how you cook it. However, it has a fishy taste with a slightly chewy texture.

Like poultry skin, salmon skin is most flavorful when fried or grilled into a light, crispy, and crunchy food. People in many parts of the world prefer eating it as a standalone snack.

Boiled, smoked, and steamed salmon skin is also popular in some parts of the world; however, it develops a soggy and flaccid texture which is not too pleasing to eat.


Can You Eat Salmon Skin Raw?

Yes, it is generally safe to consume raw salmon skin for the most part.

There are many benefits to eating raw salmon skin, as it is an excellent source of essential nutrients. The scales of the salmon are full of collagen, which is super healthy for bones, muscles, tissues, and tendons.

However, if you catch a live salmon, it is recommended that your blast freeze it for a day before consuming the skin raw.

Blast freezing is a viable way of killing harmful pathogens, including parasites that may have infested the fish.


How To Cook Salmon Skin

Cooking salmon skin is a matter of personal preferences. Some people like to marinate the salmon skin with spices to give it a more flavorful taste and then deep fry it.

The salmon is also grilled as a whole, with the skin adding to the delicious crunchy taste of a regular salmon fish fillet.

However, if you choose to bake or grill the fish, make sure that you position it on a rack skin side down so that the skin becomes crispy and does not appear soggy and soft.


Salmon Skin Recipes

So how can you eat salmon skin now that you know it is perfectly edible?

Here are a few examples of everyday recipes you can try with salmon skin:

  • Crispy salmon skin rice bowls.
  • Salmon skin fritters
  • Fried salmon skin 
  • Pan-fried skinned salmon fillets
  • Salmon skin rolls

If these sound appealing, you can find lots of recipes online to make salmon with the skin on at home.


Is It Safe to Eat Salmon Skin?

So, can you eat salmon skin? It is generally safe to consume salmon skin, as it contains the same minerals as in the flesh of the fish itself, serving as a great nutritious addition to your diet.

However, there are a few essential factors to consider when eating salmon skin, particularly the quality of the fish and its source.

Salmon caught from the Pacific waters is considered safer to consume than Atlantic salmon.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.