October 12, 2012
Fish Bacon: Because Fried Fillets Aren't Unhealthy Enough
By Joe Cermele
You name a bacon product, and I've probably had it and loved it. I'll be the first one to skip chips in favor of pork rinds (or chicharones when in Mexico or Miami). If it's wrapped in bacon, it's automatically good. If it's not wrapped in bacon, I say it should be. So imagine my delight when I came across this article in the Washington Post that featured instructions for making fish bacon. Maybe I'm just late to the party on this one and you've been eating fish bacon with your scrambled eggs for years, but it's news to me.
The chef featured in the article, Harald Osa, is apparently somewhat of a celebrity in his native Norway and a master at preparing salmon every way imaginable. The trick to fish bacon, per Osa, is leaving just a little extra meat on the scaled skin when cleaning the fish. First he gives the flesh side a heavy dose of Kosher salt, and then he lets the skins marinate in warm oil for a while.
Next, he cuts the oiled skins into thin strips and pan-fries them hot and fast. The result, as you can see in the photo, is what looks like a fresh pork crackling--and I'm not talking about the bagged variety. I mean the good ones you get from the butcher at the local farmer's market.
The method works particularly well with salmon because it's naturally fatty, but you can bet I'm going to try this with black sea bass, trout, or grouper next time I catch one. Have a great weekend.