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What on earth is a Salmon Tenderloin?

I saw this the other day at a restaurant trying way too hard to be trendy. I laughed and asked the waitress what part of the salmon was the tenderloin. She explained that it's the piece of meat on the side of the fish. I nodded understandingly and went with something else.

Doesn't the definition of "loin" exclude all fish immediately?

Someone please enlighten me.

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  1. Right. Fish have loins, didn't you know?

    1. just google it... it looks to be the filet that is cut across...

      1. At some point the "loin" term was created for fish to designate a filet cut that is more uniform in section and appearance. The frozen slabs for sushi are all referred to as "loins." It's marketing shorthand.

          1. Waitress: "You want those loins girded or not, honey?"

            I guess salmon loins are somewhere between the shoulder and rump, right?

            Any salmon brisket on the menu?

            4 Replies
              1. re: Kagemusha

                I always get the chicken lips appetizer before my salmon tenderloin.

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  Salmon shoulder! Sounds ideal for barbecue.
                  There is a place in Canada (BC) called Salmon Arm.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    I've heard salmon shoulder referred to as the area behind the jaw...sort of like hamachi Kama/collar. Most fish mongers will sell the filleted salmon carcass for a few cents or give them away...real good eating.

                2. I suspect there's a marketing analogy being made between filet mignon being cut from the beef tenderloin -- and being the most tender (and expensive) cut of beef. So the most tender (and expensive) salmon fillet must come from the salmon tenderloin??

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: drongo

                    I'm not 100% sure but I think this is the same part of the fish that, when smoked is sold by McKenzie as the "Laird's Cut"

                  2. I don't think I've heard of salmon fillets called loins. Maybe it's a regional thing.

                    Tuna is commonly referred to as "loins"..or quartered.


                    1. What a bunch of nonesense. If you have cleaned a salmon you know there are two piece of meat on it. The right fillet and the left fillet. And every inch of it tastes exactly the same.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LovinSpoonful

                        May taste the same, but different areas have different textures. As mentioned the shoulder and the area beneath the jaw. OTOH would suspect the tenderloin is what used to be called a salmon' steak, with or without the bone, cut across the fish not filleted.

                        1. re: LovinSpoonful

                          Ah, but is it our right side, or the salmon's right side? Maybe they should more, um, rightly, be called port and starboard...

                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                            I'm guessing you're joking but fish are referred to as left/right. Google summer/ winter flounder. Winter flounder/fluke hasboth eyes on the right side. Summer flounder on the left . Head being the reference point. If you're not sure, [ut your finger in it's mouth. If you get a nice chunk ripped out, you got a fluke..:)

                            1. re: 9lives

                              Was joking, 9lives, but thanks for the info on left/right.
                              And about summer/winter flounder- a fluke of nature... literally. : )

                        2. salmon tenderloin should be in a dictionary of wacky critter terms, after chimera and jackalope, and before tail of guinea pig and unicorn.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo

                            Can take its place in the unlikely foods lexicon alongside wing of buffalo.