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Monday, March 09, 2009

Broiled Salmon Collar Recipe

Updated March 9, 2009

Originally posted July 16, 2007

You guys know about our favorite fishmonger in the whole world right? His name is Pat and he runs Mission Fresh Fish out in San Leandro. You can find him at several farmer’s markets around the Bay Area. We’ve talked about him a lot on this blog. See, his fish is truly the best I’ve come across. And this is one of the things I get the most from him—salmon collars.

Salmon Collars – Cut From Right Behind the Gills

Salmon Collars – Cut From Right Behind the Gills

I first came to know of salmon collars when I started visiting Pat’s booth at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market. The salmon collars were packed in ziplock bags and put next to all the fish bones and other ‘scraps’ leftover from his filleted fish. One of his staff recommended the salmon collars to me as the cheaper alternative to buying his salmon fillets. They told me that it was just as delicious if not more because of all the fat on it. So much fat, it’s almost like having salmon toro!

Get the Right Kind of Salmon

So I came back home that first time with a bag or two of the salmon collars and prepared them as they said—just salt and pepper it then broil. And it was the most delicious thing. This is when I had my epiphany. Salmon can taste so amazing when youget the right kind. And this was the right kind—wild King Salmon. I cannot go back to any store bought salmon anymore (the variety of salmon really counts and King Salmon is truly KING among the salmons).

And Pat sells his salmon collars at the most reasonable price. Would you believe that he charges only $4/lb for these salmon collars? Yes, you heard me right—only $4/lb. These days, when I go to get them, I come back with at least 5-8 lbs each time. I freeze them in bags and go through them in about 2 weeks.

Easy Prep, Intense Flavor

Prepping the salmon collars is so easy. I just cut each salmon collar into three parts—the two side fin parts and I’m left with one small steak piece.

Three Pieces of the Salmon Collar

Three Pieces of the Salmon Collar

I lay them all out on a baking tray (wrap the tray in foil for even easier clean up) and salt them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

Salmon Collars Laid on Baking Tray

Salmon Collars Laid on Baking Tray

If you want them to taste more intense, leave the salt on for about 30 minutes before you broil the salmon. This technique is the Japanese way of cooking fish “shioyaki” style. And it’s really delicious.

I once made this dish for a catered dinner and someone asked me what I had seasoned the fish with. She could not believe that all it was was salt and pepper. It’s the fish, people! If it’s good fish, it tastes so good that you don’t really need anything else. Plus, salt done right can be the most amazing flavor component. You don’t need much of anything else.

Fifteen Minutes and Done

I then turn my oven to broil and set the rack at the highest level, closest to the broiler. Pop in the fish, leave the oven door slightly ajar and set the timer for 7 minutes (please check on yours as different ovens have different broiler intensities—I did this at a friend’s house once and it browned a lot faster). Basically, you want the fish to brown and get some nice charring (not burning!) before flipping them over.

Once the timer beeps, turn fish over and broil for another 6-7 minutes (normally shorter time because fish is warm and oven has gotten hot too) or until it is a nice golden brown with bits of darker charred color.

Broiled Salmon Collars

Broiled Salmon Collars

Remove from oven. Plate up and make a pig of yourself sucking up the succulent fish and all that tasty, oily yumminess!

Broiled Salmon Collars

Broiled Salmon Collars

If you’ve never had salmon collars, you need to make a point to get yourself to your nearest fishmonger and ask them for it. If you’re in the Bay Area, find out which farmer’s market Pat is at that is closest to you. Just don’t buy him out—save some for me! Don’t forget—Wild King Salmon is the way to go. Everything else just doesn’t come close.

Broiled Salmon Collars with Rice and Stir-Fried Veggies

Broiled Salmon Collars with Rice and Stir-Fried Veggies

Cheers, Annie

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Hungry for more fish recipes? Click below:

Cioppino Hot Pot Recipe

Sweet and Sour Fried Fish Recipe

Old Bay Blackened Halibut

Fried Sanddabs with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

Wild Salmon Cakes with Kaffir Lime and Ginger


Anonymous said...

$4/lb is a great price. It's quarter past 6 here and those pictures have got me all hungry!!

Daniel said...

he last 3 entries have left me drooling.

oh fish...

Anonymous said...

I love that fish stand, and often find Pat there, hawking his amazing seafood, at the Mountain View farmers' market. I have bought quite a bit of wild salmon from him. But mostly fillets, never collars. Must try this economical cut!

Bob said...

Hey you guys, two other things to do with collars, marinate them in shiro miso for a few hours, then broil them, and you should try smoking them. If you like smoked salmon from the filet, you should really try the collars smoked. A simple light brown sugar brine would do the trick, over some alder smoke.

Unknown said...

Last season I bought bags of salmon parts at the Cupertino Square FM. It was especially tasty knowing the fillets/steaks were going for $25-$30/lb. Gotta try your "even I can do that" recipe. Bummer that it's shaping up to be another bad fishing season.

Did I ever tell you we signed up to do the vegetable share again? The kids are old enough now to help make a dent in the bounty.

turkishfoodandrecipes said...

i love seafood, especially salmon is one of my favorite fish. Yours look very delicious, I can't wait to try them:)

ICook4Fun said...

I love salmon and this is something I am very keen to try out but first need to find some salmon collar :)

Jenster said...

I love salmon and can never understand why so many restaurants feel the need to cover it with sauces when it has such a wonderful flavor of its own.

I usually buy salmon fillets and sprinkle them with some red Hawaiian salt, dill and cracked black pepper and then poach them. They cook in their own rich juices and are ready in no time.

Thanks for opening my eyes to salmon collars. I'll start looking for those.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@all - thanks for the comments!

@Sid - hehehe

@Daniel - :-p

@Carolyn - please do; let us know how you like it!

@Robert - can you give us a proper recipe, especially for the brined / smoked salmon? Are you talking about hot smoking or cold smoking?

@J - $25 - $30 per pound!? Dang.
BTW, Pat's salmon comes from Canada, where they aren't having such a bad overfishing problem as here.

@ICookForFun - do you have a real fishmonger near you?

@Jenster - probably because they are using low quality farmed salmon. Wild King Salmon is the best flavor, no need covering up!

Bob said...

The easiest way is to prepare a brine of 1/4 cup salt (I would use kosher salt)to 4 cups water. Soak the collars (or strips, or chunks) in the brine for an hour, maybe two for thicker cuts. At this point, you could go to the smoker. I prefer to rub the fish with a coating of shoyu, then dry rub with brown sugar and a small amount of ground pepper. I would let that sit for a couple of hours. Then cold smoke with alder for several hours. We use a smoking cabinet and it takes 8 to 10 hours to get it dried. I have done it in a modified weber for 4 hours with acceptable results

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Robert - thanks. I've not actually tried to do cold smoked salmon collars. Plus, I don't have any alder wood for smoke right now. Once I get some alder wood ships, I'll look into cold smoking fish.

GiGi said...


Unknown said...

Another very popular fish collar is yellowtail collar, it's what's called hamachi kama in japanese restaurants. i've never had salmon collar before, but hamachi kama is one of the best things that you can get if it's done right - super succulent and rich.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@GiGi - LOL

@Giza - we've had hamachi kama before and it is great.

Maestro David said...

Thanks for the making this post. I wasn't sure what exactly to sprinkle on the collars nor on the time it took to cook. I had bought 2 huge salmon heads yesterday for $.69/pound and made it a point to cook them today. They came out great.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Maestro David - you got a great deal! I'm glad you liked our recipe.

Victor said...

I bought some salmon collars at Ralphs for $3/lb. Found it in the frozen food discount section. Didn't know what to do with it, so I looked for recipes and yours showed up. Oh my God it is soooo good. I somewhat burnt the skins on mine making the outside kind of dry but when you bite in the juice and flavor of the salmon, salt, and pepper just gushes out. Great recipe. Simple is def better. And it only took about 10 mins to cook.