A good salmon skin is a beautiful thing, but it can get in the way of cooking. Whether you're poaching or baking salmon, the skin can take on a weird, gummy texture that just doesn't work in some dishes. But removing it can also help you preserve more of the fish's energy-boosting fats.
Luckily, there's a surprisingly simple method to slip it right off before your salmon hits the pan or oven. Plus, this prep step is a handy one to know for other fish, too.
The first step is to score the skin with a knife, making long, even strokes across the surface without cutting into the flesh. Then, using your hands or a clean pair of tweezers (or clean needle-nose pliers), pull the skin toward you to separate it from the fish. Repeat along the entire fillet, taking care not to tear or rip it.
After the skin is separated from the fish, place it on a cutting board and set aside. If the board is slippery, lay a damp paper towel on top to create a secure surface.
If your salmon has pin bones running down the sides, use a pair of tongs or designated fish bone tweezers to gently pluck them out. You may also need to pluck some gray-matter remnants from the flesh itself, depending on where you purchased your salmon and how fresh it was when it was packed. But don't let those small bits deter you from trying this delicious and surprisingly easy technique!