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Recipe suggestions for wild Pacific Salmon belly chunks

letsindulge Jun 21, 2013 04:08 PM

I nabbed the 2 random packages of beautiful belly trim. It is skin-on, and totals approx. 2.25#. Thought I might try this Squaw Candy recipe but the smoker I have is a stove-top.


Husband, and I both enjoy salmon but he prefers the leaner center cuts. Would like a preparation that both of us can enjoy. TIA.

  1. letsindulge Jun 23, 2013 08:23 PM

    Sunday's dinner of grilled chermoula-marinated salmon belly, grilled mixed veggies, and couscous. Success. Thanks for the ideas y'all.

    1. ipsedixit Jun 22, 2013 10:48 AM

      I would do the salmon 2 ways since you have 2.25 pounds of the stuff.

      Take about a pound or so and make Poke, and serve with some crostini or other crusty bread, or maybe even topped on some Triscuits.

      Then take the rest and pan sear skin side down, and leave half of it rare (yes, even raw), and then season it with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper and a squeeze of lime or lemon.

      Serve the Poke and crostini as an app, the pan-seared salmon belly as the main, and enjoy it all with a nice Pinot Gris.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit
        letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 02:00 PM

        Another great idea! Thanks.

      2. JoanN Jun 22, 2013 10:21 AM

        Realize I’m too late now, but just in case you get so lucky again, there’s a recipe for Grilled Toro Salmon in Rick Moonen’s “Fish Without a Doubt” that I make whenever I have salmon belly. You can find the recipe here in Google books: http://books.google.com/books?id=BffV... Essentially, the belly is rubbed with freshly grated ginger and soy, grilled indoors or out, and served on a bed of hearty greens and fresh mushrooms with a dressing of shallots, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, oregano, and a pinch of sugar. It’s a great, simple marinade for the salmon and I love how the salad balances the richness of the fish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JoanN
          letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 01:59 PM

          WOW...that sounds great! It appears to be teriyaki-esque.

        2. Melanie Wong Jun 22, 2013 12:07 AM

          Great find!

          I've not done this with salmon belly, but I have prepared swordfish belly by cutting into cubes and grilling on skewers as kabobs. Most fish kabobs I've run across are overcooked. The belly portion is a bit more forgiving so well suited to this application.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 12:37 AM

            Great idea! A chermoula marinade would nicely contrast the fattiness of the fish. Simply steamed couscous, and grilled vegetable sides?

            1. re: letsindulge
              Melanie Wong Jun 22, 2013 12:43 AM

              How funny! I was trying to recall what I'd served with the kabobs and couldn't remember. But now that you've mentioned it, the swordfish was rubbed with chermoula. Once you've got the grill going, might as well cook the veggies there too.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 03:00 AM

                It is funny how my mind immediately went to chermoula once you mentioned kebabs! I have all the ingredients except coriander, and I'm glad to have another use for my preserved lemons. It got me to thinking about sauce verte too, but fresh tarragon is hard to come by at times, and I don't grow it. I've got the couscous as well so all I need is the veggies from the farmers market. I'm thinking yellow zucchini, summer squash, and red bells?

                1. re: letsindulge
                  Melanie Wong Jun 22, 2013 09:59 AM

                  We are really on the same wave length. I considered suggesting sauce verte last night, but the charry notes from grilling might overwhelm the tarragon so I didn't.

                  If you have preserved lemons on hand, one other tip is to use the "goo" from the bottom of the jar as a rub on salmon before you grill it. Adds salt, acid, and fermented lemon flavor. That stuff is gold.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 01:56 PM

                    It's preserved lemon essence!

          2. letsindulge Jun 21, 2013 11:46 PM

            Think it might be good for ceviche, or poke?

            1. r
              rjbh20 Jun 21, 2013 06:00 PM

              Those look fabulous. Give them a light cure (salt & a little sugar) and smoke 'em. Use as a focal point in a frisée salad, flake into pasta aglio e olio, or just scarf 'em with a cold Red Hook.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rjbh20
                letsindulge Jun 21, 2013 11:44 PM

                I got a real deal @ 3.99 a pound! Thanks for the idea of a cure. Maybe a pinch of cayenne with the salt & sugar would be good? BTW were you suggesting white, or brown sugar?

                1. re: letsindulge
                  rjbh20 Jun 22, 2013 10:39 AM

                  Cayenne is fine. though i'd do black pepper as well. The kind of sugar doesn't matter -- just go easy on it and heavier on the salt than you think you need. And don't oversmoke -- nice and slow so some of the fat renders and they firm up.

                  1. re: rjbh20
                    letsindulge Jun 22, 2013 01:50 PM

                    Agree with the black pepper. I'd love to achieve a candied, jerky-like texture in my stove-top smoker. Would air-drying it somehow after applying the rub help? Granted the salt would draw some of the moisture out as well.

                    1. re: letsindulge
                      rjbh20 Jun 22, 2013 06:47 PM

                      Air drying is always a good idea for fish smoking. You clearly get my drift -- go for it and post the results.

              2. paulj Jun 21, 2013 05:01 PM

                I find that these pieces are so fatty and rich that they don't need much improvement. I usually cut them into large bite size pieces, and quickly pan fry them. The pan doesn't need a lot of fat to start with, since they release a lot of their own. Salt and pepper is about all they need for seasoning.

                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj
                  letsindulge Jun 21, 2013 11:39 PM

                  Yes, a crispy sear would be really nice. What sides would balance the richness of the salmon?

                2. m
                  mike0989 Jun 21, 2013 04:48 PM

                  I'm a fan of sorrel sauce with salmon.

                  1 shallot sliced
                  1 cup white button musrooms sliced
                  1 pat butter
                  1 cup dry white wine
                  1 cup hevy cream
                  salt\white pepper
                  1 buncc sorrel, stems removed, julliened

                  Sweat the shallots in a sauce pan with the butter. Add the musrooms and cook down a bit. Add the wine and slowly reduce to a glaze. Add the cream and let steep for 15 - 20 minutes until the flavors come together. Strain out the solids and add salt and pepper to taste. It can sit aside at this point until you are ready to do the fish.

                  When ready to do the salmon. Warm the sauce back up and add the sorrel. Let sit over a low burner for about 15 minutes (don't boil), while you do the salmon. It can be either simply grilled or done in a saute pan.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mike0989
                    letsindulge Jun 21, 2013 11:32 PM

                    Thanks for your reply. The sauce sounds deliciously rich so may not be a good pairing with the already fatty salmon belly?

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