How to Cook Trout and Salmon Collars

This overlooked part is easy to cook and delicious

Grilled trout collars.
Try fish collars once, and you’ll never discard another one again.Cosmo Genova

Fish collars are an often-overlooked delicacy that are worth your attention. The collar refers to the section that begins directly behind the head and ends just behind the pectoral fin (right before the start of the fillet). While more commonly prepared with saltwater fish, the collars from large trout and salmon also have collars worth saving. This meaty section is perfect for the grill and will help you make the most of your catch. Start collecting and freezing collars until you have enough for a meal, then throw them in your favorite marinade, grill, and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 4 trout or salmon collars (collars from larger fish—4 pounds or bigger—are best suited for this recipe)
  • 1 bottle of teriyaki or barbecue sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Clean and remove the gills from the fish and cut off the head, then cut through the body about 1 inch out from the base of the pectoral fin to separate the collar. Using a cleaver, saw, or electric fillet knife, split the collars down the spine, lengthwise, creating two collar cuts.
  2. Season the collars with salt. Marinade the collars overnight in your favorite teriyaki or barbecue sauce.
  3. Place the collars, skin side down, on a grill over very hot coals. Let the sauce caramelize and the skin crisp, around 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
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