Cooking with Four Star's Fresh Salmon: How to Pick the Best Cut of Fish for Your Recipe

Hey there, fellow home chefs! When it comes to cooking salmon, the type of cut you choose can make all the difference in the world. From the rich, buttery flavor of the belly to the firm, even texture of the center cut, each type of salmon offers a unique taste and texture profile that can elevate your dish to the next level.

In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the different cuts of salmon and explore the best ways to use them in your favorite recipes.

      1. Center Cut: This is the most popular cut and is taken from the center of the fillet. It has a uniform thickness and is perfect for cooking methods like grilling, broiling, and baking. The center cut has a moderate fat content and is suitable for a wide range of recipes.

      2. Tail Piece: The tail piece is taken from the narrowest end of the fillet and has a slightly tapered shape. It has a lower fat content and is best used for recipes that call for smaller, bite-sized pieces of salmon, such as salmon skewers or salmon cakes.

      3. Fillet: A fillet is the whole side of the salmon, with the skin still attached. It is a versatile cut that can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as pan-frying or baking. Fillets have a moderate to high fat content and are perfect for dishes where the salmon is the main attraction, such as a poached salmon fillet. For example, the picture above is cropped but it is an image of a full fillet of our Sustainably-Raised Big Glory Bay King Salmon from NZ.

      4. Bellies: The belly of the salmon is the fattiest and most flavorful part of the fish. It has a rich, buttery texture and is ideal for smoking or curing. Bellies can also be used for making salmon roe or salmon bacon. Our King Salmon Bellies are by far our most top rated non traditional cut. We like offering these because of their approachable price point, buttery flavor and versatility. Available here to shop salmon bellies for home delivery, and check out our #1 top customer-ranked recipe for a delicious Salmon Belly Bowl at home.

      5. Shank: The shank is the tapered end of the salmon, closest to the head, also known as "osso-buco" or carefully butchered tail. This fun cut of salmon is easy to braise, poach, grill or roast.  Our fresh salmon shanks are prepared on the morning of your order by our fishmongers, and do not include any pin bones at all! Very easy to eat. We love this cut for how affordable it is and great for family or larger group dinners. Stock up and stash some in your freezer, use within 3 weeks for a quick meal when you need something yummy and easy. 

      6. Collar: The collar is the section of the salmon located behind the head and gills. It has a high fat content and a rich flavor and is perfect for grilling or broiling. The collar can be cooked as a whole piece or cut into smaller portions. Shop and learn more about our King Salmon Collars here! This is another really price-friendly cut that pairs so well with our line of restaurant-grade Asian specialty marinades, sauces and ingredients, and also helps make use of the whole fish.

There you have it, folks – a closer look at the various cuts of salmon and how to use them to create delicious, restaurant-quality dishes in your own kitchen. Whether you prefer the rich, buttery flavor of the belly or the firm, even texture of the center cut, each type of salmon has its own unique qualities that can take your cooking to new heights.

So go ahead and experiment with different cuts and cooking methods, and don't be afraid to get creative – after all, the possibilities are endless.

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