When I purchase salmon at my local fish market or even at the grocery store – I try to buy a full side – because we love fresh salmon prepared a number of ways AND because it’s cheaper that way. For fillets of salmon and many other fish the thickness of the flesh varies relative to the location on the body of the fish. Generally speaking toward the top the fish is thicker and toward the belly, less so. Because 0f this variation the fish can cook unevenly.
When grilling a side or fillet of salmon, the belly can be over cooked while the thicker portion of the salmon cam be undercooked. My recommendation is to trim the belly section away from the thicker main body section and reserve for a different use. You can thread onto a skewer the long piece of salmon belly and brush on a teriyaki sauce glaze toward the end of the cook. OR you can grill the belly section and remove the skin before placing on a soft dinner roll-type bun. I like potato buns for this use. Or you can freeze this section and cook in scramble eggs or saute in a pan for lite appetizers or use in salads.
Thanks and Welcome to the Cookout! ~ Barry CB Martin
CB’s EZ Salmon Belly Sliders
Trimming the belly away from a salmon fillet before cooking the larger portion of meat results in a portion for the entree that is consistent in thickness/size and will cook better...the salmon belly is tasty, tender and oh-so-easy to prepare for sliders.
- full side or individual portions of salmon fillets
- favorite rub or seasonings
- dinner rolls or soft potato bread rolls
- condiments of choice - may, aioli, tartar sauce, etc.
- After prepping the salmon fillet by rinsing under cool water and patting dry on all sides - trim the belly from the main section of the salmon fillet - it's the thinner part of the fillet and will cook too fast if left on the fillet when grilling or pan cooking. Cut the belly piece to sizes that will fit the buns you've chosen. Spritz the flesh side with a light touch of vegetable oil (I prefer grape seed oil for this use) and lay on hot (450°F) clean, dry grates and sear. Use the tip of a knife to test for done by gently nudging one edge to see if it is sticky. When the proteins in the meat are browned they will release from the grates. If not ready, give it another 30 seconds or so..and when ready flip over to the skin side and sear. Use the same test to check for done.
- When the salmon belly pieces are seared on both sides and release from the grates, set on a scrunched up paper towel to coo & then use your fingers to remove/peel the skin from the side of the fish and place on the prepared buns. Serve in 3's - cause that's a good number. Not too few and not too many!
This recipe was prepared on The Weather Channel - June 02, 2012 by the author of the recipe, Barry 'CB' Martin - Chief Grilling Officer for Char-Broil, LLC