Salmon Prep and Cooking Fillets


Active Member
I'm afraid I don't have any secret methods. IMO the biggest key with fish is getting them bled and on ice ASAP! Proper bleeding is crucial. One thing I see a lot of people do is to get a fish in the boat then beat the ever loving hell out of it with a club before cutting it's gills to bleed. You don't want to kill the fish before bleeding. You want the heart to pump so it pushes all the blood out. One sharp smack to the top of the head is enough to stun a fish without killing it. To be perfectly honest I prefer to bleed most fish without bonking at all... But I could see as how that might be perceived as a bit rough towards the fish.

Another thing I'm a big believer in is keeping freshwater off of the meat at all times. With some fish, salmon and albacore for example, I believe in keeping all water off the meat. With white meat I will drop the fillets in a bucket of salt water to rinse, but never ever fresh. Something about freshwater seems to turn fish soft and mushy very quickly.

When I'm getting ready to vacuum seal I like to do a very thorough trim job of the meat. Remove any pin bones, trim off anything I don't want to eat, wipe everything clean with paper towels etc. I like to vacuum seal a perfect product when I can. The last thing I like to do is wrap thin layer of plastic wrap around the fish before putting in the vac bag. This seems to help keep moisture in the fish from being sucked into the sealing area, which I've always found to create seal issues. Often the seal will look fine but after sitting in the freezer it will become clear that it was a bad seal.

With some fish, albacore loins in particular, I like to partially freeze before putting them in the bag. This makes them much easier to deal with and it reduces the seal weakening moisture issues.

Thats actually a good tip on vacuum sealing. Have had that problem before. Thanks man. Agree on bleeding before bonking. I cut the artery in the neck. I know some will cut gills but that seems to coagulate quickly and defeats the purpose.

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